Logan Morrison and the Louisiana State Penitentiary

Saturday night, the inept and evil Florida Marlins demoted beloved Twitter icon Logan Morrison to Triple A New Orleans, causing an instant ruckus among the Marlins’ 25 fans and Morrison’s 60,000 Twitter followers.

Florida brass used an inane excuse to justify demoting Morrison, pointing to his .249 batting average while ignoring such things as:

  • The fact that batted third in the team’s lineup as recently as that very day
  • His .464 slugging percentage
  • His MLB-leading 26 RBI in July

No, the Marlins aren’t sending Morrison to Louisiana because of his batting average. They’re sending him down because of his media presence and his Twitter feed.

Marlins manager/cranky grandpa Jack McKeon had this to say about the demotion:

“If there is a message, it’s, ‘Don’t get comfortable. 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. Tend to your business, get better at your craft. The record books are full of one- and two-year phenoms. Don’t believe me? Look it up.’’

The Marlins have been irked at Morrison this season for his slightly racy Tweets and his criticism of lackadaisical douchebag Hanley Ramirez.

Which is fine. The Marlins are run by a bunch of stodgy morons, so it’s only natural they’d be threatened by a young player expressing some semblance of personality and independence. Both on Twitter and in the clubhouse, Morrison is unusually candid for a professional athlete — which means the media and fans adore him, and his employers hate him. There’s nothing surprising about Morrison’s demotion except that it took this long to happen (they were probably waiting for his batting average to sink below .250).

But check out ESPN scribe Buster Olney’s sage advice to young LoMo:

The thoughts from here: Morrison should head to Triple-A and go about the business of playing baseball. Derek Jeter is considered to be incredibly boring by some of the writers who have covered him, but there is a method — a strategy — in that. Derek figured out a long time ago that he didn’t want to create any situation that would interfere what he really loves: Playing baseball. It would be worthwhile for Morrison to take the same approach.

Wait. What??

Nobody loves Derek Jeter more than me. Seriously. Nobody. Not 12-year-old girls wearing Jeter T-shirts shrieking for him to sign autographs. Not Jorge Posada. Not Minka Kelly. Nobody.

And even I can see that Buster Olney’s “thoughts from here” are garbage. Baseball needs stars with personalities, and players willing to engage and interact with fans. Baseball needs to take advantage of the fact that its players don’t wear helmets or facemasks, and allow fans to bridge the sometimes interminable distance between themselves and their heroes. The game needs players exactly like Logan Morrison.

Derek Jeter puts every thought he has through five different filters before allowing himself to speak, and then ten more filters before allowing himself to speak in public. He’s naturally cautious and maybe even distrustful of the media. His constant mission in life is not to say the wrong thing, which means he often doesn’t say much of substance at all. Jeter is a great role model for any young player who wants to maximize his sponsorship revenue, and a great model for how to conduct yourself to get through a career free of controversy. Alex Rodriguez, for example, could learn a lot from watching Jeter.

But Logan Morrison has no interest in being so robotic. He’s fine with allowing fans and the media access to his unfiltered thoughts and ideas, which is exactly why he became so popular so quickly. And now the Buster Olneys and Jack McKeons of the world would have him trade in everything that makes him unique.

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Filed under Sports Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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