Should “Tony Plush” tone it down?
You’ve got to love the enthusiasm of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan. Or, maybe not.
Morgan’s alter ego is “Tony Plush,” or “T Plush,” and the team even sells T-shirts with that moniker. I almost bought one at a game earlier this year. The Brewers plan to give out Tony Plush Rally Towels to the first 30,000 fans Sept. 9 when the powerful Philadelphia Phillies come to town.
No doubt, Morgan’s enthusiasm and passion for the game, as well as his timely plays in the outfield or at the plate, have helped Milwaukee. Yet Morgan wore out his welcome with previous teams, and his antics and hand gestures have rubbed some opposing fans and players the wrong way. His postgame TV interviews are always a risky adventure for broadcasters.
The Brewers have been on a streak for the ages, winning a stunning 18 of their last 20 games. Don’t look now, however, but they’ve managed to somehow win their last four games while scoring a total of just eight runs. Are the bats falling silent? Does this portend a potential losing streak ahead, perhaps on their next road trip, where they’ve struggled to win for much of the year?
Maybe my fear comes from being a long-suffering Brewers fan. But I cringed at Morgan’s comments in today’s Gazette.
“You’ve got to take each day as it comes and try to catch Philly,” he said. “That’s our goal. Since we have nobody to really chase in our division, let’s go chase Philly.”
True, the Brewers aren’t “chasing” anyone in their division, and they’ve stretched their lead over St. Louis to seven games in the Central Division. The Phillies appear to be the team to beat in the National League, however, and their record is a full 7½ games better than the Brewers’. The Phillies are 7-3 in their last 10 games, so it’s not like they’re slumping. Catching them and winning home-field advantage in the playoffs seems like a pipedream to me.
I hope Morgan’s comments don’t offend the Cardinals down in St. Louis. There are a lot of games remaining. I would be happy to just keep a comfortable lead over the Cards in the division and take our chances in the playoffs, with or without home-field advantage.
What do you think of Morgan, “T Plush,” his mouth and his antics? Is he just great fun, one of baseball's great characters, or too far over the top?