Final Judgement

Judgement

Although I did not see the play and don’t know the history involved here.  There was clearly someone who was wrong.

From my view it appears that the Marlins took exception to Mr. Morgan’s collision at the plate with catcher Brett Hayes.  What I can’t understand though is why the Marlins feel as though the play was uncalled for.

Catchers of all people should know that if they are anywhere near home plate then they become a target.  Middle infielders get attacked all the time and they seem to do a good job of getting out-of-the-way.  I believe that Mr. Hayes needs to make sure that he is not putting himself in a situation that can get him hurt.  The reality is that if Mr. Hayes clear the plate, this wouldn’t happen.

If the Marlins believe that Mr. Hayes was completely correct with being close to the plate, then someone in the Marlins Baseball Operations Department needs to have a stern talking to.  Fundamentals were lost on this play.  Not a fundamental that deals with ability, but a fundamental that should be taught and reinforced so that this situation never shows up.  But the Marlins took exception to Mr. Morgan’s play.

The Marlins decided to hit Mr. Morgan later in the game and Mr. Morgan trotted down to first base.  From the information I have seen and been given, Mr. Morgan took that as retaliation for tackling the catcher and excepted his punishment regardless if it was warranted.

Mr. Morgan then stole 2 bases when the score was 14-3 in the 4th inning.  From my understanding, the Marlins were holding him on and even if they weren’t, there is no problem in this situation for him to steal those bases.  There are no rules about stealing when a team is down 11 runs in the 4th.  The fact that the Marlins were holding him on proves that they to have no problem with him stealing.  As a rule of thumb, if a team holds you on, you play.

As far as I’m concerned, the issue had been taken care of even though the Marlins didn’t have a real case to hit Mr. Morgan in the first place.  If anyone should have been hit, it was the person who failed to teach catcher, Brett Hayes about the proper fundamentals and understanding of that play.  If I was a Marlin I would have been yelling at someone about how baseball is taught in the organization.

The situation was not over in the eyes of the Marlins though.  Mr. Volstad decided to throw another ball at Mr. Morgan.  But there was no reason to do so.  Not only that, Mr. Volstad threw a fastball at least a foot behind Mr. Morgan.  This is a sign of a pitcher who has not been taught how to play the game properly and has now counter attacked Mr. Morgan after the situation should have been over.

Fundamental baseball retaliation says that you should never throw a ball behind a guy.  The reason?  Because that is cowardly.  It shows a pitcher who is afraid to hit a batter and he is simply making a veiled attempt to protect his team.  If I were manager of the Marlins, I would have called Volstad into my office and sternly yelled at him to HIT THE BATTER!  YOU THINK PROTECTING YOUR TEAMMATES IS MISSING A GUY? Of course I also would have yelled at him and the rest of the team for throwing at Morgan in the first and second place.

Next, Mr. Morgan charged the mound only to see Volstad who threw his glove down and then didn’t put up his hands to protect himself.  What is going on in the Marlins system?  Do they not teach pitchers to put their fists up?  As a result of the organization not teaching this, Volstad gets hit in the face because there was nothing to block Mr. Morgan’s fist from making contact.

The fight ensues and people are ejected.

As Mr. Morgan walks off the field, he decides to raise his hands up and interacts with the crowd.  What are you doing?  This is no time to celebrate!  If I am the manager of the Nationals I would pull you into the office and yell at you for being a classless little kid.  This isn’t some show!  If you get into a fight then you fight and it is over.  Don’t throw your hands up like some belligerent jerk.  In that one-act you showed that this was not about baseball, it was about you.  That is not team baseball and if it isn’t team baseball then it shouldn’t be tolerated.  Grow up.

Finally, I have found that the most blame needs to go to Major League Baseball.  Just like most in our society, the league thinks that the avoidance of pain is a better lesson then allowing pain.  When did we decide to  protect our kids from learning important lessons?  This is a problem.

