Worst Week in Washington

Who had the worst week in Washington? The Nationals' Nyjer Morgan

By Chris Cillizza
Sunday, September 5, 2010

With the news that pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg needs reconstructive elbow surgery and will be out through 2011, things looked bad for the Washington Nationals.

Enter Nyjer Morgan, who proved that things can always go from bad to worse.

Morgan, the 30-year-old center fielder for the Nats, has become something of a lightning rod because of his aggressive play. But Tuesday night, he took it to a whole new level.

During a game against the Marlins, Morgan crashed into Florida catcher Brett Hayes at home plate. The collision, which left Hayes with a separated shoulder, was entirely unnecessary, according to Marlins players, who said Morgan would have been safe had he simply slid home.

(This wasn't Morgan's first run-in -- ahem -- with a catcher recently. He went out of his way to bump St. Louis Cardinal Bryan Anderson last weekend as he ran home on a double in the eighth inning. Morgan, who forgot to touch the base, was called out for the play.)

The Marlins were out for revenge on Wednesday as starter Chris Volstad hit Morgan with a pitch in the fourth inning. Morgan took his base and promptly stole second and third -- a move looked at askance by some baseball purists, given that the Marlins were leading by 11 runs.

In Morgan's next at bat, Volstad threw the first pitch behind him. Morgan charged the mound, where he was met with a clothesline from onrushing Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez that would have made Hulk Hogan proud. A bench-clearing brawl ensued. (Morgan has since been suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball for his role in the incident.)

Morgan left the field Wednesday with his arms raised, like a boxer celebrating a victory. And he is a winner -- sort of.

Nyjer Morgan, for bringing bad publicity to a team still reeling from the loss of its pitching future, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail chris.cillizza@washingtonpost.com

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