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Morgan gets seven-game suspension for incident with fan

Aug 25, 2010, 8:48 PM EDT

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been issued a seven-game suspension for throwing a ball at a fan last weekend at Philadelphia's Citizen Bank Park. The incident drew little coverage...

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been issued a seven-game suspension for throwing a ball at a fan last weekend at Philadelphia’s Citizen Bank Park.

The incident drew little coverage, if any at all, but a complaint may have been filed by the fan and those in the stands that witnessed the scene.

Kilgore was told that Morgan shared an “ongoing dialogue” with a member of the Phillies faithful and then fired a ball into the crowd, hitting a different fan in the head.  The center fielder has appealed the suspension and is in the Nationals’ lineup Wednesday, but he will have to serve some sort of punishment eventually.

Last season, Major League Baseball fined and suspended Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney for three games after he chucked a ball into the press box at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field.  Rodney appealed and had the suspension lessened to two games.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Extraordinary stupidity. That’s akin to throwing a rock at someone. I really dislike the litigiousness of this society but that fan ought to sue the ass off of Morgan and his club, and after a pissant punishment like that, add MLB as a defendant as well. If the guy’s skin is so thin that he can’t take the razzing, let him play second base or shortstop where he won’t have to hear it.

  2. cubsFNsuck - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Gator, I tend to agree, but in this situation, I am wholeheartedly guessing that the fan was derogatorily referring to his first name, in which case the fan probably had it coming.

  3. quint - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    While true, the above mentions he hit a different fan, in which case Morgan should be suspended for the rest of the season.

  4. tdawg69 - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    If you have ever attended a Phillie’s game, you can just imagine what was being said to this guy. I’m surprised this crap doesn’t happen more often. Philly fans are hard core. That being said, dude needs to be able to ignore this shizz. 7 games sounds about right.

  5. Paper Lions - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    So….he should be suspended for the rest of the season for having bad aim?
    At some point, in public situations, doesn’t the crowd also bear some responsibility for not calling out the idiot and getting him to STFU?

  6. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    I’ve been hit in the head with a baseball before. And even when thrown by a kid it hurts like hell. When I go to Phillies games, and get good seats close to the field, there are alot of little kids. I even frequently see folks with babies at the game (one time a 6 week old). Now imagine if the ball had hit a small child or a baby? Yes, very bad. Nyger Morgan should be suspended regardless of anything that could have been said to him by any fan. And I like Nyger Morgan, very few players are as dangerous on the basepaths as this guy. Few guys can play the OF as well as he does. Now I see few players are as dangerous dealing with rowdy fans as well.

  7. murd - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Why sue the club? You think Riggleman told him to do it? Morgan should be punished, but nobody else with Washington did anything wrong.

  8. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    No, it’s not their job to show restraint. It’s their job to heckle the opposing team, and cheer for the home team. That’s it. What if a fan threw a ball at Nyjer Morgans head? What then? The fan would have been arrested, and Morgan should have as well actually, for assault.

  9. Old Gator - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    Perhaps the fan who was doing the razzing had something coming, but it’s not up to the player to give it to him. Most stadiums do have “family friendliness” rules about what fans can yell out aloud. But then it’s up to the stadium security people to remove the offending nitwit and place him outside in the parking lot. It is not up to the player to throw a rock at someone in a crowd – especially when, as in this case, the moron hit someone else with it. What if the jerk took someone’s eye out, or gave him a concussion, or worse? This is a behavior the league really has to slam hard. But as I said, I hope that fan spent yesterday at his lawyer’s office and is getting ready to sue the damned fool’s ass off.

  10. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    The cubs fan who dropped a beer on Shane Victorinos head was arrested after he turned himself in. I guess players don’t have to show restraint and can assault fans without repercussion???

  11. Old Gator - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Good ole “joint and several liability.” If the fan sues the team, any judge would uphold the inclusion. If a deliveryman for the local gas company ran over your kid pulling up your driveway, you’d be entitled to sue the company as well as the deliveryman. If some doctor left his hemostat behind your bellybutton after he got finished pushing your hernia back where it belonged, you’d sue the hospital as well as the doc. The point isn’t to “punish” the team per se; it’s to send a message to the teams that they are, like it or not, responsible for the behavior of their employees just like any other company.

