Marlins Option Credibility to Triple-A

On Saturday night, the Florida Marlins decided that Logan Morrison needed to spend a little more time in the minors, so they optioned their starting left fielder back to Triple-A. According to Morrison, he was so angry with the decision he left the room before the explanation got further than “you’re hitting .249,” which is understandable given that Morrison has been the Marlins second or third best hitter by any decent metric you want to use. Clearly, a low batting average wasn’t the only reason the Marlins decided to ship “LoMo” back to the minors.

It doesn’t take a lot of reading between the lines to piece together a decent idea of what happened here. GM Larry Beinfest told MLB.com that Morrison needed to “work on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer,” but that’s just vague enough to be a catch-all for production on the field and all the off field stuff that comes with life in the big leagues. As Joe Capozzi notes, Morrison skipped out on a photo session with season ticket holders on Saturday after reportedly being told by Wes Helms – the team’s union representative – that he didn’t have to participate. A few hours later, Morrison is optioned out and Helms is released. You do the math.

Trouble between the Marlins and Morrison has been brewing for a while, so it’s not a huge surprise to see it come to a head. In the spring, Morrison was asked by team president Dave Samson to tone down his comments on Twitter, and then when the team fired hitting coach John Mallee in June, Morrison publicly ripped the organization for the move. There’s also been the not-so-subtle criticisms of teammate Hanley Ramirez, and when you add all of that together with the skipped photo session, the Marlins may have decided that Morrison has some growing up to do. And honestly, they’re probably right – Morrison might do well to learn the appropriate time and place to speak his mind.

But they didn’t tell him any of that. They told him his batting average wasn’t high enough, and, because of that weak explanation, any shred of credibility that the Marlins organization had remaining with Morrison went right out the window. And perhaps more importantly, the organization’s credibility with their fan base took yet another blow.

With a new stadium set to open next year, the Marlins need to be growing their fan base, not alienating it – they are last in the league in attendance, drawing just over 18,000 fans per game. As always, the baseball operations department has given the on-field team enough good young talent that they should draw significantly better than that, but it’s tough to become attached to an organization that operates the way the Marlins do.

To convince people to come to the park, you have to convince them that you’re trying to win. When you are regularly firing managers and coaches who have done a good job, you lose credibility. When Major League Baseball has to order you to raise your payroll in order to be in compliance with the revenue sharing guidelines, you lose credibility. And when you option a kid to Triple-A because you don’t like his attitude but tell him it’s because he’s hitting .249, you lose credibility. At this point, the Marlins are getting dangerously close to not having any left. If the organization ever wants to win over the city of Miami, they’ll have to break the perception that everything they say is a lie.

This didn’t help. Sending one of the team’s most popular (and talented) players to Triple-A did nothing to help build a connection between the Marlins and the fans they are trying to convince to come to their new park. It also didn’t make the Marlins a better team now, nor is it likely that the move will turn Morrison into a personality that the Marlins would be more comfortable with. In short, the Marlins decided to make a move that would offer no real tangible benefit to the organization, and suffered another credibility hit in the process.

But, hey, at least they made a statement, right?




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


146 Responses to “Marlins Option Credibility to Triple-A”

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  1. Navin says:

    It’s only a matter of time before he’s @LoMoBlueJays.

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  2. Hanzel says:

    There’s clearly no place on a last place team for the likes of LoMo or Cameron Maybin.

    +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. marlinsfan24 says:

    Here’s the thing, we only have LoMo’s side of the story of what was said. He was angry at the time so he could have left all that stuff out.

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  4. Richie says:

    Possible intended Marlins explanation to Morrison: “You’re hitting .249, which isn’t enough if you’re going to be a pain in the butt.” Mighty silly to carp at the Marlins’ explanation to Morrison when he walks out 3 words into it.

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    • bc says:

      I agree with Richie & Marlinsfan that the article might be a tad unfair to the Marlins. The “.249″ part is what Morrison said to the press, not the Marlins, and by his own account HE walked out the meeting before they could finish explaining the issues. The public commuications from the Marlins have been professional and de-escalating, avoiding being specific about his maturity/clubhouse proolems. Would it be better if the Marlins came out with pointed and embarrassing comments about his character flaws? Wouldn’t that make matters worse?

      But the comments have also been phrased in a way that makes it clear (as the article concedes) that it’s not his hitting ability that won him his demotion, so they aren’t trying to deceive anyone either.

      That’s probably the right way to handle it, IMO.

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      • frugalscott says:

        I like Logan Morrison a lot. I used to do a weekly baseball radio show on a local ESPN affiliate and I was fortunate enough to get to interview him on a couple of occasions. He’s an interesting guy, but he does tend to probably say things that he shouldn’t and/or in ways he shouldn’t.

        If the Marlins were to come out and publicly be specific about all of the issues involved here, they would be guilty of all of the things they don’t like about Morrison.

        This is a bad situation and likely both sides have some culpability in it, but to rip on the organization is over the top.

        Honestly, I think that this is precisely what the organization felt it needed to do in order to have some credibility with fans. The culminating act was Morrison’s failure to participate in a photo op with season ticket holders. The organization’s message to those season ticket holders was that they won’t tolerate players disrespecting the fans, it seems.

        The Marlins aren’t going anywhere this season and a couple of weeks in AAA could be what is needed for the two sides to begin to heal the rift after Morrison has some time to think about things and realize that there is more to the game than what is on the field (unless you are in the top 2% or so on the field, but that’s a discussion for another day).

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      • cavebird says:

        If the real reason was not participating in the photo session, and Helms was correct that Morrison was not required to participate, the Marlins will probably be facing two valid union grievances shortly.

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      • cs3 says:

        =======================================
        “I agree with Richie & Marlinsfan that the article might be a tad unfair to the Marlins.”
        =======================================

        its not unfair when the Marlins have proven beyond any doubt that they are a classless, incompetently run organization.

