If you've been a fan of baseball for awhile, or sports for that matter, you come to figure that there are clearly some rules that are unwritten but are usually very well understood by both the fans and the players.  Early in the summer, my boys and I read "The Baseball Codes," that goes into great detail about some of these sorts of things, among them retaliation.

I bring this up today because during last night's game between the Marlins and the Nationals, this code came into play not once, but twice. For a little background, on Tuesday night, the National's freak-of-the-week and all around trouble maker, Nyjer Morgan, took out Marlin's catcher Brett Hayes in what could've been described as just a good, hard-nosed play. That is if it were just about anyone else. In the past week, Morgan had taken out another catcher in a dirty play, threw a ball at a fan's face and was seen on video yelling at a Marlin's fan.

So last night, in what is clearly part of the "baseball code," Marlin's pitcher Chris Volstad defended his catcher by placing a pitch right onto Morgan's hip. Morgan took his base and went on to steal both second and third bases, even though his team was down by 11 runs. Evidently, Volstad wasn't too happy about it, so when Morgan came back up in the sixth he threw another pitch at him except this one didn't connect - it went BEHIND Morgan's back. Well that was enough to throw Morgan into a tizzy and charge the mound in what became a bench-clearing brawl with Marlin's first baseman, Gaby Sanchez getting in one of the best "clotheslines" on Morgan I've seen since watching Hulk Hogan back in the 80's.

My thought on this, though, is that it shouldn't have happened at all. Volstad was "justified" in hitting Morgan once. But that is where I think it should've stopped. You just don't get to go for two in that scenario. Given Morgan's already ugly week, he will be getting most of the press for what transpired, but I don't think Volstad should be let off the hook completely. An eye for an eye. One for one. No double-dipping allowed.
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