The league has forced the umpires to make immediate warnings even if they aren’t needed.  The league believes that this will exhaust the problem, but it only frustrates the players and the forces the umpires to take heat when they are just doing what they are told from the league.

The other byproduct of not letting teams hit guys is that players no longer know when to hit a guy or why to hit a guy.  In the Marlins situation, they started a “Snowball fight” because they didn’t teach their catcher how to protect himself.  There is a clear way to hit a player and it has to do with a combination of a lot more than the guy you want to be at the plate.

If you want to hit a guy, there has to be 2 outs and your team is winning by more than 4 runs.  The pitcher then throws a 4 seamed fastball and tries to hit the batters ribs.  NOT THE HEAD AND NOT THE LEG.  The head is dangerous and the leg is cowardly.

MLB needs to teach teams when to hit a guy if the teams don’t know how to.  The answer is not to start warning everyone.  There is too much pressure out there to add more frustration with a warning.

Stop trying to avoid pain.

Judgement

I find the Florida Marlins guilty of doing so many things wrong that it is unavoidable.  The organization is not teaching their players how to play the game correctly.

Mr. Morgan, although you were in the right to charge the mound, you failed as an honorable baseball player.  This game is not about you.  It is about winning baseball games.  I am embarrassed that you think it is ok to interact with the crowd that way.  You embarrassed all Major League Baseball players with your actions.  It’s time to act like a man, handle your business, and keep your mouth shut.  Play to win.

I am embarrassed today with what we have shown fans.  Once again, due to an avoidance of pain, baseball has shown that they are acting like spoiled rich kids.  We have an obligation to teach the game of baseball with honor.  This is not honor.  This is lack of leadership.

I sentence all parties to sit in front of a mirror with a dictionary.  Your first punishment is to look up the words honor and character.  You are then to face the mirror and say those definitions into the mirror so that you can talk to yourself.  Sit there and think.  Repeat the definitions if you have to but don’t get up until those words have been planted in your heart.

This court is adjourned.  I am going for a run right now because I am so upset and embarrassed.

ALL RISE!

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36 Comments on “Final Judgement”

  1. MyHandleIsSteven says:

    It is NEVER okay to charge that mound. That’s bush league. Once the batter did that, all bets are off, and the coach had every right to level him. You can argue over whether or not his collision with the catcher was okay, whether Volstad should have thrown at him either time, and even whether he should have stolen the basis, but there’s no excuse for charging the mound. The message that sends to our kids is ridiculous, almost obscene — if you get upset, go look for someone to beat up.

    As the appeals courts say, Upheld in part, overturned in part and remanded back to the trial court for reevaluation of one issue.

    • With all do respect, using kids in this situation reminds me of my exact point about parents trying to keep kids from feeling any sort of pain. The reality here Steven, is that a man threw an object at another man. These are not children and Men do not play little league.

      Here is what I would tell the 3 kids that I have under the age of 4.

      Did you guys see that? Why do you think the batter ran after the pitcher there? He did that because that man can throw a ball over 90 mph. Do you remember when I tossed you the ball and it hit your leg? That stung didn’t it. Well can you imagine having someone throw the ball as hard as they can at you? I’m really glad that you are not men right now. You don’t’ charge the mound in Little League because the pitcher isn’t trying to hit you.

      Steven, kids are very smart and they can understand that men play in the Majors. I just couldn’t disagree with you more on this particular issue.

      Morgan

  2. Geno says:

    The Marlins were right in throwing at Morgan. It’s not that he barrelled over the catcher that the Marlins took exception. Their problem was that he did it when he didn’t have to barrel him over. If you watch the play you’ll notice that had he slid he would have been safe. I don’t think the Marlins would have been so offended if just three days prior Morgan didn’t almost pull the exact same stunt against St. Louis in which he was benched because even his team thought it was in appropriate.