        Morrison may not be as mature as he should be, but everything hes said publicly has been 100% accurate. If the Marlins find that offensive then perhaps they should take steps improve their product, rather than alienate one of their best players and their few remaining fans

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    • AndyS says:

      That’s still insulting to everyone involved. Try again.

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    • Chris says:

      Yeah, but is the MLB average for batting average something like .248? It’s not like he’s performing that way on the Yankees a team that could just sign or trade and eat the salary of some over paid OF to come in and do better, Morrison was in the top 3-4 hitters on the team and above league average.

      I could see it if they had some young top prospect that they wanted to get a look at, but even then Morrison is only what, 23? There’s absolutely no good explanation as to why else he would have been demoted.

      If this had been the result of childish antics like Carlos Zambrano, or even some of Nyjer Morgan’s worst behavior, I could see a reason for it, but the criticisms that Morrison has given have been generally spot on.

      MLB players with options left do much worse and rarely see a demotion for it. This is genuinely a ball club trying to put a young player in his place for speaking out. Given how poor the Marlins track record has been in its own behavior only magnifies the issue even further.

      It’s time to force out the Marlins ownership and get some one who actually cares about a team stocked with young talent that hasn’t been given the chance. I keep getting a Major League vibe from the Marlins ownership.

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    • williams .482 says:

      That would not make it any less idiotic.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      He also slid for a fly ball (for no reason) the other day and played it off his chest.

      We can’t take snipets of a conversation from one-side of the story and then make evaluations on it. That’s irresponsible. The article outlines plenty of reasons why LoMo could be immature, a loudmouth, a jagbag, etc … and then chooses to quote mine “batting average” as the reason and remove Marlins’ credibility.

      Wes Helms was also released, batting .191.

      Also, batting average might be a decent reason as well. I know FG views BA as being luck on BIP even though we claim to understand that batters have more influence on their BABIP than do pitchers, but LoMo is walking a lot less, hitting more grounders, and hitting fewer line drives. He’s not patient, and hitting a lot of ground balls. What that usually means for a lefty is that he’s topping the sh!t out of a lot of BIP, which don’t often go for hits.

      Anyway, here is it …

      [1] Lower walk rate
      [2] Higher K rate
      [3] Higher GB rate
      [3] Lower LD rate

      Even with that, he’s league average. Pretty decent. However, he’s below average fielding and baserunning.

      Florida doesn’t need LoMo to be a 2 WAR player. They need him to be 3+ WAR. He can do that if he’s talking walks and making good contact.

      They also don;t need him to be a jagbag off the field, which could lead to decreased performance on the field as well as decreased trade value in the future.

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      • Paul says:

        Ding! Ding! Ding!

        As far as we know, the next sentence after, “You’re hitting, what, .249?” would have been, “Because you’re trying to jerk everything, your left field swing that you displayed as a rookie is gone, and you swing at everything. In other words, you’re the opposite of why we drafted you in the first place.”

        I invested heavily in him for my fantasy team and have watched exactly what Circle was talking about all season. The point is not that he’s still better than a league average player, it’s that he has the talent to be a superstar. A few years ago BA cited a scout calling him the next Pujols. I know that’s not realistic, but this is the context they’re working with.

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      • Chris says:

        But when he’s one of your best hitters on the club despite all those problems that you noted (and don’t think that any of us haven’t noticed) you work with him at the MLB level to correct them.

        The last thing the Marlins should be doing is throwing themselves into dead last and giving the Nats a free pass right as they’re about to move into their new tax payer funded stadium.

        The team has been scandalous for a long time, LoMo may be a blabber mouth, he may not know his place, he may air out the team’s dirty laundry all over the internet but he is still one of their best offensive players.

        How can you expect a Marlins fan base to take the team seriously when it’s hurting itself by demoting one of it’s best hitters for not being good enough? How common is the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’?

        Looking at the top 5 rookies by wRC+ last season with 200+ PA’s to this season we get the following (minus Posey due to his freak injury)

        Heward: 134, 98
        Morrison: 128, 115
        Conrad: 121, 110
        Johnson: 120, 78
        Moreland: 119, 105

        From 2009 – 2011

        Jones: 144, 92, 112
        Coghlan: 126, 96, 76
        Smith: 126, 96, 116
        McCutchen: 125, 125, 136
        McGehee: 125, 114, 72

        So the top 5 rookies with 200+ PA minus Posey from 2010 all have a reduced wRC+ this season, four of the top 5 rookies from 2009 had a ‘sophomore slump’, two didn’t recover from it. I’m sure if I kept going down the rookie leader boards like this I could find many, many more instances that could support this just being a slump and some bad habits that can be broken while continuing to play at the MLB level.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        So the top 5 rookies with 200+ PA minus Posey from 2010 all have a reduced wRC+ this season, four of the top 5 rookies from 2009 had a ‘sophomore slump’, two didn’t recover from it. I’m sure if I kept going down the rookie leader boards like this I could find many, many more instances that could support this just being a slump and some bad habits that can be broken while continuing to play at the MLB level.

        That’s a fair point.

        I don’t think anyone believes that LoMo is a <2 WAR player. I think he's shown he has the talent to be an absolute mess and STILL be a ~ 2 WAR player.

        Now, at the end of the quoted comments you suggest that there are some bad habits that can be broken at the MLB level. I concede that it is possible, but I don't see many guys "working things out" at the MLB level, especially when they're in survival mode. Some do, but many young players don't. When a metronome like Dunn has a season where he can't figure it out, I wouldn't assume that a 23yo could. In that regard, there are so many individual aspects that I stay in the "let's wait and see" camp, rather than trying to predict what a 23yo will do.

        I don;t think the decision is primarily performance based, although there's enough there to make the suggestion. I think this is all about letting LoMo know that he's not going to do whatever he wants, while his performance suffers. I hope LoMo responds positively and comes back with a more mature mindset and plays phenomenally.