  12. murd - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    I understand it, but it seems to me that being able to sue a multi-million dollar company for the actions of one of its employees leads to money grabs by the plaintiffs. If a Burger King employee tells his bosses that he’s going to spit in my drink and they don’t stop him, then including them in a lawsuit makes sense. But if they had no reason to suspect he may spit in my drink, it’s just 1 guy being an a$$hole.

  13. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    I want to know why Nyjer wasn’t arrested for assault. A fan would have been. As far as i’m concerned he’s getting off far too easy with a suspension and what may turn out to be a civil suit. What he did was commit a crimminal act which was ignored by law enforcement. I’d have been locked up if i’d thrown the ball at his head.

  14. Old Gator - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Technically you’re correct about the problem of individual verses joint liability. It’s an old debate but, as Craig would doubtless tell you, the concept that companies are responsible for their employees’ conduct while on the job has pretty well swept the jurisprudential field and is a long, long standing principle in law. In the case of the run over kid, it was a company truck. In the case of the hemostat, it belonged to the hospital and it occurred on their premises. In the case of the baseball this moron threw into the crowd, it belonged to the baseball team and/or to the league. The company is held responsible for knowing about what kind of probity and competence their employees demonstrate during the hiring process and the ongoing conduct of their jobs. It’s also held responsible for what is done with its own property – there’s another legal concept which you may well find even more absurd than “joint and several” called “guilty property.” The concept of an inanimate object has no place in the American courtroom, where everything is someone’s fault. It’s damned near impossible for employers to wiggle out from under their de facto legal obligations to damaged customers by claiming they didn’t know the employee was deranged, stupid or just an asshole.
    Craig, you proud of me? Relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation. I’ve got your back. You know what a back is, right? It’s that part of the body where lawyers usually stab people.

  15. El Bravo - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    why no video of this?

  16. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    That’s different. let’s look at apples to apples here. Say you get into a tiff with the drive thru employee and he loses it, followed by him throwing a baseball at your head. Do you sue the employee, or both the employee and BK? Sure it isn’t the corporations fault, but they are still liable because it is their employee.

  17. Old Gator - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    I don’t follow hockey but I recall there was some case years back where one NHL player creamed another one with his stick, fractured the guy’s skull or spine or something, and would up being charged and tried criminally. Might’ve been in Canada, where things are a little saner than in the US. This thug also wound up eventually playing for the Florida Pussycats up in Fort Lauderdale, but that’s up in the States north of the border station at Golden Glades so I didn’t pay all that much attention.
    If I’m not mistaken the fan needs to go to the local precinct and swear out a criminal complaint. Might still do that, of course. Hope he does.

  18. Benny Blanco - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Gotta agree. Players have to show restraint and be the bigger man. Comes along with the bigger paycheck.

  19. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    As do I. He gets less flack from me than Nyjer does since Hockey is a bone crushing sport and he hit another player, they are allowed to fight afterall. But to assault a fan for a verbal berating? Way worse imo. Gator, funny you mention it, but Nyjer is an ex hockey player.

  20. BC - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    I think Albert Belle did something like that a bunch of years ago. Again, not one of the greatest minds in the history of Western Civilization. But if I recall, the fan was calling him “Joey” (his old nickname) and getting on him about the drinking problems he had in the past. Just made him snap. Who knows what the fan was saying to Morgan. Not that throwing a baseball at a fan is RIGHT, but unless you were there (and apparently no one put the the on Youtube which is astonishing), you don’t know what the circumstance was.

  21. BC - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Yeah, that was Todd Bertuzzi.

  22. Paper Lions - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    If it was bad enough that Morgan chucked a ball into the stands, it may well have gone beyond “heckling”. If fans are saying inappropriate things (personal/racial attacks), it is on the other fans to control that…if they don’t, that is tacit agreement with what is being said, and I don’t feel bad for someone that got plunked.

  23. murd - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Like I said, I understand. I agree that the company has responsibility in who they hire, I just think it’s often taken a little too far. I mean, Morgan has always seemed like a pretty good guy. Did Washington have any reason to think he’d blow up one day and hurt a fan. Just saying, I think it’s often a case of going after a bigger payout by going after the corporation that has more money than the one employee. This is one of the several thousand reasons that I’m not a lawyer.

  24. Benny Blanco - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    What? What are you going to do, say? Up to other fans to control a grown man at a Baseball game?
    No matter how derogatory the comment was, the player needs to maintain control. Winging a baseball into a crowd is not the answer.

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