    As for calling Volstad a coward shows you don’t know what you’re talking about because he already hit Morgan. You admit you didn’t see the play because in fact you say later in the game after hitting the catcher they retaliated when in fact it was the night prior. But you did admit that you didn’t know exactly what you’re talking about, so technically until you knew the entire story you really shouldn’t have been commenting on it.

    I do agree that Morgan was right for stealing the bases. Not only because they’re holding you on, but because there were still five innings left and had the Nationals lost the game by one run and he didn’t try, then he could’ve cost his team a run. Also because when you’re trailing by eleven you are allowed to try and mount a comeback. Teams have come back from down 11 runs before.

    I also agree with the first comment that charging the bound is bush league. MLB players should be suspended for leaving the dugout during a brawl and the umpires should be responsible alone for breaking it up between the players involved. If the catcher wants to protect his pitcher and block the batter that should be allowed, and suspensions should be severe because it’s uncalled for.

    • Geno he may not have had to barrel him over, but he did. Catchers are supposed to be taught to expect to get hit if they are anywhere near the plate. The fact that Morgan did this 3 days prior really shows me that this should never had happened. Scouting reports are supposed to inform us of possible tendencies of the opposing players. If the Marlins did their job, Hayes would have been informed. This leaves us 2 options. The first is that Hayes was told in the scouting report that Morgan hits catchers, or 2, it wasn’t in the scouting report. Either way it is a major problem and now Hayes is hurt because of it. This whole instince could have been avoided.

      Geno, as for the second part about throwing behind a batter. Pitchers who throw behind batters are actually afraid to hit batters. Do you think Volstad doesn’t have the ability to hit a batter? Do you think he missed by at least a foot on accident. No. He purposely threw that ball exactly where he wanted to put the ball. If you are going to hit a guy you drill him. Throwing a ball behind a guys shows that you are just trying to “pretend” to throw at a guy.

      Finally on the charging the mound instance and bush league. We have to define what Bush League really means. It has been thrown around here like anything that is subjective could be considered bush. Bush League means “petty.” An example of petty is when a team is up by 10 runs in the 9th and their pitcher throws a 2 and 0 off-speed pitch. If a batter yells at a player who is trying to catch a fly ball like A-Rod did, that is bush. Pettiness is the key here.

      If something is considered way past petty, then is ti just flat out wrong. Not bush. Wrong. So in the Morgan case, he isn’t bush, he is just wrong in your opinion.

      Morgan

  3. timmy! says:

    Very nice insight. I thought when this came out everyone felt the need to pile on Nyjer Morgan, when in fact there was a bit of fault on both sides.

  4. Travis says:

    What you didn’t add on is Nyger Morgan weighs about 150 pounds holding a sack of potatoes. No idea how large this catcher is but clearly the bigger man should have won the battle much less get hurt if he was intending to take a charge. Bad teaching all the way through the farm system on that one.

  5. Ashitaka says:

    Listen to these commenters, talking about the kind of message that it sends to kids when Major Leaguers charge the mound. What about the message it sends when their parents fight and get divorced? What about the message it sends when they yell at their kids at little league? The priorities in this country are so screwed up it’s ridiculous. It’s okay for kids to cuss and watch R-rated movies, but for HEAVEN’S SAKE let’s not teach them that it’s okay to defend one’s honor and well-being.

    • That may be the best comment we have had on this blog Ash. I think you are right on. Baseball is a game and kids do play it. But that doesn’t mean that there is a protective bubble surrounding the game. What amazes me is that everyone seems to think that a guy who throws a ball at a batter should get thrown out of that game and that is appropriate punishment. Getting thrown out of a game isn’t a deterrent. Now if a pitcher throws at a guy without valid reason and the batter charges the mound, the pitcher is going to make sure that he has a valid reason the next time. The pitcher now weighs the possibility of getting into a fight. That is a deterrent that is effective.

      By the way, I don’t want to get into fights. I have never charged the mound. But I would have if the pitcher forces me to.