        The Marlins are not saying that LoMo stinks. What they're saying is "We need you to be better than this (all around)" and "our previous actions have had no effect on you".

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      • jorgath says:

        “The last thing the Marlins should be doing is throwing themselves into dead last and giving the Nats a free pass right as they’re about to move into their new tax payer funded stadium.”

        As a Nats fan, I approve of this strategy. :)

        Also as a Nats fan, can I just issue a blanket statement concerning the evil that is Loria and leave it at that?

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    • hunterfan says:

      One thing I will say is that the Marlins probably messed up for not making their expectations and consequences clear. The demotion clearly shocked LoMo, and if they had made their expecations and consequences more clear up front, maybe this wouldn’t have blown up into the issue it has been.

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      • Paul says:

        Isn’t the team president telling him to tone down the Twitter comments an example of that? Given that he stormed out of the office as his employer was telling him he’d been demoted, is that someone you really think can be dealt with like everybody else?

        To me this is just a clear example of a guy who is expected to be a professional acting like a 6th year senior running the frat house. How sad is it that people are calling for the organization to specifically tell Logan Morrison not to act like a completely batshit frat boy with no concern for even the near term future?

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    • baty says:

      Yeah, the timing of the demotion is strange, but in baseball terms, it isn’t as ridiculous as Morrison seems to think it is. If you take away Morrison’s first month and a half of the season, he’s been quite a drag or late offensively. And in my opinion, enough of a drag to maybe take the opportunity to wake him up a bit the next week or two.

      His in your face attitude is kind of over blown, so I don’t think it should be a big issue, and even though he’s been a bright spot in the Marlins lineup, it still IS only the Marlins lineup.

      His defense is consistently bad… His BB%/K% has taken a slide quite a bit, and he’s taken a step backwards with his production against left handed pitchers, with an overall below average offensive production the last few months.

      I dont’ think a demotion would do Morrison any harm, if he shakes off the controversy and approaches it the right way. Maybe the Marlins reasoning is unfortunate, but maybe his focus needs to get back into synch?

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      • baty says:

        It’s too bad the Marlins are having a new stadium built. It’ll only postpone the inevitable franchise’s move. It’s an unfortunate baseball mess there… a Black Hole. I have a hard time blaming any player grievance coming out of that place.

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  5. joeiq says:

    Cubs please capitolize!

    LoMo is exactly what the Cubs need, and they can put him in 1B instead of LF where he is a bad fielder.

    Lomo is probably better than any Cub player. Come back in 2012 with Brett Jackson (hopefully he can continue his AAA success) and Lomo. If it cost you the rest of the farm it would be worth it, we don’t have anything else in the farm anyway.

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  6. Mr. wOBAto says:

    For what it’s worth I had a long talk with Cody Ross’ brother a couple of years ago when he was a Marlin.
    Cody couldn’t wait to get off that team, he said they are the cheapest, poorest run, and most depressing team in MLB to play for.
    Morrison will likely join Mike Stanton in counting the days to FA when he can leave Loria’s private piggy bank to play for a team that will allow their players to compete.

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    • guy-who-knows-people says:

      Well, I had a long talk with Cody Ross’ brother’s mother, and she said don’t believe a word Cody Ross’ brother says because he’s always telling tall tales.

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      • Mr. wOBAto says:

        You are of course right, when I lie to make myself more important I usually pretend to know the guitar playing brother of fourth OF. By the way next time Lords of Fuzz are in town swing by and see them then ask Oscar or Stephen yourself.

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    • Marlins don't compete? says:

      They’ve won 2 championships in the past 15 years. Just sayin’.

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      • Mr. wOBAto says:

        Yep and they moved Uggla, Willingham, Miggy, Ross, Maybin and any other player that came close to being payed market price. They play for smaller crowds than most SEC Baseball teams, and their owner is universally reviled. So yeah I am sure Stephen was just talking out of his ass about what a hellhole FL baseball is.

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  7. JoeIQ says:

    LoMo and Marlins management are both well documented personalities. LoMo is a bit in your face and the Marlins Management is an aweful group of people.

    If it ‘s LoMo’s “fault” you could blame him for not catering to the awful management personel.

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  8. RC says:

    We’re talking about a bad defensive player in an easy position, who has an OPS right around .800, right?

    He had a 14% BB% last year, and he’s at 9% this year, and his k% has gone up 2%. Maybe something IS wrong, and they think AAA will help him fix it.

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  9. So the White Sox can acquire him for Ozzie Guillen now, right?

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  10. Risk Management says:

    What? A player with a personality? Can’t overshadow a stodgy old manager working for holier than thou ownership. Great time to be a Marlin fan. Right.

    I personally hope LoMo finds his way to Francona or Farrell in short time.

    Tweet soon Logan.

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    • RC says:

      LoMO would be in the same situation with Francona if he was tweeting about how shitty the organization is.

      Publicly insulting your employer and expecting no consequences is the height of stupidity.

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      • cavebird says:

        It’s a little trickier when you cannot choose your employer, which is true in professional sports for young players but not many other fields. You have to feel for him; everyone in creation blasts the Marlins’ management (for good reason) and he is stuck in a position where he is one of the few for whom doing so has consequences.

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      • RC says:

        We have 10% unemployment right now. Not a lot of people can choose their employer right now.

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  11. LeviDavis says:

    Yeah, sorry Cameron, it may have been a good move or bad one on their part, but it is hard to cast blame on them for not giving a full explanation of Morrison, as you say, walked out in the middle of the explanation. In all likelihood, it may never have gone beyond “You’re hitting .249,” but by walking out and demonstrating very poor maturity, Morrison let them off the hook.

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    • jaywrong says:

      levi, you’ve prolly done some asshat things when you were 23, we all have. so to pass judgement like that is pretty ridiculous.

      based on what i’ve read, both are to blame, but the responsibility lies with the organization.

      this whole thing is a silly charade.

