Skip to content

Morgan suspended 8 games

Sep 3, 2010, 5:09 PM EST

Read the full, updated story with quotes from Morgan, Riggleman and Rizzo on

PITTSBURGH — Nyjer Morgan has been suspended eight games by Major League Baseball for a series of actions over the last week. Additionally, manager Jim Riggleman has been suspended two games, third base coach Pat Listach has been suspended two games and left-hander Doug Slaten has been suspended three games for their actions during Wednesday night's brawl in Florida.

Morgan has appealed his suspension and is in the Nationals' lineup tonight against the Pirates, leading off and playing center field. Slaten also appealed and is available out of the bullpen. Riggleman will begin serving his suspension tonight. Listach, whose initial three-game suspension was reduced to two, will begin serving on Sunday after Riggleman's is complete.

Several Marlins also have been suspended: Chris Volstad (six games), Alex Sanabia (five games), Gaby Sanchez (three games) and manager Edwin Rodriguez (one game). Reliever Jose Veras has been fined but not suspended.

MLB said Morgan's suspensions were for three violations: Running into Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on Saturday, inappropriate comments made to Marlins fans on Tuesday and then charging theRead more »

  1. Dave - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Seems about right. I'm glad to see that Volstad got the second-longest suspension after Morgan. Nyjer was multiply guilty, starting with the St. Louis collision, but Volstad definitely started things on Wednesday.

  2. Feel Wood - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Why does Riggleman get two games suspension while Marlins manager Rodriguez only gets one game? Makes no sense. If Riggleman is guilty of having no control over his team, Rodriguez is equally or even more guilty of having no control over his team either.

  3. Dave - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Did I miss that MLB upheld the original 7 game suspension that Nyjer appealed.

  4. N. Cognito - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    In all, about right. One could quibble about a game or two here and there.The St. Louis incident has been way overblown. It was a d-bag move – a shove – not worthy of consideration for suspension. I think his continual yapping with fans and his post fight demonstration are what got him the majority of the 8 games.I would have hit Sanchez with a couple more games. That clothesline was dangerous. There are about 5 other Marlins who could've/should've gotten a game for piling on Morgan.

  5. Scott - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    My guess is that Riggleman got an extra game for holding a conference to discuss beaning people and than blabbing about it to the media.

  6. N. Cognito - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    I don't believe the original 7-game suspension appeal has taken place.

  7. Knoxville Nat - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Feel wood,I'm asking the same question about Rodriguez, seems to me he should also have received a two game suspension. Volstad maybe 10 games since he only pitches every 5th game and should be held more accountable than apparently he has been. If he doesn't throw behind Morgan's back no fight….if he's upset Nyjer is stealing bases, hold him on and then throw him out when he runs. Sanchez delivered a cheap shot and imo got off light with a 3 gamer.

  8. NatsFan2005 - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    In the piling on, Morgan got what he deserved, clothes line or no. When one behaves like a vicious animal one deserves to get treated like a vicious animal.As for Riggleman, his most serious sin was defending Morgan. For playing Morgan all year Riggleman deserves a permanent suspension from the Nats organization.

  9. Kid Tenderloin - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Sanabia gets 5 for being tossed around by Dunn, but Sanchez only gets 3 for a clothesline? Seems they got it backwards. But then again, FRobby is getting old.

  10. alexva - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    The appeal was scheduled for Tuesday 9/7. Fat chance any reduction is coming now.

  11. Sec3-I'mADude,Dad - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    "Television Man is crazy, sayin we're juvenile delinquent punks,Oh man, I need TV when I got T. Plush?"

  12. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Rodriguez should get a month suspension for his idiotic comments after the game:"We were just peeching Nyjer inside"

  13. natscan reduxit - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    … eight games for all three 'infractions' is acceptable. If however, an additional seven games comes into effect (as punishment for the ball throwing incident) turns this whole Morgan Affair into a black eye for MLB.Go Livo! Go Morgan!! Go Nats!!!

  14. Sec3MySofa - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    "vicious animal"?? Please. Baseball is a contact sport, occasionally a collision sport. Hitting the St. Louis catcher was the only real offense here, and that guy barely noticed.If Nyjer does come back, I think this will get the Nats off my suspended list, and get me back in center field red seats.

  15. NattyLite - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    The fact that Listach and Sanchez got the same punishment seems absurd to me. Sanchez's clothesline was a total cheap shot, especially when you consider the size disparity between Morgan and Volstad. Listach was just trying to keep Morgan from getting killed. Are managers able to appeal suspensions?

  16. P. Cole - Sep 3, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Listach might be the only guy on the field smaller than Nyjer and he jumped on Volstad like a pit bull. Will he be managing while Riggleman serves his suspension?

