Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
In the wake of last week's brawl in Florida, the Marlins come to D.C. this weekend.
So, should those holding tickets to tonight's game expect Nats-Marlins II: This Time It's Personal? Don't bet on it.
People from both clubhouses said they believe the incident is behind them and won't result in any more tussles this weekend.
"Yeah, definitely," Jim Riggleman said. "I think so."
Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez concurred when speaking to Florida reporters earlier this week.
"Knowing Jim Riggleman, I'm pretty sure he's going to tell his players: 'Move on, turn the page, let's play baseball,'" Rodriguez said. "We're going to Washington with the same attitude."
Even if there's no declaration of peace from the managers, Round 2 seems unlikely because the principle figure from last week's brawl (Nyjer Morgan) probably won't be in uniform all weekend.
Morgan is scheduled to have his appeals of two separate suspensions -- eight games for a series of events that culminated with the brawl, seven games for an alleged altercation with fans in Philadelphia three weeks ago -- heard this morning. A ruling is expected to be announced sometime this afternoon, and even if there's a significant reduction of the suspensions, Morgan is almost certainly going to have to serve at least three games beginning tonight.
None of the three Marlins players suspended as a result of the brawl have begun to serve their time yet, though first baseman Gaby Sanchez (who leveled Morgan with a clothesline and was suspended three games) will have his appeal heard tomorrow and could miss the final two games of the series.
Pitchers Alex Sanabia (five games) and Chris Volstad (six games), however, will be pitching in this series. Sanabia starts tonight, Volstad starts Sunday. The Marlins have indicated each will drop his appeal after pitching and then begin serving his suspension, which seems a bit disingenuous but is certainly within the rules.