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      • LeviDavis says:

        Yes I did. But my age did not make them any less asshat. And and where did I pass judgement? I specifically said that you can’t. He did demonstrate poor maturity, age doesn’t make a difference. And he did let them off the hook by walking out. He should have stayed, heard it out and had the full explanation to hold against them. I don’t think he is a bad person for handling the situation poorly, but he did handle it poorly.

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      • jaywrong says:

        Right, but the onus of handling it properly is on management. They are supposed to be the smart ones. In this case, both do look bad, but the Marlins look worse… which is what I gathered from all the reports, including Dave’s opinion.

        Age usually makes a difference on the planet I’m on btw. If a 38 year old were acting like this, then he’s immature. If a 23 year old is doing this, I am giving the kid tons of slack. I’m 28 and don’t blame him one bit.

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      • RC says:

        The onus is on management until the player walks out on the conversation. Management can’t follow him to his house and explain.

        If Logan Morrison wants to be treated like an adult, he needs to act like one.

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      • cavebird says:

        LeviDavis: I don’t get this sentence. You state “He did demonstrate poor maturity, age doesn’t make a difference.” I don’t see how that can be true as maturity is a concept inherently relative to age. A very mature six-year-old, for example, is usually not as mature as an immature 16 year-old. While he probably should have heard the whole explanation, starting off with batting average is a bit ridiculous, and the release of Helms at the same time shows exactly why they did what they did–of course, they couldn’t tell him that because of union grievance reasons.

        Anybody else notice that anytime anyone is critical of Hanley Ramirez that they end up out of the organization or otherwise punished? I wonder if he’ll run a player back to the dugout in favor of someone else soon.

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      • LeviDavis says:

        cavebird: When a 6 year old acts immature, it is still immature. When a 6 year old throws a tantrum, it is immature, but that is what 6 year olds do. You don’t hold it against him as a character flaw. When a 40 year old acts immature, it is immature. But by that time, he should know better, and to some degree it is appropriate to hold it against him. I don’t consider it a character flaw that Morrison handled the situation poorly, I don’t hate him, I don’t think he is a idiot. I simply think he handled the situation poorly. A lot of 23 year olds would have handled it the same or worse. A lot would have handled it better. That is what 23 year olds do. It is funny how people infer more into what I’m saying than I am so they can have something to argue about.

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  12. Tim says:

    Maybe the Rays should send Evan Longoria and his .233 batting average down to Triple A Durham too?

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  13. bringurzgame says:

    Anthopolous is licking his lips.

    “Under-appreciated malcontent who has pissed off his club…how many relievers will it take Florida”? #jerkball.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Hanzel says:

      Douchebags: The new market inefficiency.

      (I don’t think LoMo is a douche FTR)

      +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      At some poijnt signing a bunch of talented players that have had problems with attitude, demeanor, accepting criticism, etc is going to backfire.

      My guess is that happens when real expectations are placed upon them, and the poop starts to hit the fan.

      Right now everything is great while they’re battling for 3rd/4th place. When it comes down to having to beat BOS or NYY for 2nd place and a wildcard spot, and these players’ performances come under closer scrutiny and higher expectations … their attitude/personality may come through differently than expected.

      I’m not sure “young, talented, pouters” is the market efficiency you build a playoff team on.

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      • The Nicker says:

        I couldn’t disagree with you more.

        First, you’re making the assumption that the guys the Jays have picked up are Milton Bradley. They’re not.

        Second, there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that douchebags (for lack of a better word) perform worse under pressure. I would be surprised if you really even believe that, yet you basically stated that in your above post.

        Third, have you ever, ever, ever in your life found the going tougher when you’re winning more? It makes no sense. Sure, the pressure might be higher, but I will take winning 90 games over winning 75 games anytime as far as stress goes.

        You can use Boston, New York, or even St Louis if you want, but those relate to places not success. Playing (baseball) in Toronto will never be as stressful as playing in New York, so it’s not even comparable. On the other hand, if you think it’s a pressurized situation to play for a 95-win Yankees team, imagine how tough it would be if the Yanks were only on pace to win 75 games.

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      • Hanzel says:

        Have you watched a Jays game recently?

        Not much pouting going on with Rasmus/Escobar/Lawrie/Joey Bats.

        Aaron Hill has that market cornered.

        I don’t think the idea is to bring in guys who will remain pouty forever. Rather identify players who are unhappy with their current situation and who are at their core decent people who will respond positively to a different environment.

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      • Mark says:

        Let’s look at the guys they’ve picked up:

        Escobar, a flashy guy, who an old school manager didn’t approve of. Fans called his mistakes lazy, in the same vein that Carlos Beltran is “lazy”. Which is a poor way of saying “He’s very talented and when he makes a mistake it looks like he’s not trying even though a similar player making the same mistake is forgiven and forgotten about”. It’s a double standard in all sports that very talented players get.

        I’ve watched Escobar for over a year and a half yet, and I still haven’t seen the supposed lazy or attitude problems. I see a top 5 SS.

        Rasmus – A guy who didn’t get along with TLR. Colour me shocked. I guess Scott Rolen’s a terrible, underachiever too, who cracks under the pressure and will never be a winner, cause he didn’t get along with him either.

        Like someone else said – these guys aren’t Milton Bradley. They’re not clubhouse cancers, and they have significant upside. I don’t see an issue with picking up talented players.

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      • Mr. wOBAto says:

        Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and a whole lot of HOF might disagree with you. None of those guys were nice people, at least not in the warm fuzzy Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, or Stan Musial mold.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Nowhere did I say they were anywhere close to being Milton Bradley. Thanks for taking my sentiment, altering it, and then running wild proving it wrong.

        The 3 players mentioned in this thread (LoMo, Yunel, and Rasmus) all had their performance questioned/criticized by their organizations. Neither of them responded positively to it.

