Remember back in August 2010 when then-Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan was rounding the bases in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals and smashed into catcher Bryan Anderson for no good reason as he crossed the plate? I say for no good reason because he scored standing up and there was no attempt at a play. Not very nice, and I'm pretty sure Cardinals fans didn't forget about that move. In a totally unrelated incident a few days later, Morgan went berserk during the entire series against the Florida Marlins. He separated Brett Hayes' shoulder on a hard play at the plate during one game before charging the mound and taking a swing at Chris Volstad the next night. Yikes.
Fast forward to a year later on August 1, 2011 and Morgan is now enjoying an exciting season with the Milwaukee Brewers, who are holding a two-game lead on the Cardinals. He's just nailed a three-run double to center field off Chris Carpenter, whose abs we'd like to wash our laundry on. Of course, Morgan gets a little excited and maybe a little cocky and does this fist-pumpy thing directly at the Cardinals' dugout. Hilarious, but not cool. Also not cool? Tony La Russa accusing the folks at Miller Park of altering the stadium's lighting to give the opposition a disadvantage. Give me a break.
Then on August 3 we have Ryan Braun and Albert Pujols getting nailed with fastballs in order to "send a message." Before you know it, everyone's bitching about it post-game () and boom, looks like we have ourselves a rivalry.
August 11 rolls around and the two teams meet again. Morgan gets a base hit off Carpenter, who cusses him out the entire way down the first baseline, pissing off the umpires. Mind you, St. Louis is trying to either win the National League Central or the NL Wild Card here, so they don't need any distractions by their division rivals... which was clearly Nyjer's evil plan all along.
During their final regular season meeting on September 7, St. Louis finds themselves a dismal 9 1/2 games behind Milwaukee and 7 1/2 back in the Wild Card hunt. With Carpenter on the hill once again, Morgan goes down swinging and has a few choice words for the hurler on his way back to the dugout. Pujols bolts across the infield to stick up for his boy and before you know it, the benches are emptying into one of those lame "dust-ups" where no one even gets bitch-slapped. Not as awesome as a brawl, but a little action never hurt anyone.
Then Morgan's crazyass alter ego, Tony Plushwhich is clearly unmanned by PR people. And now even the mild-mannered Zack Greinke is calling people out... awkwardly.
Long story short, when these two teams meet for the first time this postseason on Sunday, will tension still be thick? Are people gonna get beaned? Will T-Plush turn into T-Crazy Beastmode and charge the mound all Robin Ventura style? Hopefully Tony La Russa and Ron Roenicke can keep these guys under control and play ball like a bunch of grownups. If not, we'd like to see punches thrown and possibly some roundhouse kicks here and there. No more of this trash-talking "dust-up" nonsense.