|Page 2 of 2 <|
Nyjer Morgan charges mound, benches clear as Washington Nationals fall to Florida, 16-10
And so, when Morgan came to bat again in the sixth, Volstad threw his first pitch behind him. Morgan hesitated for a moment then whipped his bat, threw his helmet and charged Volstad.
"He hit me the first time, so be it," Morgan said. "But then he whips another one behind me, we got to go."
Volstad threw his glove down. "Obviously," Volstad said, "he's not coming out there to talk."
Morgan, a former hockey player, leaped and threw a left at the 6-foot-8 Volstad. He grazed Volstad, and as he landed first baseman Sanchez clobbered him across the chest, leveling him.
Mayhem ensured, a pile of bodies meeting at the mound. Third base coach Pat Listach leaped on Volstad. Riggleman and Edwin Rodriguez barked at one another, Riggleman mouthing "One time" - the number of chances he believed the Marlins had to throw at Morgan.
"I got no problem with" Morgan stealing the bases, Riggleman said. "We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run. Nobody will decide when we run. Nyjer took his revenge in the form of a stolen base, and I don't have a problem with that."
Morgan emerged from the scrum with his shirt nearly ripped off. He walked off the field and accepted the crowd's boos in the manner of a professional wrestler, raising his arms. Bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo tried to lower Morgan's arms as he disappeared into the dugout.
It was his final act in a long week that included learning of a seven-game suspension, a base running gaffe a collision with a catcher that didn't involve a ball, a one-game benching and another collision.
"There's bit a little bit of controversy surrounding the kid lately," Morgan said. "But it's just one of things. I'm a solid, hard-nosed player. When I'm out there between the lines, I'm out there to win and I'm out there to play hard."