MIAMI GARDENS, FL: Logan Morrison #20 of the Florida Marlins hits a two run double during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Sun Life Stadium. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
I'm no baseball purist, but the TMZ side of sports* drives me nuts. It's bad enough that I have to sift through all of the Tom and Katie stuff for a couple of hours every day, and now you expect me to do the same with baseball players? Every so often, though, the off-field stuff gets interesting, especially when it affects a player's ability to stay on the field. Logan Morrison was demoted to triple-A by the Marlins over the weekend. Logan Morrison hit .207/.271/.409 over the past two months. Those two things aren't as related as you might think.
The demotion wasn't all due to his slump. Morrison seems to be ... less than shy. He's a Twitter hound, and the Marlins have already asked him to tone it down a bit. Whether he was engaging trolls for a few yuks or jawing at beat writers, Morrison was rarely dull. A good TV show is rarely dull. A malfunctioning car alarm is rarely dull. Morrison is somewhere on that rarely dull spectrum, and by sending him down to the minors, the Marlins seem to be on #teamcaralarm.
While it seems like Morrison's filter-free approach is the obvious reason he was sent down, the outfielder himself isn't so sure:
LoMo says off field issue was NOT his candidness or twitter. "I think it’s something else but I don’t know if I want to say it right now."
There's some speculation that the final straw was him blowing off a meet-and-greet with season-ticket holders
Want 2 apologize 2 our Season Ticket holders in advance 4 being unable to attend today's meet & greet before the game 2day.
That was a stunning tweet, mostly because of the plural holders used to describe ownership of Marlins season tickets. Whatever the reason, important people in charge of the Marlins are tired of Morrison's act,
So here are the three potential outcomes:
Young player learns a lesson, returns humbled
This is what the Marlins are hoping for. Morrison proved he belonged in the majors with his .390 on-base percentage last year, and his 41 extra-base hits this year, but the team thinks he could use some personality polish.
"If there is a message, it’s, ‘Don’t get comfortable,’ ’’ McKeon said. "Don’t think you have it made. You have to work at this game. Too many young guys think they have it made, are darlings of the media, run their mouth.
And after he learns the errors of his ways -- usually after a montage -- he'll come up and crush the ball.
Young player doesn't give a single crap about what the organization thinks about him, but hits well
Barry Bonds could have worn a necklace made from ears he bit off the children who bothered him through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Pirates and Giants still would have played him. He was that good. Players who hit, play.
The Marlins will deal with the Twitter stuff -- and the mysterious "other" off-field stuff -- if he hits. While the official word is that it was off-field stuff that sent him down, he wouldn't have been demoted if he were still OPSing over 1.000.
Young player annoys someone he probably shouldn't have, and he's eventually shuttled off somewhere else
This is known as a rasmusing, though previous generations know it as nevinization or kingmantosis. Morrison wouldn't be the first player to need a change of scenery, and he wouldn't be the last. At present, that sort of talk is way premature. But considering the drastic step the Marlins took by sending Morrison down, there have already been some surprises with the saga.
Off-field stuff is dull. But seeing as Greg Dobbs hit cleanup for the Marlins on Sunday, the off-field stuff can affect a team's on-field performance. Morrison is considering filing a grievance through the Players Assocation. The drama is just getting started, and as much as I hate to admit it, this one fascinates me. Maybe it's the new wrinkle of the player being a social-media fiend, but this is the kind of story that makes me reach for the popcorn. As a fan of Morrison's Twitter account, I'm mostly on #teamlogan, but then, I have no idea what it's like to work with the guy every day, either.
Not sure who's in the right on this one. But as a baseball fan, I'm hoping that everyone figures it out soon. Baseball without Logan Morrison in the majors is a little less interesting.