      Morgan

  6. lawrence says:

    Thank you for being one of the few analysts to be fair to Nyjer. As a Nationals fan (yes, we do exist!) I found it amazing and kind of insulting to my team that almost no one was really suggesting that maybe it was OK to steal those bases and that the Marlins were insane for throwing at him a second time.

    They seemed to be confused about ‘down 11 runs’ vs. ‘up 11 runs’. I think we can all agree that stealing bases when you’re up by 11 is running up the score, and unsportsmanlike and *should* get you thrown at. But down by 11, especially that early, of course you try to come back. What the other analysts were basically saying was if you’re down by 11, you should just give up and stop playing.

    The play at the plate Tuesday was bad baseball for sure – he would have been safe had he slid – but it wasn’t overly aggressive. It’s not like he went out of his way to injure the catcher (though Saturday night against St. Louis he avoided the plate to collide with the catcher, which is strange, at the very least.)

    I’m not a huge fan of charging the mound – the ump had already ejected Volstad, so it really should have been done at that point. Especially since he could maybe sort of see how they might possibly have not liked him stealing, even if he thought he was in the clear. I’d only be OK with someone charging the mound if the HBP is intentional and *completely* uncalled for by *any* logic.

    But I agree that he should have just left the field with his head down and his arms by his side, and that seems to be what the big reason behind the 8 game suspension is (as opposed to a lesser one just for charging the mound, because I think everyone knew he would be suspended anyway.)

  7. lisa gray says:

    mo,

    the thing about kids and pain – i would guess this started back before we were born when parents/society started believing that kids were not going to be allowed to play their own games/make their own rules or figure out how to settle their differences and work things out but go running to teacher/mami,daddy,granma,sitter.

    i can’t tell you how many people were horrified when they found out that i didn’t immediately stop my twins when they had it out (not using weapons of mass destruction or something) and told them – ida wanna hear it – you sit in the corner until you both cool off then you talk it out again. and i have tried teaching them to have good manners, don’t be rude and don’t be a jerk – even though this isn’t really a good idea when they have to deal with the rest of the world because they have to learn to be a jerk then let the teacher/lawyers sort it out.

    now i wouldn’t let a much larger kid get in a physical fight with a smaller kid – say, like either gaby sanchez or volstead vs nyjer morgan – i mean really, that is like letting a 10 year old get in a fist fight with a 4 year old. but people growing up today got no idea how to deal with failure or how to work things out between each other. my guess is that it started sometime in the 70s, and this is why every 3rd person or something like that in this country is a lawyer.

    and steven,
    sorry
    this is NOT little kids learning how to behave/follow the rules/share
    this is a professional sport played by ADULTS and the rules of THEIR baseball game are simply different.

    charging the mound is certain situations actually IS the rule that professional, paid adult baseball players play by. it CAN be petty if it isn’t done in the right situation, correct. just like throwing at a ballplayer in the “wrong” situation. these are most positively NOT covered in the official MLB rule book, but just like my kids who play “baseball” in the back yard with ghost runners/ghost fielders/ Dog fielders who want to chew on the ball instead of bringing it back – they have figured out their very own way they want the game played. and THEY know what THEY think is fair/honest “The Right Way To Play The Game”

    for example, it is no longer OK to grab a player by his belt and hold him off a base. or to physically shove him off a base and tag him out (like kent hrbek did to whatshisname the little guy in the 87 world series) – it IS ok to try to sell a phantom tag to an ump and it is NOT conisdered “cheating” according to how MAJOR LEAGUERS play. it would NOT be ok to do this if you are a kid playing little league.

    and unless MLB decides to enforce the rule that a fielder may not block a runner – this time being at home plate – the runner does indeed have an obligation to push a catcher out of the way to score. you don’t like that? then MLB has to decide that this particular rule is GOING to be enforced and if the catcher blocks the rule, then the run will be allowed to score because of fielder’s interference. (but i doubt that this is gonna happen because fans apparently like watching home plate collisions, which are ridiculously frequent and shouldn’t be, IMO)

    and by the way, remember brad ausmus (and not for his HOTTTTTness) who is a not tall, not stocky guy – and how many runners HE tagged out and he knew how to stand so that there wasn’t any question of him having to get hit by the runner – he didn’t block the plate with his body and THAT is how you are supposed to play the catching position.

