Big League Stew

Keeping up with Nyjer Morgan: A party-time photo essay

David Brown
Big League Stew

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MILWAUKEE — Baseball seems like the wrong sport for Nyjer Morgan. He has the skills for it; he can run down balls in the outfield and he can swing a bat. But it also requires patience, stillness and an attention span — qualities that, off the field, he doesn't seem to have at all.

But he manages to succeed on the field. On Friday night, Morgan delivered the a game-winning, series-clinching, season-sustaining RBI single for the Milwaukee Brewers, setting them up for a date with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

Morgan was even tougher to stop during the postgame celebration. If you wanted a word with Tony Plush, you had better be ready to get moving. {YSP:MORE}

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As confetti and glitter fell from the rafters at Miller Park just a few minutes after his big hit, Morgan mounted the Brewers dugout and gave the Beast Mode signal to the fans. Morgan was so excited, he even let out a few swear words on live TV.

He repeatedly apologized, saying "I'm sorry, I've been cursing a lot. I'm sorry," before adding, "Oh, man, I gotta go!"

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He's huge! Morgan went 3 for 16 in the series — a .188 batting average — but he had two hits in Game 5, including the series winner. He said it is an important moment in his career:

"It's a lot, man," Morgan said. "Basically just everything that I've had to overcome, just the stuff that people go out there and perceive about me, everything. Just all my haters. I just wanted to show them that I can play this game, even though I have a fun, bubbly personality. I still come to win, and I'm a winner."

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Trying to imagine Nyjer Morgan (or even Tony Plush) in a military setting. Nope, can't do it. At least the combat helmet will help prevent concussions if the party gets too out of hand.

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Champagne stings, but in a good way. A year ago, Morgan wasn't anywhere near a playoff party. He had finished a disappointing and troubling season with the Washington Nationals, who liked him but thought he'd be better off — oh — with another team.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure!" Morgan said Friday night, as he has before.

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This is the closest to still Morgan got, doing a radio interview for the Brewers' flagship station. Note the chinstrap keeping the combat helmet attached. I wonder if Mr. DeNiro will get a question in?

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Brewers' GM Doug Melvin took a chance — but it was a good chance — that Morgan would help the Brewers. Who knows how much his "bubbly personality" contributed to them winning, but his teammates seem to like him. The alter-ego certainly breaks up the monotony of a long season. And if he can get a few big hits, hey, Tony Plush is even more welcome.

The Melvin-Morgan embrace included the GM saying, "I'm going to get a Tweeter like you!" — which hopefully refers to the social media network.

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A reflective moment with Pedro Gomez of ESPN. That's blood on Morgan's jersey. He might have bitten his tongue in the scrum with teammates. If not, who knows where it came from?

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Thanks to Yahoo! Sports' own Jeff Passan for snapping a picture of a stuffed Sulley — one of the guys from "Monsters, Inc." on which Milwaukee's "Beast Mode" is fashioned. Sulley is filthy, but the eye black is a nice touch.

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Ah HA! He does run out of energy. That's a pretty satisfied grin on Morgan's face. That name-brand beer is going to taste good.

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