Miami MarlinsThis Day In Marlins History
On this date, August 13, 2011, the Florida Marlins took a stance against two players for their actions and released longtime "veteran bench presence" Wes Helms and demoted left fielder Logan Morrison to Triple-A over reportedly an incident involving a team photo session event for season ticket holders.
If you will recall, earlier in the day, Morrison missed a team photo session for season ticket holders earlier in the day, supposedly because Helms told him it was optional and that he should not show up. In addition, apparently Morrison was not happy with the preparations made for a bowling event that was supposed to happen earlier in the week that had to be cancelled. On the surface, that seemed to be the onus of the issue, as both Helms and Morrison were reprimanded in different ways.
Of course, as expected, there is always more to it than that, and with the Marlins and Morrison, there seemed to already be something of a checkered relationship.The Marlins had already expressed concerns about Morrison's Twitter activity and propensity to say a number of things that are not necessarily kosher to the organization. Remember, Morrison not only tends to say over-the-top, at times over-the-line things on Twitter, but he has also criticized the Marlins organization and its players. He was critical of the Fish for firing hitting coach John Mallee earlier in the year and got on the case of Hanley Ramirez for showing up late to a meeting and being unable to stay in the lineup due to injury.
There was much speculation that, despite the happenings of earlier that day, the reason for the Marlins' move was to silence Morrison. But after that day's game, in which Morrison played left field, he dispelled the notion that that was the cause.
Morrison believes there was more to the move than just his offensive struggles. An avid Twitter user that has drawn criticism from team president David Samson for his tweets, Morrison does not believe the demotion was a result of anything related to that.
"I don't think it's that," Morrison said. "I think it was something else, but I don't even know if I want to say it now. I want to talk to my agent and stuff like that."
What was the reason the Marlins gave? The strangest part of the story yet:
Morrison asked for the reasoning behind the team's decision, and he feels he did not get much of a response.
"They didn't give me anything," Morrison said. "I asked for an explanation and the one I got was, 'What are you hitting, .240?'"
Of course, even with that .249 batting average, Morrison was among the team's best hitters due to his sudden gain of power after a popless 2010 debut. Of course, Morrison said he walked out fairly quickly, so perhaps the team had more to say, but it was still a putrid excuse to demote a player, especially with extenuating circumstances surrounding his status with the team.
The chances were that the demotion had something to do with all of the above. Perhaps the Marlins were tired of Morrison's Twitter antics; this season, he has gotten into even more issues on Twitter (witness this most recent bit about Tweeting a photo of a breastfeeding mom). Perhaps missing that team event put Morrison in just enough trouble that the Fish wanted to send a message. If the team indeed wanted to blame his performance, then they are more foolish than we could have imagined, so it must have been a message to a fun-loving but immature player about being careful what you say.
Of course, all was quickly forgotten, as the Marlins promoted him back to the majors as soon as the mandatory 10-day period post-demotion was finished. Morrison's did not file a complaint with the player's association, and in all, everything was patched up in short order. The fact that Morrison is still doing his usual thing for the most part means the Marlins did not silence him, but may have toned him down a tad.