        Yunel and Colby are currently playing in a low pressure environment where expectations are low, and no one has criticized them or asked to change anything.

        My point was that TOR has not been in the position yet where they’ve had to say anything negative about Yunel and Colby. We can’t evaluate that situation.

        If both guys continue to perform very well, then there’ll be no issues. That is possible.

        You don;t want a team based on guys that cannot and do not handle criticism well.

        ———————————-

        As for personal experience … I have experienced this as well and been on multiple teams where similar players are outstanding when everything’s going well, and flat-out whiny pussies when it doesn’t.

        When criticized by a coach, their first reaction is to want a different coach (rather than consider the criticism and what can be done to correct the problem).

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      • The Nicker says:

        “As for personal experience … I have experienced this as well and been on multiple teams where similar players are outstanding when everything’s going well, and flat-out whiny pussies when it doesn’t.

        When criticized by a coach, their first reaction is to want a different coach (rather than consider the criticism and what can be done to correct the problem).”

        Right, but even if this general rule could be applied to all guys with bad attitudes (it can’t), then this would be a reason not to send guys with bad attitudes to poor teams, not teams in pennant races.

        Your argument really doesn’t add up to me.

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  14. sambruin98 says:

    Irrespective of Morrison walking out, starting the conversation by hiding behind a .249 batting average is not the way to go about things. Also, there was another dust-up between LoMo and the Marlins right before this no-show incident: http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/logan_morrison_demoted_due_to_photos_and_bowling/6134932

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LeviDavis says:

      Oh, I agree that it was chicken-sh!t, all I’m saying is you can’t make assumptions on what they would or would not have said if he had stayed in the room and cast blame on them based on your assumptions. I think they did wrong by him and the fans, but we can’t assume things would have happened and then hold those things against them. They give us plenty of things that they actually do to hold against them already.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Nathan says:

    I think the biggest credibility hit the Marlins take is that you can’t honestly tell your fans (what few you have left, by the look of it) you’re trying to win baseball games after making a move like this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Rudegar says:

    18,000 is a bullish number. Probably closer to 1800.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brooks says:

      My thoughts exactly. During the Braves series a few days ago, official attendance was announced as ~21,000 a game. There MIGHT have been 3000 people there, if 1000 of them were hiding in the bathroom.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bryz says:

        They’re most likely reporting sold tickets, not actual people in the ballpark.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        Well, when you sell tickets for $3, you can’t be surprised when people buy tickets and then fail to show up.

        Then again, I don’t know why anyone would buy Marlins tix in advance.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gomez says:

      Maybe the Marlins think they’re supposed to announce cumulative weekly attendance instead of single-game totals.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Blob says:

    I’d walk out of the room if someone mentioned my batting average too. If you are going to waste my time evaluating me by junk stats, then I have better things to do.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mr. wOBAto says:

      Dexter Fowler and Chris Iannetta agree

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • You realize that the average MLB player isn’t up to date on leading edge statistical analysis, right? Just call it the “Joe Morgan” paradigm. A .327 OBP isn’t exactly great for a left fielder, either.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      I would LOVE to see you explain your sabermetric evaluation to an MLB player, especially a young one … AND have him respect your evaluation (especially during a demotion).

      In short, I’m saying you don;t know what you’re talking about.

      I agree that using BA as a primary evaluation instrument is not a good idea. I am strongly disagreeing with explaining it to players in a sabermetric way and expecting them to both understand and respect the decision.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Illicit Drug says:

        I think you are insulting the collective intelligence of the players. There are plenty of players that would see the logic in the idea that making outs 70% of the time is usually worse than making outs 60% of the time, regardless of batting average.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        I wish I were not. IMHO, I’m speaking on reality.

        I still have some MLB and MiLB connections and get to talk to professional players once in a while. I have a few more connections at the college level, and many more at the high school level. Players, in general, do not understand what we think they understand.

        As a college player, I was amazed at how many of teammates didn;t watch baseball, couldn’t rattle off stats, couldn’t name world series champions, etc … they simply played baseball, and were good at it.

        My perference is that players would understand and be familiar with these concepts. My experience is that they are not.

        You’d also think that they would have a full and complete understanding of pitching/hitting mechanics as well, but I have rarely found that to be the case.

        It’s actually kind of amazing. But, they do what they are good at and that is play the game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        Its the same reason that players seem to make terrible analysts as a whole.

        Most of them aren’t superstars because they understand the game intricately. They’re superstars because they do something very well.

        A player like Manny Ramirez doesn’t need to know whether a bunt is a good or bad thing. He just needs to know how to square the bat up on the ball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ralpo Fragg says:

      Yeah I can’t wait for Iannetta to be traded to a team that actually appreciates his talent and bats him higher in the lineup than the backup catcher.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Doug Lampert says:

      Funny, if my boss calls me into his office and starts the conversation with an obvious bit of nonsence, I may argue with him, I may attempt to correct him, but if I just walk out on him it had better be to clean out my desk on my way out the door and onto the unemployment line.

      The employment relationship is straightforward, they give me money, I do what they tell me as long as it is legal and morally acceptable. That means I show up at work related socials that are not mandatory unless I actually have something important to do, in which case I applogise for not being there, it means I listen when the boss or supervisor talks.

      Missing a photo-op with customers because you don’t think it’s part of your job? Excuse me? Really? Being reasonably polite to customers is job one in almost any field. Walking out on a conference with management? In what world is that acceptable behavior for an employee?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mr. wOBAto says:

        If your boss fired you tomorrow would 29 other companies be at your door offering millions of dollars? If not then the situations aren’t the same are they?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jorgath says:

        No, Mr. wOBAto, but neither would they be for LoMo. He literally cannot play for any MLB team but the Marlins until he reaches his arb years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Doug Lampert says:

        And in fact if my boss fired me it’s a near certainty that I could get another job at comparable pay, despite the current job market.

