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…”