  8. Dan Duran says:

    Hope your run went well. I followed this story as deep as the media would share (I’m sure there’s more to it than what we see) but based on all the information presented, I agree with your judgment that the Marlins are indeed to blame. I get that they felt the had to retaliate for their catcher. Heck, he probably even told them not to, took responsibility for his own injury, and applauded Nyjer for his aggressive play. If he’s half the professional he should be, in no way did he condone the actions that ensued. The Marlins took that onus on themselves. So they hit him once. Retaliation complete. End of story. Move on. Right? So why the throw behind him a second time? That’s bush! The umpire knew it. He was already in the process of ejecting Volstadt before Nyjer charged the mound. I can’t think of any MLB player that wouldn’t have charged the mound after a sequence of events like that. Even “Iron Man” Craig Biggio would have charged and he got hit like every day! Volstadt was asking for it and he got exactly what he deserved. Nyjer Morgan? Apparently this guy is a loose cannon much like Milton Bradley was. With a fuse that short, I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did before exploding. Did you ever charge the mound, Morgan, or have an altercation with an opposing team? Not that you would ever admit to, I’m sure. Sure appreciate you sharing your insight on this great game.

    • Dan I have no problem telling the truth. I have had problems with guys, but they never escalated to anything meaningful. I never charged the mound, but I would have if I was in Nyjer’s situation. You would have to. The Marlins are trying to start a fight.

      Morgan

  9. Beerwulf says:

    Hi Morgan, you’ve got a fascinating blog.
    I agree with you regarding Nyjer Morgan (too many Morgans…), but could you please tell me what the problem is with running up the score? As far as I’m concerned, until the last out is made, each team should be trying everything in their power to win, within the Laws of the game and with due consideration of upcoming games.
    I consider the winning team to be arrogant and disrespectful to the losing team, and to the game to as a whole.
    This is probably a cultural thing – I’m from England and a cricket fan first and foremost, and to me not playing to win is well, just not cricket.
    We also have a different perspective on hit batsman. Have a look at

    • Beerwolf it is important to win the game, but I believe it is how you win that tells the story. There are times when a team should shut down the bunting for base hits and stealing if they are ahead by a large margin past the 7th inning. But I agree with you that the game is to be played to win.

      Now on to cricket. I know nothing about this game so I am going off the video. The major difference to me seems to be the location of the batter in cricket. To me it looked like he was standing in front of the wickets. It seems to be a reasonable assumption that a batter could be hit if they stand in front of the target.

      Baseball differs in the proximity to the “target” or plate. When a baseball pitcher throws correctly, their bodies align in a certain way. When we get hit by a pitch on accident, we notice that there was a structural reason that the ball “sailed” on the pitcher. Usually his body gets ahead of his arm or his arm moves too far ahead of his body. When we see perfect delivery from a baseball pitcher and the ball is coming at the batter, we know that he is throwing at us. In other words, the pitcher’s mechanics are correct and we can see that he is lined up right at us.

      But, I will agree with you on the culture difference. Culture plays a big role in behavior or behaviour on the field. Good post. Now go have a pint for me!

      Morgan

      • Beerwulf says:

        Thanks for the reply, Morgan, very informative. I hadn’t thought of considering the pitcher’s mechanics like that to determine if the HBP was accidental or not. Do you generally become aware of these differences on video after the fact, or while the pitch is flying towards you?

        • Beer…we learn this from experience. Take tennis. Without consciously knowing, we learn the different contact points of our opponent. We will notice where contact is made when our opponent hits a ball to their “pull” side, “push” side, or back up the middle. Hopefully that made some sort of sense. I read it and it sounded jumbled, but I am counting on your English wisdom to figure it out for me.

