Thursday, September 2, 2010 4:48 pm
By Miss Chatter
First off, many thanks to CSNwashington for holding their first blogger bash last night at RFD in DC! I had a great time meeting new faces and reconnecting with familiar ones. I won't say old! Since I wrote about Nyjer Morgan's recent escapades yesterday, what I left unsaid was retaliation by the Marlins was surely imminent, particularly since Hayes had been diagnosed with a separated shoulder and is out the rest of the season. I commiserate there. While my shoulder is slowly getting better, I am far from able to resume baseball activities. But now, with all distractions behind them, it's time for the Nats to resume baseball activities of their own.
Expecting fireworks at some point during last night's game, I socialized, beer in hand, while keeping an eye on the soundless television carrying the Nats game in the room. After Nyjer Morgan was drilled in the hip area, I figured that was it, and looking at the score (a lot to a little, I don't remember but there was about a 10 run spread between them), I stopped paying close attention figuring the game seemed a good one to miss for the blogger happy hour. That is, until I happened to glance up and see Nyjer sprinting toward Volstad on the mound.
This much is true - watching a full on baseball brawl in a bar with a gaggle of sports bloggers is a moment I'll cherish forever! I punched (with my bad arm, no less) the On Frozen Blog guy next to me while letting out some noise between a squeal and shriek that caused the entire room to look at the television while I frantically pointed, apparently losing my ability to formulate any words beyond "Look! Look!"
Hello hockey mentality!
We all hooted and hollered and offered commentary throughout every glorious replay. "Little dude! What was he thinking?" and "Oooof!" in response to Gaby Sanchez taking Morgan down almost immediately. It was electric! Exciting! Except for that brief moment I spotted John Lannan in the scrum and thought "Oh no no! You don't need to be there!" Then the danger of it all hit me.
Since I got home, I've watched my DVR'd recording over and over to break down what happened and I'm a little torn on my feelings over the whole thing. Apparently the Marlins took issue with Nyjer stealing 2nd and 3rd after his drilling in the 4th inning, interpreting the stealings as mocking them and not "taking his medicine". I'm not privy to the unwritten baseball rule book, but if they were so offended by his base stealing, they could have just picked him off. We've seen plenty of other teams do it, so how hard can it be? How many times have you written "CS" along Nyjer's line score in the scorebook? Exactly.
With pinch hitter Justin Maxwell on 2nd in the top of the 6th, Volstad threw his first pitch to Nyjer Morgan, newly returned to lead-off spot, behind his rear end. While it skipped away from the catcher, Morgan hesitated a beat and appeared to look in the direction of Listach. Then suddenly BLAM! He dropped his bat and sprinted toward the mound as if he'd been given an "OK" signal. I wish there had been a camera angle replay on Pat Listach coaching third base when the event went down in the top of the sixth, because I'm wondering if it's possible the whole thing was premeditated if given cause. Nyjer leapt and landed one punch on Chris Volstad before Gaby Sanchez rushed in from first and tackled Morgan. In the meantime, Listach was the first responder who pinned Volstad as the benches cleared and a pig pile ensued.
Bullpen catcher Robledo walked Morgan off the field while Morgan behaved like he'd just conquered a WWE opponent, causing Robledo to pull Morgan's arms down and hold them.
So let's review.... Volstad hit three Nationals batters then threw behind Morgan who appeared to be itching for a fight. Loss of control? (Let me refine that to "Loss of pitching control by Volstad?") Or payback for the loss of their catcher to a separated shoulder? If these two games are viewed in a vacuum, they don't appear so terrible. But looking at Nyjer's history over the last week taking out two catchers, and being in hot water with MLB over allegedly throwing at a fan, he seems to be a bottle rocket with a faulty fuse these days -- going even further back, his temper tantrum allowing an inside the park homerun.
So while the barroom social side of me thought, "This is awesome!" the other half of my Gemini self thinks, "This is awful!" So let's say the fight is over (thank goodness the Marlins series is over, although they do face each other again this season). TV analyst Rob Dibble, the other recent distraction, is also gone. Acknowledged and moving on. It's time to resume regular baseball activities for the Nationals. The season isn't over yet.
Some interesting Marlins interview videos for your enjoyment:
Wes Helms Part 1
Wes Helms Part 2
Chris Volstad's shiner