Fifth anniversary of ‘The Clothesline’

ATLANTA — Five years ago today it was “go time!” when the Marlins squared off against the Nationals at Sun Life Stadium.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of one of the most memorable melees in Marlins’ history.

Marlins-Nationals memorable melee

Marlins-Nationals memorable melee

Nyjer Morgan took exception to Chris Volstad’s purpose pitch that sailed behind his back. Morgan charged the mound, Volstad spiked his glove, and from out of nowhere, Gaby Sanchez delivered one of the most famous “clotheslines” in baseball history. The takedown set off a massive pileup of players, coaches and managers.

The date was Sept. 1, 2010.

The Marlins, stewing over Morgan’s vicious collision at home plate the night before, had payback on their minds.
Morgan’s excessive hit left catcher Brett Hayes with a separated left shoulder, and the Marlins vengeful.

Tempers boiled over in the sixth inning the next day when Volstad threw at Morgan. In seconds, the teams went at it.

The altercation was just part of the wild night. The Marlins prevailed 16-10.

Mike Stanton (now Giancarlo) belted his 15th homer of the season in what was his rookie year. Stanton is the only Marlin remaining from that game.

The Nationals started lefty Scott Olsen, the former Marlin.

Jim Riggleman managed Washington. Edwin Rodriguez was at the helm for the Marlins. There may be a twist to this, because Riggleman is a potential candidate to manage the Marlins if Dan Jennings goes back to the front office, which is expected after the season.

The game also featured Marlins infielder Donnie Murphy dislocating his right wrist after making a nice catch in short right field.

Dan Uggla, out with a groin strain, didn’t let his injury stand in the way of sticking up for his teammates. When the benches cleared, Uggla was in the thick of the action.

The altercation lasted several minutes, but the memories are still fresh five years later.

Joe Frisaro

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