        And even if he COULD work for someone else (which he can’t), and even if I COULDN’T work for anyone else (which I can), this is irrelevant to the fact that walking out on your boss is stupid and wrong, and a bad idea even if he does start a conversation with something as innane as batting average.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. LTG says:

    I find it more disturbing that the Marlins released Helms for reporting what LoMo’s contract makes mandatory. If Helms did not have a guaranteed contract, that would clearly be an illegal union breaking action.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Nichaolas Brahan says:

    LoMo deserves to be sent to single A if anything. They guy just flat out can’t hit worth a darn and he pretty much plays first base like a friggen statue. He is easily one of the worst guys on the team and he has a rotten attitude and obviously can’t play well with others. I say the sooner we ship him off the team the better.

    -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Telo says:

    Wow. I can’t remember the last “Spite demotion”. Can anyone come up with one?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. MX says:

    Wasn’t Kenny Williams in talks with FLA last year about shipping Guillen to the Fish for Morrison? As ridiculous as it sounded at the time, it sounds distinctly less so now, given the organization’s obvious disdain for Logan and their employment of a rather elderly man as their manager. If Kenny is not on the phone right now (perhaps discussing a package of Guillen and FLA fav/Chicago villain Juan Pierre), consider me sorely disappointed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. dan says:

    It’s not just the overall average, it’s that he’s taken a nose-dive since the start of the year. .200 with 9 extra-base hits since the All-Star break. That doesn’t play very well in LF. When a young player is struggling, sending him down to the minors to work through it is a logical solution.

    Plus it sounds like the kid could use a dose of humility.

    The Marlins have kept their mouths shut, and I think they’re coming off as the classy ones in this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • James says:

      He could/would probably start in LF on a lot of teams – the entire NL West (other than AZ), the entire AL West (other than Texas), both Chicagos, Minnesota, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston… simply put, his offense this season does cut it in LF.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Drakos says:

      The problem with sending him down to the minors because he’s struggling is that he’s been hitting better in August than either June or July. You usually don’t wait until a player starts turning it around to demote them.

      And it’s not mentioned here but Morrison canceled a charity event last week in part because he felt like the organization didn’t do it’s part and he was apparently pretty unhappy because of that. If he was upset that the organization wasn’t supporting what he was trying to do off the field it’s reasonable to think that he’d be reluctant to support the organization off the field.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        In July he hit .212/.272/.462.

        He’s hitting .250/.340/.444 in August. 8 of the 10 games in that sample are part of a homestand, so I’m not sure its as much “hitting better” as it is “hitting at home”.

        Still, I’m not sure those are the sorts of slash lines that keep a kid from getting demoted.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Drakos says:

        We’re already nitpicking with samples this size but his wRC+ in July was 96 and it’s 120 in August. For his career his home wRC+ is 20 points higher than his road wRC+. So if every at bat in July was on the road maybe I could buy that the difference in August was just hitting at home.

        Still, I’m not sure that a 23 year old with a 120 wRC+ over the last 10 games should be getting demoted for performance. ;)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. bob says:

    It’s pretty obvious that LoMo is the new fan favorite after they shipped off the old fan favorite, Cody Ross (hmm, anyone see a pattern here?). They only hurt their credibility with the fan base by sending him down to the minors. If they wanted to discipline him, they should’ve benched him a few days or fined him. But sending the fan favorite down to the minors is not something they want to do at a time when they’re trying to convince fans to support the team at their new ballpark and boost their abysmal attendance numbers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • noseeum says:

      I agree with Bob. If they had an issue, benching seems to be the better option.

      It seems they didn’t communicate this at all to LoMo before Sunday, so the logical conclusion is it’s tied to what happened on Saturday.

      If you’re thinking a guy who’s been in your starting lineup for over a year might need some time in AAA for performance reasons, and this particular player is considered a key cog in the team’s future, you might want to ease into that.

      Perhaps have a few private sessions to tell him he’s regressed in certain areas. Have him spend time working on it. Then tell him you’re thinking a couple of weeks down on the farm working might benefit him in the long run. So then when it happens, he accepts it and goes to work.

      When you just surprise the whole world with something like this, including the player, it’s not the most productive method of going about things whether you “have the right to” or not. They just completely alienated a very talented 23 year old player. That’s a dumb move no matter what you think of the player’s attitude.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. BJ says:

    So, Wes Helms gets booted. Conspiracy theorists assume it’s because of his role with the Union. Might it be 191 BA / 238 wOBA / 43 wRC+? I’m sure actively undermining the position of his employer didn’t help either.

    With Morrison the incident says a LOT more about him than it does the club. As others have noted here is what we DON’T know:

    1. Is Morrison’s account honest and accurate?
    2. Was BA the only justification or is that all he heard before he walked out?
    3. Has Morrison been counseled before about his behavior/attitude?
    4. Has Morrison been struggling with specific on the field instruction?

    I can think of many different scenarios that make complete sense from the Marlins perspective to make a move like this. If the club feels like they need to get Morrison grounded again (either in attitude or baseball skills) then sending him down now makes perfect sense. The club has 0% chance for success this year. His demotion won’t affect the attendance/revenues this season.

    What’s the risk here? If he goes down and learns something then it was well worth it. If he goes down and learns nothing they still don’t lose anything. It’s absolutely a smart move if the team feels that Morrison legitimately needs to work on his skills/attitude.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hunterfan says:

      If what is being reported is true, Wes Helms didn’t “actively undermine his employer” as you put it. He has a duty as a union representative, and if another player comes to him and asks, “Am I contractually obligated to do X?” Wes Helms has a duty to his role as a union representative to answer him honestly.