          In baseball, we see the same thing when we throw a ball. Many times, you will see a catcher make a signal to the pitcher informing them that they are releasing the ball in the wrong spot. The pitcher immediately understands what the catcher is saying and makes an adjustment.

          Did that make any sense?

          Morgan

  10. Andy says:

    Beerwolf,

    Hit batsman are a lot different in cricket because:

    1. In cricket, fast bowlers generally bowl much slower than pitcher.
    2. The ball bounces before it reach batsmen. Good batsmen should have the ability to read the bounce anyway.
    3. In modern game, besides helmet, batsmen wear leg pads, thigh pads, box, chest guards, elbow guards and arm guards. Batting gloves are also padded.

    Therefore even if a bowler wants to throw a “bouncer”, it would not be as dangerous as a pitcher throwing at a batter.

    • Beerwulf says:

      Thanks for the reply Andy,
      I agree with you regarding protective padding – an image of Barry Bonds’ front arm keeps popping into my head, covered in a great big black arm guard – but yes, baseballers wear significantly less protection,

      As for your other points, most cricket pitches won’t give a true bounce, bowlers can make the ball move laterally and jump off the pitch – on occasion. This means that the batsman must defend against the ball that bounces low off the pitch, and keep bat fingers and head out of the way of the same ball which bounces higher than expected. This can make the batsman’s life difficult.

      Fast bowling at cricket is about 5mph slower than baseball – with 90 mph being genuinely quick, and anything less than 80 mph being so slow that accuracy alone won’t stop you being hit. This compares reasonably well with 95 mph and 85 mph in baseball. This ignores knuckleball pitchers and s[ower bowlers. This is still fast enough to leave an impression.

      Does baseball have the variation in break/swing through the air that’s seen in cricket, due to weather conditions? Some days the ball won’t swing at all, and other days it swings so much the bowlers have trouble keeping it on target.

      Beerwulf.

      • Andy says:

        Beerwulf,

        Here is another thing that is very different between swing bowling and fastballs that cut(going away)/run in/rise/sink to a batter. In cricket, swing bowling are created by keeping the ball’s 2 sides uneven. This is done by polishing the smooth side and/or applying sweat/saliva on the smooth side and then the wind/humility will have influence on the swing of the ball when it travel through air. Since the ball have to be used for something like 80 overs, you cannot undo the unevenness of the ball to adjust to the weather condition. So sometimes the ball swing too much and sometimes the ball doesn’t swing at all.

        However, since in baseball we use a new ball when there is some damage to the ball, we cannot create unevenness to the ball. We are also prohibited from applying foreign substance to the ball. Therefore the weather does not have a big effect on the movement of the ball. Pitchers create movement on their fastball by different grips and the way their fingers press the ball. The seams of the baseball will then create spins when the ball travel through air. Thus the ball will have movements. Normally it is very hard for a pitcher to throw fastball with good movements in different directions.

    • Andy you are teaching me about Cricket! Cool!

      Morgan

  11. Ed M says:

    Mo – Another great post. Changed my mind on the situation. Didn’t consider the scouting issue or the cowardly pitch behind the batter. I do have a question about positioning the catcher. I think Hayes had his left foot on the plate near the rear “point”. Even if Morgan slid, he would have collided with Hayes. Should Hayes have placed his left foot on the front right tip of home plate (towards 1B) and offered Morgan the outer half of the plate?

    Hope your studies are going well…

    • Ed here is a rule of thumb.

      If a catcher is within a step of the plate he is going to get blasted if the runner even suspects a play will be made.

      I am so upset that Hayes got hurt because it was lack of fundamental teaching. This isn’t Hayes’ fault. He should have been taught this over and over again until it was just reaction.

