Thursday, August 4, 2011

T. Plush Havin' a Good Time

The Milwaukee Brewers are having a great year and, surprisingly, a part-time player has become the symbol of a team having a good time. The two big stars – Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun – get their share of attention, but it's Nyjer Morgan who is entertaining the fans and his fellow players.

Not since Gorman Thomas and Pete Vuckovich brought a blue-collar zaniness to the contenders of the late '70s and early '80s have the Brewers had a player who had the knack to just have fun. And fans get a doubleheader with Morgan, because along to provide the fun is Tony Plush, his alter ego.

For the uninitiated, the alternate personality was born in his youth when he and his buddies came up with nicknames for each other. Now Morgan, a speedy player who is getting his first taste of playing for a good team, is in the limelight with T. Plush.

And the fans are eating up Morgan's comic and baseball act. New T. Plush T-shirts sell out the day they arrive at the Brewers team store, and his videos go viral on YouTube.

Morgan credits the T. Plush persona with his reckless play on the field, whether running into walls or slamming into catchers. Sometimes opponents don't like the latter, but he has given the Crew a couple wins this season that way, so local fans won't complain. Stormin' Gorman, as Thomas was known, played the same way, once saying the fans paid to see him hit a home run, run into a wall or strikeout and they probably would get to see at least two of those on any night.

And then there's the crazy, off-the-wall interviews he gives after games. Wild answers to typical questions make them must-see TV. Maybe the Brewers have caught lightning in a bottle, but Morgan has the Brewers' fan's vote as most entertaining player in the league.

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