Nyjer Morgan was present when we originally nicknamed Bernadina The Shark, and was probably the first person to laugh at us/get behind the nickname by pointing at us in the stands and putting his hand over his head like a shark fin. Some call it mocking, we call it enthusiasm!
Three years ago, Nyjer and The Shark were battling for a spot in the Nationals outfield. Even though this was a relatively unimportant spring training battle on a relatively mediocre team, we treated it the way ESPN treated the LeBron decision.
We followed their storyline and stats closely and were the ONLY media outlet to cover the 1st Annual Washington Nationals Spring Training Shark Riding Contest for Outfielders Competing for the Starting Center Fielder Position...For the Washington Nationals. Yes, the name of the contest was so long that it can't fit in one tweet, but no can say that it isn't descriptive!
SPOILER ALERT: Roger Bernadina won after Njyer "clung to the shark like a lamprey on a baby koala" and ricK anKIel was sucked into a submarine propeller. (Is anyone surprised?)
The battle ended after Nyjer was traded to the Brewers and Shark gave him a lift to Milwaukee. We thought that was the end of it, but fate brought them together again in July 2012 when Bernadina demonstrated why he is called the Shark and made a jawesome diving catch in Milwaukee that robbed Nyjer of a hit. The catch was #3 on SportsCenter Top Ten Plays that night.
Now they are facing each other again in Spring Training. Over the past two days, Bernadina has gone 2-4 with 2 runs, a triple, and a walk. (Video of the triple here). Nyjer has been impressive too going 2-6 with 2 runs, a double, and 2 RBIs. Today is the final game of the series...will The Shark bite Nyjer a third time?
More to come.