      And if the Marlins consider Wes Helms actually performing his function as player representative to be “actively undermining” them, then they have bigger problems.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Technically, Michael Hill is GM, not Beinfest. Not that the Marlins’ front office isn’t basically a massive hissing many-headed Loria-hydra of cheapness.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. NTP_Nate says:

    I feel like Dave’s larger point is being glossed over. Whatever the Marlins’ actual motivation for demoting Morrison and cutting Helms loose, they aren’t an organization that has earned the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there are legitimate performance issues that justify a AAA tune-up for LoMo, and maybe the front office just woke up and noticed Helms was terrible, but the timing of the two moves is suspicious at best. At worst, it’s pretty clearly retaliatory. Anyone want to go on record as saying that’s outside the realm of possibility?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      Usually the simplest explantion is the correct one.

      Helms Sucks.

      Morrison is playing below replacement level ball.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Small Sample Goodness says:

        Morrison is a win above replacement per FG’s.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        For the season, yeah.

        For the last 2 months(~200 PA) he’s played poor defense and put up a .670 OPS. With a .270!!!!!! OBP.

        Thats certainly below replacement level.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Small Sample Goodness says:

        Yup, nevermind the good numbers, they don’t count.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        My statement was that he hasn’t been playing good baseball, he’s been playing below replacement level, and since the end of May, thats been true.

        How he hit in May isn’t really relevant if you’re sending him down to fix holes in his swing. The holes weren’t there in May, now they are, and they need to be fixed.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jim says:

        albert pujols played below replacement ball for a while this season, would you send him down too?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        jim,

        Is that really a fair comparison?

        One player has the track record of 9 all-time great seasons and is reputed to have an ideal work ethic and discipline.

        The other is a 2nd year player that has lacked discipline, displaying poor approach at the plate, and being generally onery with the organization.

        Personally, I would treat both situations differently.

        My big rationale is that Florida doesn’t need LoMo to be a half-assed 2 WAR player. They need him to be a 4 WAR that he can be to provide enough additional value that need with their budget. They also need him to be that valuable so they can eventually trade him for prospects.

        FLO just needs LoMO be socially and basebally (on and off the field) disciplined and mature.

        Pujols has been that since day one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. hunterfan says:

    Could there be a reason the Marlins have to hide behind the batting average aspect? Maybe the Marlins think LoMo is an immature kid who speaks his mind too much and tweets too much, but if they said that’s why he’s going down to AAA could that be grounds for a legitimate grievance?

    Maybe they have to hide behind vague performance related reasons?

    (I ask because I don’t know in MLB specifically, but I do know in many other jobs, it is stupid to tell someone “you’ve been demoted because we don’t like you” because you open yourself up for a lawsuit/grievance.)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      There’s no reason to. He’s put up a .207/.272/.409 slash line over his last .200 plate appearances, while looking terrible in the field.

      The performance reasons aren’t vague at all. He’s playing terrible. (walks down, K’s up, LDs down, GB up, etc)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jorgath says:

      “You’ve been demoted because we don’t like you” is an opening for a grievance, but “You’ve been demoted because you talk too much about things we’d rather not be public, and aren’t required to make public, and we’ve warned you about in the past” is legit. Much as I think Loria’s a…[stream of expletives].

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. AndyS says:

    Maybe it’s secretly a service time thing?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Nathan says:

    Hard to blame LoMo for any of the things he has said or the way he’s reacted. By all accounts, the Marlins are the worst organization in baseball to work for, especially as a player.

    I’m not saying LoMo is the perfect example of maturity. But it’s a lot easier for a guy in his early 20s to learn some maturity when his employer and the people he spends most of his time with are mature themselves. And obviously that’s not the case down in Florida. “Do as I say, not as I do” is only worth so much.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      I don’t agree. Yes, the marlins are a terrible organization, but it looks like they’re doing the right thing here.

      You’ve got a potential superstar who is having some serious problems at the plate, and has developed some bad habits (hes swinging at everything), so you demote him to get some hands on time with some hitting coaches, against easier competition where he won’t press so hard.

      Also, sometimes young, super talented athletes need to be told they’ve failed to get them to put in some work. Morrison’s never really had any setbacks, and now hes having one. (his .272 OBP the last couple months). How he deals with this will tell us whether he can become the stud he was drafted to be, or whether hes the next jeremy Hermida.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Johnny Tunafish says:

    Hiding behind the .249 average is bad, but LoMo is a moodier and temper prone version of Nick Swisher. He deserves to be sent down after storming out of the room like a 5 year old and not listening to the rest of the exclamation.

    Although I do not like LoMo, the Marlins will have a big PR issue on their hands with their 500 fans. Days before his demotion, LoMo gave free tickets to nearly all of his followers on Twitter at his own expense. I can’t imagine these fans are too happy with Marlins’ brass.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. thomkay07 says:

    MORRISON’S ACCOUNT IS ACCURATE!

    Mlb.com quote from President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest:
    “I never thought we’d see Logan hitting in the .240s, ever,” Beinfest said. “Obviously, he’s a much better hitter than he’s shown. I’m not going to pin that on it as a specific, but he needs to work on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer, and then he’ll come back here.”

    You don’t demote a 23 year old for being an above average hitter instead of the All-Star you hope he can one day be.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      “You don’t demote a 23 year old for being an above average hitter instead of the All-Star you hope he can one day be.”

      If you think you can fix it by demoting him, you absolutely do.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      And to Add, he hasn’t been an above average hitter since mid may.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bc says:

      Well, in the same quote Beinfest says he doesn’t want “to pin” the demontion on hitting specifically, because Morrison “needs to work on ALL aspects of being a Major Leaguer”. It’s not fair to say the Marlins are hiding behind his .249 batting average as the exclusive reason for the demotion. Morrison is not hitting well, to be sure. But he also has other issues. The front office is just not spelling out the latter part in all the gory details to the media because that’s not how you handle these types of problems if you’re professional about it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • thomkay07 says:

        Read Steve Balboni’s comment below. Due to the CBA, the players union won’t be happy with a player being sent down because the front office doesn’t get along with him.

        The Marlins are sending one of their only decent hitters down to AAA, where he’ll…what? Get better by hitting against scrubs? He’s already proven himself down there.

