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Nyjer Morgan stirs up trouble again with hit on Cards catcher

Aug 29, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

It hasn’t drawn much media coverage, but there was a troubling incident at the end of Saturday’s game between the Cardinals and Nationals involving outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who is currently appealing a suspension for a mistake he made one week ago in Philadelphia…

The Nats hammered St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse for eight earned runs and 11 hits and were well on their way to locking up a decisive victory against the heavily-favored Cardinals by the bottom of the eighth inning.  Adam Dunn walked to open the frame, Mike Morse hit a single, Ivan Rodriguez netted an RBI base hit, then Morgan reached on a bunt. 

Seconds later, pinch-hitter Willie Harris drilled a double to right field that had all runners moving and would have allowed Morgan to score easily from first base.  Morgan would have been the 13th run in an eventual 14-5 victory.

Instead of scoring, though, Morgan ran straight toward Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, who had stepped a foot or two in front of the plate, and lowered his shoulder for an odd hockey-like check.  Anderson was caught off guard and stumbled to the side while Morgan was called out.

Because it happened so fast and the game was completely out of hand, the Cardinals simply went on with their business.  But if Morgan is in the starting lineup on Sunday afternoon, you can bet his backside is going to meet an aimed fastball.

The motivation behind the hit remains unclear.  Maybe Brandon Phillips was right, and everyone really does dislike the Cardinals.  Or maybe Morgan really, really, really hates Glenn Beck and was taking a jab at Cards manager Tony La Russa via his backup catcher.  Any conspiracy theory will work for such an odd and seemingly misguided display of aggression.

Anderson, who was filling in for a banged-up Yadier Molina, spoke to reporters after the game.  Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:


“It’s going to take a little bit bigger of a guy than that to take me down… so I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I mean, it was, because it was a cheap shot, but not really, I guess.”

Shall we do a tale of the tape?  Why not.  Anderson, 23, stands 6-foot-1 and is listed at 200 lbs.  Morgan, 30, is 6-foot-0 and listed at 170 lbs., but is a former high-level hockey player.  Perhaps the two will drop the gloves on Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital.

  1. Rohan Sadagopal - Aug 29, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Video available here: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11487843&query=%26game_pk%3D265747
    Looks like he was called out not for the hit, but because Pudge touched him while he was still a live runner

  2. Professor Longnose - Aug 29, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Wow. The announcers didn’t even mention that he plowed into a guy who was giving him the plate. Plus one of them has a serious case of uptalk.
    Thanks for the link.

  3. Sam Lee - Aug 29, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Wasn’t it a Rockies catcher that gave the plate to Pujols who went out of his way to go at him spikes high? He said LaRussa told him to do that. Is this another example of how the Cardinals expect special treatment?

  4. Utley's hair - Aug 30, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    Well, Nyjer looks like he’s trying to get that full suspension, just as a combo deal.

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