Q&A with Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan
MLB.com caught up with outfielder Nyjer Morgan recently to talk about his time with Nationals and the fun he is having with the Brewers.
MLB.com: You had a nice comeback season. Are you satisfied?
Nyjer Morgan: I’m definitely not content. I’m always looking to do better. With everything that happened, everything that was perceived about me, everything that was spread throughout the Washington media, it was a bad rap. I felt like the Washington media was throwing me out there, trying to ruin my career.
MLB.com: Why do you feel the Washington media tried to ruin your career?
Morgan: There was a lot of negative stuff about me. I wasn’t that individual. From what I was perceived in Washington compared to what I’m doing now is basically apples and oranges. I still enjoyed every moment in DC. I felt I learned a lot — just how I played the game and [learning] the business side.
I guess sometimes you need a change of scenery. You need a different fit. Basically, [the Brewers are] a fit for me. I enjoy playing baseball. I enjoy being around the guys that are on the same team with me. I enjoy the staff, the front office. It’s a very cool feeling. They understand the way you are and how you play. I bring a bunch of energy and they feed off it.
It was a learning year in Washington last year. It’s unfortunate that the Nationals gave up on me. Now they feel they need a center fielder/leadoff hitter. That’s what they are looking for now. I guess they didn’t feel like I was a right part of the chemistry there, so they let me go.
MLB.com: What was your reaction when the Milwaukee fans voted you the “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year?”
Morgan: I love them. That was so cool. That’s just showing the fans that you come to work every day, which is basically what I did and DC, too. I came to work every day even though — average wise — it wasn’t the year I wanted to have in 2010. I had a good season before with a .307 batting average [in 2009].
I guess everybody has their learning years and my learning year happen to be last year. It kind of snowballed because controversial things happened [A confrontation with the Marlins and accidently hitting a Phillies with a ball]. It was just a snowball effect. My three weeks were more publicized than anybody else’s worst three weeks. I had just a bad few weeks just like anybody else would have. Mine was more scrutinized. I’m a cancer, I’m this, I’m that. I didn’t think there was nothing like that. Guys felt they couldn’t say anything to me. They waited until I left and then they started opening up their mouths, which was kind of weak.
MLB.com: You and Jayson Werth had a confrontation during Spring Training. Do you think that is the reason the Nationals traded you to the Brewers?
Morgan: Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know who officially is the leader of the clubhouse. I guess, it’s maybe him because of his contract. He came in there basically to police people. I got policed and I was ousted. After being there every morning at 6:30 — the first one in the clubhouse everyday — I don’t see how I was a problem. Still, at my worst year, I still had a better batting average than Werth.
MLB.com: You are arbitration eligible after the season. Do you want to stay in Milwaukee?
Morgan: I would love to stay here. This is a baseball town for me. They understand my game, they understand my work ethic, they understand the player that I am. They love me with open arms. The media understands me. I’m just playing hard. I’m still the same person that I was then. I’m just older and wiser now.
MLB.com: You are in the postseason for the first time. What is it like for you?
Morgan: It’s a new experience. It’s fun, full of emotion. It seems like another game, but’s its not.
MLB.com: What was it like to drive in the game-winning run in Game 5 of the National League Division series against the D-Backs?
Morgan: It hasn’t hit me yet. I guess that’s how legends are born, man. That is going to be in the highlights for the rest of my life, for the rest of Brewers history. That’s historic, man.
MLB.com: After you drove in that game-winning run, you used foul language on TBS. Do you regret the foul language that you used on live TV?
Morgan: Honestly, I didn’t know the microphone was in my face. I was looking at the fans. People were emotional. The stuff they show on TV nowadays — they show other people cussing. The video games that are out there, what’s the difference? [The hit] was something special. So, I mean, I honestly didn’t know. If I knew the camera was on, next time, I wouldn’t do it. I just blacked out. The fans were fired up. I mean, come on. Of course, I regret it. [Things] happened out there.
MLB.com: For the rest of the National Champonship Series, do you think the Brewers can win the pennant?
Morgan: You know I feel we can win this one. It has been a great year for us, but I feel the season is not done yet.