        This move demonstrates that the Marlins do not care about winning games this year anymore than they care about their fans.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        He’s also a terrible defender. There’s plenty of reason to send him down without getting to the whole “He’s an asshat”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      but he needs to work on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer,

      That’s a nice way of saying that LoMo needs to stop being a douche or a jag, and stop hacking at everything and not striking it well.

      There are probably more off-field situations that we do not know of.

      FLO is out of it in 2011. If they send LoMo down and he “gets the message” and makes the necessary changes, and comes back better in 2012 … that’s the goal.

      It also sends a message to other young talented players that make come up to ML and think they are “too good for the marlins”.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Nicker says:

        Ok, so what if he rakes in AAA, and he comes back next year raking in the majors, but he still doesn’t tone done his twitter use?

        What will the Marlins do then?

        You criticize so many people on this website (and rightly so) for making assumptions about off-the-field behavior or non-measurable intangibles, and then you come back with the “have faith in the Marlins (the MARLINS!?!)” argument to argue that LoMo must have had more incidents that we’re aware of. :grins:

        Do you know how many guys in the league are performing slightly under expectations right now? Do you know how many young guys are underperforming their true talent level? Because if what you’re supposed to do is take a young guy putting up a league average season (not below league average, but league average) when he has the talent to do better, and send him down to AAA, then I’m expecting the demotions of Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, BJ Upton, Colby Rasmus, Gordon Beckham, Ian Desmond, and Danny Valencia later this week.

        But guess what, none of those guys are going to get demoted. Do you know why? Because it makes no sense to demote a talented young 2 WAR player. They are way too good to spend time in the minor leagues learning to do anything better there. I suppose if they were blocked positionally or something, maybe it would make sense temporarily, but that’s not the case here.

        You appear to really be grasping at straws to rationalize this move by the Marlins and I’m not really sure why.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        Because he knows a couple pros and coaches some crappy teenagers. He obviously is an expert on running an MLB franchise.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. joshcohen says:

    assumption: the marlins have counciled LoMo on what they deem “professional behavior/responsibilities” to be. are we sure his professionalism isn’t a major component in his demotion?

    we see this again and again. coaches fine players for not being early to meetings, being insubordinate, etc (yet things like drunk driving don’t often rate). i remember earlier this year, vance worley ripped management for saying they were putting him in a position to lose. they sent him down that day. isn’t that par for the course?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Steve Balboni says:

    Swing & miss on a key input to this story: the CBA governs the conditions under which the Marlins can send LoMo down. So an explanation that wins credibility in your eyes is less important than an explanation that comports to the CBA.

    And I imagine their old-fart fan base probably enjoys seeing a cocky kid get his comeuppance, so this may win credibility where it counts. That’s a side-bar issue, though.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Kevin says:

    I may have missed it, but has anyone noticed that Hanley is only batting .243 and I’m pretty sure he has acted just as badly as Morrison has.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Ingy says:

    Logan Morrison needs to learn respect. All of this crap like Facebook and Twitter is ruining this generation. Look at the youth today organizing RIOTS on Twitter… flash mobs… black kids attacking white people… pants hanging down to their ankles and rap music being played loud at all hours of the night. Young fans today need to see that this won’t be tolerated, and it seems that Logan Morrison hasn’t been respecting the team that DOES NOT EVEN OWN HIM AN EXPLANATION. Seriously, they can send him down for any or no reason at all. He needs to work harder, shut up, and let his play on the field do the talking. If he would tweet less and hit more, this wouldn’t happen.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. Maybe they’ll trade him to the A’s or Mets, a fitting retribution if he doesn’t like a numbers approach to baseball. I can see it now, Beane or Alderson giving him shit over his OPS.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Telo2 says:

    How come nobody is talking about the Chris Coughlin situation? He was the ROY and was demoted but then “put on the DL”….The Marlins are doing some FISHY things.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. Page says:

    It’s really frustrating and said to read this, as a diehard Marlins fan. Living and growing up in Miami, you want to have at least a respectable team that you can feel proud of. There’s a reason why Miami doesn’t care about a team that manages to float above mediocrity and stall out below true success, and Dave just touched on it. There’s no credibility. They don’t give the slightest effort to win and it doesn’t help that Sampson and his daddy Loria are completely incompetent. It’s truly maddening to think talents like LoMo, Big Mike, JJ, and Hanley are going to be wasted before they win anything real here in Miami.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Slats says:

    All will be forgiven when they are known as the Miami Marlins.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. CircleChange11 says:

    I don’t have any additional insight into the LoMo situation than anyone else does. What I am saying is that he wouldn’t be the first young player to be sent down to get his crap together.

    If he were putting up 4 WAR, it’d probably be a different situation. They have also tried different approaches with him previously without success.

    As for the comment regarding speaking with some pro players, that was simply in reference to them not speaking sabermetrically. I thought that was obvious. If there is evidence that players, as a group, value and understand sabermetrics I would love to change my opinion.

    I just don’t agree that demoting gim means 5lorida is a dumb org. They may be dumb, but not for demoting him. They need him to be compliant and/or be more productive. A team can put up with a lot of crap with a 5 WAR playee, but toleratw much less from a 2 WAR player that they want to be a cornerstone.

    I also think if Rasmus were putting up 4-5 WAR he’d still be in StL.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. Ned Colletti says:

    Wait guys….what’s this “OBP” that you speak of?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  42. Jonathan says:

    I can imagine it’s difficult to play on a team with an owner who rewards and publicly felates such angels like Hanley Ramirez yet gets on you for Tweeting the truth. I understand the talent difference but Hanley by all accounts is a MISERABLE teammate, lazy and close to uncoachable but Loria loves him and demotes Morrison. Double standards must be difficult to take when Hanley is hitting .243 and is a total dbag but he gets praised by ownership and Morrison gets demoted for hitting 6 point higher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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