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Chris Volstad

Nationals' Nyjer Morgan awaits brawl penalty

Nyjer Morgan began this season as the Washington Nationals' center fielder of the future, their offensive green flag, their beloved clubhouse cut-up.

With one month remaining, he has become something else — a snarling player in trouble with the league, a leadoff hitter who reaches base infrequently enough to be dropped to the bottom of the order, perhaps baseball's newest villain.

His transformation, highlighted by a week packed with controversy, established over a full season of regression in performance, has altered his reputation across baseball and forced the Nationals to face a question they never assumed they would need to consider: Will Morgan remain part of their...