An older, wiser Nyjer Morgan using past lessons to round into form
Not surprisingly, Nyjer Morgan loves the "T."
One of the two bobbleheads being given away today that bear his likeness features his signature "T" hand gesture, symbolizing his alter ego Tony Plush.
"They actually made it look like me so it's actually pretty cool," the Brewers outfielder said this afternoon.
That led to the natural question of where the "T" has been this season.
"It's there," Morgan said. "I guess when you go with the slow start that I had it's just you want to pick it back up before you really bring it out and start doing all the little antics and stuff like that. You've still got to respect the game. Plus, you don't want to rub people the wrong way when you're going out there and doing it too."
Morgan slumped offensively to start the year, forcing manager Ron Roenicke's hand in terms of mixing and matching who plays and when in outfield.
It's something Morgan admitted he might not have taken so well just a few years ago.
"Probably not," he said. "I think where I really learned it was probably in my 2010 season when I wasn't really doing that great and I was kind of getting mixed in and out of the lineup and getting moved up and down the order and Jim Riggleman just told me one thing – don't worry about it, just as long as you're going to contribute somehow no matter where you're going to be at, just understand there's reasons why certain situations happen. As a young player, I didn't understand it. But now being an older player and a veteran now I understand the reasons why managers do things like that. As an older player now I understand the situation."
That understanding is helping the fourth year player to pull himself out of his offensive funk, despite the spotty playing time. A career .288 hitter coming into the season, he has hit .304 over his last 10 games to raise his average to .230.
"You know what your role is, you know what you're capable of and you know what your abilities are," said Morgan, who turns 32 in July. "No matter what role, I know what I'm capable of doing and what I can do to help this team."
Although he is not in the lineup on his bobblehead day, that didn't keep Morgan from appreciating the distinction and determining what to do with the 100 figurines now in his possession.
"I'll pass 'em out to friends and family," he said. "Maybe some Christmas gifts."
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