Phillies fan says Nyjer Morgan was only being playful in incident that landed him a seven-game suspension

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This is interesting.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post received an e-mail from a Phillies fan Thursday who was sitting in the Citizens Bank Park center field stands last week when Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan supposedly hit a man in the head with a thrown ball.

Morgan was suspended seven games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for that incident.  He has since appealed, and it sounds like he might have a case.

Kilgore was told by the e-mailer that Morgan was only being playful with the Phillies faithful in center field that night and that the thrown ball that hit a fan had a harmless “rainbow-style” arc.  The only reason it struck the man was because he was looking the other way.

Morgan, according to the e-mailer, intended for the ball to land in the hands of a 12-year-old boy who was sitting nearby.  Perhaps this entire situation and the subsequent punishment deserves another look by the MLB commissioner’s office.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.