      Morgan

      • Ed M says:

        Mo – I’ve been really critical of Jorge Posada over the years for what I have always thought was a poor job of blocking the plate. He receives throws from RF so far into the field that he ends up having to dive back to try to tag. A few things: (1) How frustrating is it to you guys that have time at the MLB level to be criticized by Joe Schmuck’s like me? (2) Have you noticed Posada’s play? How would you rate his plate blocking abilities, etc? (3) From your perspective, who’s the best defensive catcher you’ve seen?

  12. Ryan W. Kasten says:

    Mr. Ensberg, I believe you are ignoring a fundamental aspect of this story in your telling of it and the conclusions you draw from it. If, as you mention, the Marlins were drawing their ire solely from the fact that Morgan hit a catcher who was astride the plate, then they would indeed be guilty of gross overreaction. However, you are discounting Mr. Morgan’s actions of only three days before the incident, namely his remarkably similar action versus Bryan Anderson of the St. Louis Cardinals.

    The incident to which I am referring can be reviewed here:

    The key moment in that play is seen in slow-motion. Mr. Anderson sees that the play has been cut off at first base and is stepping away from the plate, conceding it to Mr. Morgan. If Mr. Morgan had aimed a foot at the plate, he would have scored. Instead, he felt it more important to lay a cheap shot on the catcher. This act led to his manager calling his act “unprofessional” in the media and benching him for the next day’s game.

    (Source: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2010/08/nyjer_morgan_out_of_todays_lin.html?wprss=nationalsjournal)

    The Marlins did not throw at Mr. Morgan simply because he made a hard-nosed play at home plate. They threw at him because he seemed to be making a habit of taking cheap shots at catchers, and he had seriously and unapologetically injured one of their own the night before.

    I have taken a keen interest in this story, and if you’d care to read my full thoughts on it, they can be found here: http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2010/9/7/1675808/ot-code-violations-deconstructing

    • Great video Ryan! Let me take a look at it….ok. Here is what I see.

      1. Morgan should have slid.
      2. Anderson was still too close to the plate in my opinion. He had his left leg on the front of the plate and moved it late. Morgan had made up his mind that he was going to blast the catcher.
      3. I agree that the Marlins tried to hit him again due to Morgan’s “pattern of behavior.” But that isn’t right. You hit him 1 time and it is it.

      Ryan I don’t like the way Morgan played here. But I am most upset that Anderson was hurt when he could have avoided it by getting way out of the way. This whole thing was a great example of each players responsibility to adhere to fundamentals. If we get sloppy, then players get hurt.

      But, maybe I am missing something. What do you think?

      Morgan

      • Ryan W. Kasten says:

        Here’s what I see on the Anderson play: When Morgan had to make the slide/collide decision, Anderson was still astride the plate. I can’t fault him for his decision to score by dislodging the ball. I also see Morgan not even attempting to touch the plate, which is suspect, and his arms fly up in an obvious shoving motion, which is damning. It wasn’t a shoulder-charge, it was a push. Jim Riggleman seemed to see it that way, too.

        And if you’d like to talk about poor fundamentals, look at Hanley Ramirez – I think he had as much to do with Hayes getting hurt as anyone else. The MLB.com replay (http://tinyurl.com/26eoxx8) shows a slow-developing play to the right side of the infield. Ramirez should have known immediately that the 4-6-3 wasn’t going to happen and that he should be looking for the lead runner going home. Instead, he triple-clutched his way around and hung Hayes out to dry. If he had gone home immediately, Hayes would have received the ball in time to turn and set for the tag, rather than be in such an awkward position when Morgan nailed him. Unlike Anderson, Hayes didn’t have the option of conceding the plate – he would have been conceding the go-ahead run in extra innings.

        There is a lot of blame to go around in this incident, from the Marlins’ over-sensitivity to losing a second catcher in two weeks to the huge chip on Morgan’s shoulder because he was moved down in the batting order. I think this should be treated more as an insurance settlement after a car accident where blame is assigned to the various parties on a percentage basis, rather than a criminal case where a clear guilty/not guilty verdict must be rendered.

