Thursday, September 16, 2010, 3:20 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
Nyjer Morgan's seven-game suspension for an alleged incident with fans in Philadelphia has been eliminated upon appeal, but his eight-game suspension for a series of events that culminated in a brawl in Florida has been upheld, according to a source familiar with the decision.
Thus, the total 15 games the Washington Nationals outfielder was originally due to miss will be reduced to eight. Morgan will begin serving his time Friday and will miss this weekend's series at the Phillies, plus next week's series against the Houston Astros and the first of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.
Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president for on-field operations, heard Morgan's appeal during a meeting Friday at Nationals Park that lasted more than four hours. After considering Morgan's side of the incident at Citizens Bank Park and gathering more evidence, Watson determined it didn't merit any suspension. Varied accounts of the incident said Morgan had been engaged in ongoing talk with fans and threw a ball into the center-field bleachers that struck a fan who wasn't paying attention.
Watson did uphold his original, eight-game suspension for a series of events that came after the August 21 game against the Phillies. That suspension was handed for intentionally running into St. Louis Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson during an August 28 game at Nationals Park, shouting at fans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on August 31, charging the mound and inciting a bench-clearing brawl with the Marlins on September 1 and then shouting and making gestures at fans as he left the field after getting ejected from that game.
Morgan, who started the Nationals' last 12 games while appealing the suspensions and waiting for Watson's ruling, was also fined a total of 15,000 for all of his actions, according to the source.
Mark Zuckerman covered the Nationals for The Washington Times from 2005-09. In addition to regular work this season for CSNwashington.com, he also covers the team at www.natsinsider.com. Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.