  17. NatsFan2005 - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Sec3MySofa:"Vicoiuous animal" was my understatement, trying to be kind. Throwing at fans to hurt them, cussing out paying customers, trying to hurt an opposing player (successfuly, witness Hayes) instead of scoring what well might have been the winning run, throwing tantrums in center field while an opposing runner scores, misjudging flyballs, missing the cut-off man consistently, never having his head in the game, embarrassing his team mates, team, and city, thinking only and always of himself and never his team — these spell something far worse than merely a vicious animal. Sanchez was way too easy on him

  18. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    coaches/managers are not able to appeal suspensions.

  19. alm100 - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    "these spell something far worse than merely a vicious animal. Sanchez was way too easy on him"Sanchez is a bigger punk than Morgan and I don't understand how any Nats fan can defend his actions. The Hayes play was a tough, legitimate play — not vicious. No one related to baseball has said it was not a legitimate play. Stupid, yes, but baseball can be a contact sport when the catched stands on home plate. Clothline hits should remain in the UFC and off the baseball diamond.

  20. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    McLaren the bench coach will manage while Riggleman serves his suspension. They likely staggered Listach's and Riggleman's suspensions just so they wouldn't be down two coaches at the same time. Likewise it's not unheard of for MLB to stagger the terms of player suspensions in cases where a lot of players from one team are suspended, so as not to unduly alter the competitive balance of the league. In this time of September roster expansion though that might not be an issue.

  21. N. Cognito - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    NatsFan2005 said… "In the piling on, Morgan got what he deserved, clothes line or no. When one behaves like a vicious animal one deserves to get treated like a vicious animal."Congratulations. You win the coveted:STUPID POST OF THE YEAR AWARD

  22. HHover - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    NatsFan2005 What's your evidence for the claim that Morgan was "throwing at fans to hurt them"? In the Philly incident, the guy who actually got beaned doesn't seem to think that's what happened, and I haven't heard any eyewitness reports to that effect.I don't say this to defend Nyjer–I think he's a detriment to the team right now, in more ways than one. But I also think the criticism of him needs to be fact-based.But when you're using lines like "vicious animal," maybe fact-based isn't really what you're going for.

  23. greg - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    "Kid Tenderloin said…Sanabia gets 5 for being tossed around by Dunn, but Sanchez only gets 3 for a clothesline?"kid, sanabia is a starting pitcher. to force him to miss one game as a starter, you have to suspend him for five actual games. sanchez is an every day player, so if you suspend him for three games, he misses three actual games. so essentially it's a one-game suspension for sanabia (he'll miss one start) and a three-game suspension for sanchez. not as inappropriate as it may seem at first blush.

  24. Ernie - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Mark – Nats Journal said something about Riggs's suspension being related to comments made to the press about the fight. One of the commenters over there said that Riggleman told someone that he huddled the team to determine if a Nats pitcher should retaliate. I watched the original game and have been following most of the reporting but I didn't see any of this. Has anyone been able to put together a tick-tock of what happened during the game among manger, coaches and teammates? You had that great quote from Zimmerman about how he and Pudge spoke to Nyjer after the Cardinals game. There seems like a great opportunity here for some insight on how ball clubs make these decisions, since the Nats suddenly can't stop talking about things that are supposed to stay "in the clubhouse." It would be interesting to read a piece that wrapped it all up, especially if it could show some signs of who the clubhouse leaders are and how they influence their teammates…At the same time, between this and the Dibble situation, I've been wondering what sort of control the Nats have over all sports coverage. I didn't realize they (and not MASN) had control of the announcers. Mow much power do they have over reporters? Since you're unaffiliated with any major paper or network, do you feel subject to any self-censorship over controversial issues? I don't detect that in your writing, but was curious if there's anything there at all…

  25. JamesFan - Sep 3, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Three points:-Nyger is not living up to last years performance.-There is a difference between out of control and aggressive. I can't see him as the solution for leadoff and CF in 2011, but he will be disruptive if not starting.-Riggleman should have headed this off personally with Nyger and not deligated leadership to players.

  26. Pedro G. - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Probably the biggest mistake was the Nats making Nyjer a face-of-the-franchise based on exactly ONE good month last season. It went to his bobblehead and then when things started getting rocky this year, he proved to be a combination of Nook Logan and Crispin Glover.Based on stats alone, Nyjer probably ain't back next year. Based on behavior (and I don't believe he intentionally tried to hit a Phils fan with a ball), he won't be back with the same organization that deservedly sacked the Nasty Boy.

  27. Pete - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Is anyone else concerned about WR depth on the Redskins?

  28. NatinBeantown - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Ernie, See Mark's post from after the game with the transcribed comments from Zimm, Riggs, etc. The description of the brief conference where he asked if the team should retaliate is discussed. Specifically, from Riggs (via Mark): "I got some of my veteran players together. I said, 'it's your ballclub. If you want somebody getting thrown at, I'll order it right now.' And everybody said, 'nah, it's over, it's over. They threw at him and it's over.' That being the case, when they threw at him a second time, then it's not over."