        • I like the thinking Ryan. What percentages should we assign? Hopefully you see that I am upset that players got hurt when it could have been avoided if they were taught correctly.

          Morgan

          • Ryan W. Kasten says:

            Wow – I’ve really had to think about this one. If I had to break it down, I’d probably do it this way:
            35% of the blame goes to Nyjer Morgan for acting like a punk.
            15% goes to Jim Riggleman for benching Morgan after the Anderson incident so he couldn’t take his lumps (and maybe learn a lesson) then.
            10% to Hanley Ramirez for hanging his catcher out to dry.
            5% to Edwin Rodriguez for not keeping his team in line and letting events spiral out of control.
            And 35% to Volstad and the rest of the Marlins for being so thin-skinned about a known stealing threat actually, y’know, stealing on them.

            Any thoughts?

  13. Ryan W. Kasten says:

    That got *really* squashed – here’s a better version:

    Wow – I’ve really had to think about this one. If I had to break it down, I’d probably do it this way:

    * 35% of the blame goes to Nyjer Morgan for acting like a punk.
    * 15% goes to Jim Riggleman for benching Morgan after the Anderson incident so he couldn’t take his lumps (and maybe learn a lesson) then.
    * 10% to Hanley Ramirez for hanging his catcher out to dry.
    * 5% to Edwin Rodriguez for not keeping his team in line and letting events spiral out of control.
    * And 35% to Volstad and the rest of the Marlins for being so thin-skinned about a known stealing threat actually, y’know, stealing on them.

    Any thoughts?

  14. Ryan W. Kasten says:

    MorganEnsberg wrote:

    > This is very Democratic Ryan. Nice. Unfortunately, I can’t
    > hit Morgan for being a “punk.” He has to do something
    > specifically to the opposition that is in the game.

    I can understand why someone wouldn’t see Morgan’s actions as being out of line, especially if you view them in the context of what he did in that game (or series) alone, but ask yourself these questions:

    1) Do you think that, in reviewing game film for the upcoming series vs. the Nationals, the Marlins’ coaching staff didn’t see the play versus Anderson? Remember, the Anderson incident was the last game that Morgan played in before facing the Marlins; he sat the last game of the Cards series because of it, so that was the last thing they could review before facing him. Don’t you think it’s probable that the Marlins watched it, someone said “Isn’t he also appealing a suspension?”, and the word went out to keep an eye on this guy because he’s been acting out of line recently?

    2) In that game situation, down by 11 in the 4th, do you believe that Nyjer Morgan would have been stealing 2nd and 3rd had he not gained 1st base via a purpose pitch? If he had singled or taken a base on balls, would he be looking for the extra base in that situation?

    With everything I’ve read and watched on this one (and it’s been quite a lot!), my considered opinion is that Morgan was acting out of line. I assign him a good deal of blame in instigating the brawl because his actions before, during, and after his plunking all point to him spoiling for a fight.

  15. Jeff says:

    Morgan,
    I know this is almost half a year since the events but I have a few comments from a college pitcher’s perspective. I agree 100% about throwing behind guys being cowardly, it does absolutley nothing. Nyjer Morgan throwing his arms up at the fans is unprofessional. Leave the fans in the stands, let them yell and cuss at you as you walk off. They dont get the game the same way you do, thats why you are playing and they aren’t. If I pulled something like that I wouldn’t even want to imagine what my coach would do. As a pitcher, I have no problem with a guy charging the mound. If he wants to get laid out by me and the other eight guys on the field(they will get there before his dugout does), bring it. On to the subject of the catcher getting run over. You seem to think retaliation isn’t in order. I beg to differ, If the leader of the infield/team who catches all of my pens, goes over all the hitters in the scouting reports, takes all of the dings and bruises of blocking pitches in the dirt, works with the umpire behind the plate for me ends up getting hurt from a player not sliding, that guy is getting a rawlings logo tattooed on his ribs the next time he steps in the box. To me that is sticking up for your catcher. Any thoughts on that?


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