Logan Morrison and Learning about Baseball
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Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
Logan Morrison and Learning about Baseball
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on August 15, 2011
Posted Under: Johanna's View

If you don’t follow the Marlins, and quite frankly how many of us actually do, you may not know who Logan Morrison is.  But if you have seen the Marlins in the last couple of months, then you might have an idea.  He is a very hard playing outfielder who still had that prospect status, and recently was sent down to AAA by the club.  That isn’t that big of a deal, normally, but Morrison is an outspoken young man, and this follows closely on the heals of an off-the-field incident.

Morrison, according to this Joe Capozzi piece didn’t attend a meet-and-greet following an autograph signing put on by the Marlins.  He spoke to his union rep just before, and was advised that he didn’t need to attend. That union rep, Wes Helms, was released at the same time as Morrison was demoted, so it seems to Morrison that it all had to do with his non-attendance at the event.

Morrison though is hitting .240, not very good if you ignore his 17 home runs and 61 RBIs and his  .791 OPS.  But that all seems unlikely.  Morrison by all accounts (I haven’t seen him play in person) plays hard, plays hurt and does all of those things that seem to make him a good teammate.

What Morrison doesn’t do- or didn’t on this one occasion- was show up with his teammates and share the load of the meet and greet.  Helms was probably correct that Morrison was not required to attend, but it should be noted that Helms himself did attend.  Free agents can often designate how many outside team functions they will attend in their contract.  Sometimes you hear of a player having a “personal services contract” with a club, and that stipulates under what circumstances the team can ask the player to do extra community related things.  But those young players still under control of the team that drafted them are only limited by a general union-negotiated number of events.  They also do need to be notified of those in a timely manner, which it sounds like Morrison was not in this case.

Morrison’s agent will be speaking to the Player’s Union to see if there is grounds to file a grievance here.  That I would argue is a mistake.  The Marlins may not be sending Morrison down to the minors so that he can raise his average.  They might be sending him down so that he can learn how to be a better teammate.  And sometimes that means not telling everything to the media, or refusing to attend one extra community relations event.

There is one other element to mention here, and that is by sending him down the Marlins can save some service time on Logan Morrison.  They won’t save a lot, but they will get a little bit back, which may help them keep him under contract one more year.  The Marlins may also be just trying to tell him that they control what he does and where he goes, despite what he says on Twitter. And if that is the case, then Morrison should be angry.  But sharing that anger with the media and the Twitter community may not serve him well.  No one wants a teammate that will tell the world his problems, or share the goings on in the locker room.

Morrison is probably right that his .240 batting average is not the sole reason he is being sent down.  But the flack he is making over it might be the thing that keeps him there longer than planned.

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