The NHL has a “third man in” rule, which penalizes a player who jumps into a fight with a game misconduct. MLB has no such formal rule, but it sort of worked out that way anyway. Michael Morse, the third man in on the Bryce Harper-Hunter Strickland fight that cleared both benches on Monday, was leveled by the fourth man in, Giants teammate Jeff Samardzija.
Last night the Giants placed Morse on the seven-day concussion disabled list, and they said the injury likely occurred when he banged faces with Samardzija. Morse looked like he was there to play peacemaker and get between Strickland and Harper, his old teammate. (Samardzija was definitely there to throw punches.)
“Samardzija saw blood a little bit, I thought,” Harper said. “I’m very thankful for Mikey Mo. That’s a big spot with him coming in there.”
Samardzija also landed an inadvertent left on Strickland? What a disaster.
“That’s the unfortunate thing about these brawls you have,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Guys are running in and trying to break it up and here he gets hurt trying to break things up, so he’s down for a while ... When you see those two collide, he got caught in the side of the face and jaw area. That’s a big man that hit him. I’m not surprised. When you watch that collision it was pretty violent. We were worried about him yesterday.”
Morse insisted on Monday he was fine, but was in bad shape at batting practice on Tuesday and was given a concussion test, which he did not pass. The Giants are hopeful he’ll be able to return after the seven days are up.
Strickland was suspended six games for his role in the brawl, and Harper four. Both players are expected to appeal their sentences.