Ricky Nolasco hit Nyjer Morgan with a pitch yesterday and Morgan said afterward that he believes it was on purpose, as payback for his a) separating catcher Chris Hayes’ shoulder on a collision at the plate and then b) charging the mound and throwing a punch at Chris Volstad the next day.
Both those incidents occurred during the final month of the season and resulted in a seven-game suspension for Morgan, so if Nolasco and the Marlins were indeed holding a grudge it wouldn’t have taken a particularly long memory.
Here’s what Morgan told Bill Ladson of MLB.com yesterday when asked if the plunking was on purpose:
No question, without a doubt. It’s obvious because of what happened last year. Obviously, they haven’t turned the page. But I’m going to be a stronger player, better person. I’m not going to react to it.
Morgan went on to say that, rather than get into another altercation, he chose to simply take first base, steal second base, and come around to score a run. Or as he put it: “I felt more satisfied after that than staring at him and putting on my mean mug.”
Ladson reports that “Nolasco denied trying to hit Morgan on purpose” and also hit Danny Espinosa in what was his first appearance of the spring after being sidelined by a thumb injury. No word yet on the status of Nolasco’s mean mug.