Actually, this was more the providence of alter ego “Tony Plush.”
Nyjer Morgan attempted to reach into the stands down the right-field line to grab a flyball in Wednesday’s game, got tangled up with a Reds fan and then sort of shoved him off with his glove afterwards.
MLB.com has the video.
If it ended with the glove shove, it probably would have been nothing. Morgan jawed with the fan for a few seconds afterwards, though, before umpire Marty Foster helped direct him back to his position.
“It’s just one of those things where we were tangled up; I could have made a play on the ball,” Morgan said. “I just gave him a little, ‘Get off me,’ because he was all on my arm and everything. Nothing major, but everybody might blow it up a little differently.”
Morgan said afterwards that he didn’t have a problem with the fan’s actions in trying to get the ball for himself.
“That’s what the home fans are supposed to do, try to take the ball from the opposing team when the ball is in the stands,” Morgan said. “It’s fair game once the ball is in the stands.”
So, why the shove then?
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.