Intent aside, tossing one’s glove and stomping in the opposite direction of a ball in play is pretty the definition of giving up. And/or gifting Baltimore’s Adam Jones with an inside the park HR during the O’s 7-6 loss to the Nationals last night. Amongst those quick to defend Washington’s Nyjer Morgan, that hallmark of intensity, teammate Adam Dunn. From The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore :
“First of all, there’s nobody that plays harder than Nyjer Morgan in the big leagues,” said Josh Willingham, whose two-run homer in the third tied the game at 2. “The only thing from my perspective that he did was he assumed that the ball went over the fence, obviously. But it was pretty helpless from my situation because I saw the ball on the ground and was pointing and yelling, but he didn’t see me or couldn’t see me. I just continued to run and picked it up.”
Said first baseman Adam Dunn, whose two-run single in the sixth put Washington ahead to stay. “He’s an emotional guy. I don’t think that’s anything but that. I think his emotions took over. He doesn’t make very many mistakes. I wouldn’t call it a mistake. He’s just an emotional guy, and you take the good with the bad.”
Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said his initial reaction was to remove Morgan from the game following the misplay but he reconsidered for several reasons, including a thinning roster after starting catcher Ivan Rodriguez left in the third inning with stiffness in his lower back.
“My first instinct was to take him out of the ballgame,” Riggleman said, “and then I realized, you know what, he thinks the ball went over the fence. He thought that he knocked it over the fence, and it’s a home run, and he’s showing frustration. That doesn’t excuse it, and I don’t want it perceived as an excuse, but it explains it…”
4 thoughts on “Nats’ Morgan Accomplishes The Near-Impossible : Making Hanley Ramirez Appear Professional, Mature By Comparison”
Plays like this remind me as a Nationals fan that I shouldn’t get too excited about them being .500 or better (and ahead of the Mets). They’re still the Nationals. Let’s just hope Strasburg isn’t so petulant.
Hmmm Comparing Nyjer to Hanley is ridiculous. Hanley obviously didn’t care, whereas Nyjer was seriously angry at the thought he might have given the other team a home run. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it. Batters throw their bat in disgust when they pop out with the bases loaded. The fact the ball stayed in play is unfortunate. Still you can’t kill a guy for passion. When you have Hanley making a error then slowing jogging after it while runners score. One is a winning player the other isn’t.
Terrific. Nyjer Morgan is the Paul O’Neil of fielding. I’m not sure intentions are nearly as important as presence of mind. Terrific that Nyjer gives a hoot, but “I don’t see anything wrong it?” Throwing a temper tantrum while the ball is still in play? Sure, hitters toss bats after popping up, but if someone gave up — to take your bait — on a bases loaded fly that was dropped and the hitter in question was thrown out at first, they’d absolutely get slaughtered for it. Ramirez was accused of letting his teammates down….I’d submit that when Morgan flips out over his own miscues and directly causes a run to score, he’s doing the same.
I have to say that i find myself somewhere in between those two but i definitely lean towards it not being that big of a deal. I mean if he doesn’t learn from it and does something like that again it would be huge and as a single play (assist on an inside the park home run) it definitely sucks, but he just crashed into the wall. I mean can we give him some credit for maybe being confused as he’s running into the centerfield fence. I mean he’s in no danger of going through it or anything, but doesn’t exactly just brush up against it either. He should be more aware, but of a Hanley Ramirez ilk? Far from it.