Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Marlins recall Logan Morrison
MIAMI -- Back with the Florida Marlins after an 11-day demotion to the minors, a less loquacious Logan Morrison unpacked his bags and pondered his punishment.
Will the clubhouse comedian now be more reserved?
"I'll be the same person," Morrison said.
Maybe. But by LoMo's standards, a five-word sentence qualifies as curt, and Marlins management likes the sound of that.
Morrison annoyed the Marlins with his fondness for Twitter and wisecracks, and a steady stream of quotable comments -- coupled with sinking productivity at the plate -- earned him a ticket to Triple-A New Orleans.
While the self-described Twittaholic claimed to return unchanged, the Marlins are confident the stint in exile sent a message and will hasten his maturity. Morrison turns 24 Thursday.
"He's a good kid, really," manager Jack McKeon said. "He understands the situation, and I'm quite sure you're going to see a different guy."
Morrison rejoined the Marlins before Wednesday's doubleheader against Cincinnati. For Game 1 he was in left field and batting third, and in his second at-bat he hit his 18th home run.
He said he was excited to be back but unsure why he had been sent to the minors.
"I don't really care, not anymore," he said. "It's in the past. I can't control if they're going to give me a reason or not."
Regarding his relationship with the organization, Morrison said, "The relationship is I'm a baseball player, and they're the organization that provides the jersey, so I'm going to go out there and play hard."
Along with fewer yuks from Morrison, the Marlins want more hits. He was batting .320 on June 1, but his average had dropped to .249 when he was optioned to New Orleans.
As a rookie last year, he hit .283.
"I'm not a .249 hitter," he said. "I see myself as more of a .300 hitter. It's part of the game -- you struggle. I'll just take these next five weeks to work to get better and hopefully get the average up a little bit."
Despite the declining average, he ranks second on the Marlins in homers, and his 26 RBIs in July tied for most in the majors. While he was with New Orleans, injury-ravaged Florida went 1-8 to settle more firmly into last place in the NL East.
"We've been looking for that key hit for two weeks," McKeon said. "Hopefully LoMo can supply that."
Morrison went only 4 for 24 with New Orleans but said those stats were skewed by a series against the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock.
"They have some pretty good arms," he said. "It was big league pitching with Triple-A lighting."
Morrison tweeted less frequently in the minors, although he did offer a blue comment about the weather in Round Rock, joked about his yoga instructor and described an airport security pat-down.
Triple-A tweets didn't seem to hurt his popularity. Instead, his following grew 10 percent to nearly 67,000.
Still, it stung being sent from Miami up to New Orleans.
Or would that be down to New Orleans?
"I guess it's 'up there' geographically," Morrison said with a slight smile, "but 'down there' in status."