When might the Nationals hear something about the pending dual suspensions levied against Nyjer Morgan? Could be anytime between tomorrow and Monday.
That was probably a surprise to Morgan, who earlier this week said there was “no way” that Major League Baseball officials wouldn’t rule quickly on his Friday appeals hearing. Morgan figured with the Florida Marlins coming to D.C.
The freshest memory of Morgan’s whirlwind week or so of transgressions - charging the mound in Miami after a Chris Volstad pitch was thrown behind him and inciting a bench-clearing fracas - involved the Marlins. So Morgan figured it was a foregone conclusion that the Marlins’ visit to Nationals Park would mean he’d get a ruling on his bans and not play against Florida.
MLB ruled that Morgan’s eight-game suspension was for the brawl, getting into a verbal exchange with a fan at Sun Life Stadium earlier in that series and for running into St. Louis catcher Bryan Anderson on Aug. 28. Morgan had earlier been assessed a seven-game ban for throwing a ball into the stands and allegedly injuring a fan at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Morgan said he can’t comment on Friday’s appeal hearing, which lasted around four hours, and Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he wasn’t sure when to expect a ruling.
“I really don’t have a lot of experience with that. I’m really not sure what goes into it. I’m not sure what they’re ruling on,” Riggleman said. “If they’re ruling on the thing in Philadelphia - which is becoming more apparent that nothing took place there - that might be something that’s holding up the decision. It might just be a tough one for them to figure out if there should be a suspension or for how long.”
Earlier this season, Atlanta reliever Jonny Venters went through the appeal process during a Braves series at Nationals Park. Venters, who had been issued a four-game suspension for throwing at Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, had his appeal hearing July 27, before the first of three games against the Nationals in D.C. Braves manager Bobby Cox and Venters both expected a decision within a day, but the verdict didn’t come down until July 30, the day after the Braves left Washington. In that case, Venters’ four-game suspension was overturned on appeal.