Back in September 2009, Prince Fielder hit a walkoff home run against the Giants. As he rounded the bases, he untucked his jersey, and when he pulled into home, he jumped up and all of his teammates fell down like bowling pins. Many Giants players were miffed, so when the two teams met again the next March - six months later - Barry Zito drilled Fielder with a pitch.
Well, this year we may have had a similar act of revenge, involving Nyjer Morgan and the Marlins. Last September, Morgan bowled over and injured Marlins catcher Brett Hayes. The next day, Chris Volstad hit Morgan with a pitch, and when he threw behind Morgan in his next at bat, Morgan charged the mound, starting a brawl.
Turns out the brawl may not have been the end of it. The two teams faced each other in Grapefruit League action on Sunday, and when Morgan stood in to lead off the top of the first, Ricky Nolasco beaned him in the back with a fastball. Nolasco denies any intent, but Morgan strongly believes he did it on purpose.
Though the Nationals and Marlins had already met two times this month, Morgan didn't appear in either game. So this was his first at bat of the year against Florida, making it all the more suspicious.
As was the case with the Giants and Fielder, this beaning may now finally allow all sides to move on, with a message having been sent. And some good may have even come out of it; Morgan went straight to first and didn't start any trouble, indicating a bit of maturity that he didn't seem to have a year ago. Who knew?
The offseason may be long, but it isn't so long that a team will forget being crossed. Baseball teams and elephants - they've got more in common than you think.