Ochocinco, T.O., Big Papi, Prime Time and now—T-Plush. Wait, Mr. Professional. No it’s Mr. Eezy Breezy.Or maybe it’s Antonio Picante? Whoever he is today, Nyjer Morgan of the Milwaukee Brewers is a man of many talents.
Whether he is stealing bases, skating with the San Jose Sharks or winning championship baseball games, T-Plush is always smiling and grinning—living life in “Beast Mode.”
But is he always out there to try and get all this attention?
Does he use four-letter words after hitting a game-winning postseason RBI on purpose?
Does he go on Jim Rome to promote himself, his team or the Sharks?
Nyjer Morgan is a grown man living a kid's dream. He’s acting how any of us would act if we got the chance to play our childhood game for a living.
If Nyjer was a B or C-team player, we’d be quick—and justifiably so to deem him more of a show than a ball player. However his play on the field speaks for itself.
He hit .304, had a slugging percentage of .421 and an OBP of .357. We also can’t forget his game-winning single that lifted the Brewers to their first postseason-series victory since 1982. When asked about Nyjer in a post-game interview with Sports Illustrated, MVP Ryan Braun said:
“I think people lose sight of how great he's been for us on the field. He comes to the ballpark with a new personality every day, but he's so successful once he's on the field. I said this the other day, Tony Clutch is his new character. He's Tony Clutch."
I got the chance to hang out with Nyjer and Michael Goldman, his LA-based publicist, during his recent visit to the San Jose Sharks Practice facility and when I asked Mr. Goldman how it is to be a publicist for an athlete such as Nyjer, he said: “Being his publicist is great. He’s fun to watch, has a big social media presence and he does things that people do in everyday life but he gets attention. He talks about how he wants to see Twilight one day and the next he gets to walk on the red carpet at the premiere. He adopts a cat…he gets a call from PETA.”
You can see a photo of Taylor Lautner photo-bombing T-Plush on his official Facebook page.
Watching Nyjer at the Sharks facility was like watching a kid in a candy store. Wide-eyed and excited to get on the ice, Nyjer waltzed his way through the facility where he was able to talk shop with the likes of Joe Thornton, Ryane Clowe, Brent Burns and even got to meet hockey legend Mike Ricci—all while a YouTube camera crew was filming him for a new show that will feature him.
Right away, it was easy to see that Nyjer was a hockey kid. They all talked about the WHL (where Nyjer had played with Regina Pats) and all the people they knew, and talked a little ball too.
Thirty minutes into the Sharks practice, Nyjer made his way onto the bench. Looking like a child that could hardly contain his excitement, Nyjer surveyed the scene—looking on to see what drills the team was doing and cheering and chatting with players as they stopped by to see if he was ready to get in.
With about 20 minutes left in the practice, the Sharks waived Nyjer to come in. He jolted out of his seat and slammed open the door and he went flying onto the ice. The first thing you noticed was that he wasn’t joking about his hockey skills. He sped out the gate and went right in with everyone.
The team broke into breakaway drills, where on his fourth go—Nyjer snuck a shot pass Thomas Greiss. After a few passing drills the coach called practice, and Nyjer hopped off the ice. After all the interviews the overarching statement that came through was that this was “a dream come true.”
Nyjer Morgan has a ton of personalities. The Brewers were willing to pay each of them to be with the team again. With Braun possibly being suspended, no Prince Fielder and with the team committing him to be the every day fielder—there is a lot of pressure on Mr. Morgan.
Pitchers will be going after him this season. All Nyjer can do is be himself. And that’s being a great ball player, a great teammate and living life like it’s meant to be—in Beast Mode.