In his usual pre-game press conference, Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman started his remarks about Nyjer Morgan intentionally running into St. Louis Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson by saying, "I don't want to say a whole lot about it," but then spent five minutes talking about it, in no uncertain terms.
I don't normally post transcripts, but I think the Manager's words speak for themselves this morning.
On Morgan not in today's lineup: "Manager's decision to go a different way today."
On Morgan running into the catcher: "I think it was a culmination of Nyjer's anger brewing from not hitting first, and I think he was just having a day like that where he was upset about some things and did an unprofessional thing, going after the catcher.
I certainly don't condone that, but we've all made mistakes. I think that's not Nyjer's style of play to do something like that -- it's totally uncharacteristic. It just the culmination of the day.
When I called him in and told him I was going to hit him eighth instead of lead-off, I think that it was just building up all day -- I think he thought I was wearing that [catcher's] equipment there at homeplate.
I think that had a lot to do with it. I'm sorry it happened, I apologized to Tony [LaRussa], I apologized to Bryan Anderson. The apology was accepted. As I said, it's totally uncharacteristic of Nyjer.
On Morgan refusing to talk about the incident after the game: "He'll get over it."
On whether Morgan thought he needed to go through the catcher to score: "No. It was totally inexcusable. Like I said, you've never seen that before from him. You'll never see it again.
It's a mistake, and I can't minimize it. If I take the approach there's nothing wrong with it, then we're going to get people hurt on the field. There's gotta be retaliation. If Nyjer was playing today he'd get hit. If an opposing player did that to my catcher and he came to the plate he'd get hit.
It's never happened before and it's not going to happen again."