  29. Traveler8 - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    @ Pete: No.

  30. Ernie - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    NatinBeantown – Thanks. I remember reading that but I guess it didn't register as something that deserved an extra game of suspension. Seems like if the comment is "we thought about it but didn't do it" there's little reason to punish for that. I thought it must have been that Riggs said they DID order a plunking. You punish your kid if he tells you he thought about taking a cookie from the jar and talked to his friends about it but decided not to…

  31. NatinBeantown - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Ernie,That last sentence is key. He more or less admits that he ordered Slaten's plunking, but clarifies that he did not plan on it until AFTER the second time they threw at Nyjer. I think the league accepts the self-policing and unwritten codes of conduct in the game, but really doesn't want it out there in the public. As some have said above, the team should be a little less forthright about what happens in the clubhouse. I'm betting that Morgan actually sheds a couple of games from the original suspension if he accepts this one without appeal. On second look, the incident in Philly is hardly an incident at all.To all: assuming Roger and Morse play most every day in September, who would you most like to see get most of the 3rd OF AB's during Morgan's suspension? Anyone in SYR worth a long look?

  32. Ernie - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    NatinBeantown – I read that last sentence very carefully. All he said was "when they threw at him a second time, then it's not over." That's very vague and could just as easily be his defense of Morgan for deciding to charge the mound at the moment–something that Riggs had no control over since Morgan acted alone on that. The discussion with other team players seems to have been over before the second throw at Morgan, so Riggs is arguably just approving in retrospect the decision to fight. There's nothing I see there that would show he ordered Slaten to throw at a batter. (Of course I think he probably did, but I don't see anything in the comment that necessarily indicts him, beyond just talking about it too much.)I'm really disappointed that Morgan is appealing the suspension. I understand the appeal of the Philly thing, but this one is hard to dispute. Is appealing one large suspension after another the equivalent of stealing two bases when you're down 10 runs? Will MLB have to throw inside at him again? I just want this mess to end. If I wanted this kind of drama I would watch hockey.

  33. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Erine said: If I wanted this kind of drama I would watch hockey. I think you meant to say if you wanted this type of drama you would watch WWE!!!!

  34. JaneB - Sep 3, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Me, too Ernie — and the rest who said they wished Nyjer wouldn't appeal THIS one. He gets almost plunked for the second time, and he fights — fine. But accept the consequences. Just man up and say I did what I thought I had to do. And start tonight.The idea that the Marlins have FEWER suspended days, though, is wrong, and shows part of the problem here. It really was a free pass to plunk Nationals in the beginning. That pitcher should have been pulled on the second plunking, especially since it wasn't even the guy they were all mad at. Sanchez is a hothead too and deserved as much time as anyone.I am worried for Nyjer because — hothead, anger problems, whatever is taking him around the bend these days — he ALSO is joyful and loves baseball. I don't like how (in my view) mean JayB can be about him, but I am starting ti wonder if he actually knows something about Nyjer that we don't see out here. I really wish he was sitting down tonight, and not playing (Nyjer — not JayB) — especially in Pittsburgh.

  35. Face - Sep 3, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    I would say Sanchez should have gotten more games.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 3, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    JayneB… If you had a chance to view Nyger up close and personal for several days in a row in an environment as open as Spring Training, you would have observed a player that feels he is special and several cuts above even his own fans. He is surly while around them and acts as though he is some sort of rock star…Then you obseve the real professionals like Pudge, Roger Benandina, Livan Hernandez, Ian Desmond, Wil Nieves, Adam Dunn, John Lannan, and others who genuinely enjoy interacting with the fans and you see how people start to watch for Nyger's faults to surface and are (like me) ready to pounce and hope for his immediate release.In Spring Trainig, he was a complete ass to every fan I saw him have any interaction with.

  37. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    NatsJack, You can see the attitude just by watching the games and it makes me crazy because he is not a good player. If you not bring OBP to the table; you don't have any power and your only real asset is speed there is no excuse for also being a poor base runner; not reading the pitchers; not sliding properly and making poor decisions. In addition he has a really poor arm and he makes poor defensive decisions and gets bad jumps on balls. On the plus side he covers tons of ground in the outfield and he does make an occasional spectacular catch. If he was not a hot head you can almost put up with his deficiencies as long as he bats 8th but when you stink and you also act like a moron; why bother? I don't think Rizzo should worry about how the trade looks (and I don't think he will) because he gave up nothing and Burnett has exceeded expectations. I don't think he will DFA Morgan now but I don't see him coming back next year. I think that when they consider the top of the order for next year they should focus on OBP instead of speed; if you get on base 38% – 40% of the times you will score plenty of runs.

  38. cadeck13 - Sep 3, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    NatsJack is right, I observed Nyjer in spring training for a week and felt the same way. All the other players are great socializing with the fans. They were more than obliging to sign, pose for pictures and genuinely seemed to like the interaction with fans, Nyjer, not so much.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter