The second the Miami Marlins were rumored to be close to signing free agent Garrett Jones, Logan Morrison knew he was on his way out of Miami. For whatever reason, the Fish did not feel that Morrison was the future of the organization at first base, so they signed his replacement and looked to trade him for value.
So when Morrison was finally dealt to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Carter Capps, it was no surprise that the always-talkative "LoMo" had something to say. He released an open letter to Marlins fans written before news of his trade came out. It begins as one might expect a Logan Morrison communique to start.
If you're reading this, I have already been traded ...
Doesn't have the same effect when it's not Morgan Freeman reading it in your head and it's not life and death. Either way, this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write, but I owe it to myself and the fans to try.
The rest of the letter remains serious and delves into Morrison's mixed feelings about leaving the only organization he has ever known. He goes into detail about the friendships he has made in Miami and the things he will miss about the organization.
It is an excellent read and worth your full attention. I will point out a few parts of it here, however.
People have speculated that I hold a grudge toward the Marlins for things that have happened in the past. I assure you that this isn't the case! Did we always see eye to eye? No, but when I look back on my time I will think far less about the bad times and far more about the good.
Contrary to public opinion, owner Jeffery Loria has been great and generous to my family in our greatest time of need. He let us use his plane to go to my father's funeral in Kansas City. Then (president of baseball operations) Mike Hill, (general manager) Dan Jennings and (president) David Samson attended the funeral. Obviously, they didn't have to do that. So, a special thank you to them as well.
It is so easy for us to bash owner Jeffrey Loria because of how he treats the on-field product, but we have heard countless positives about him and the players of the team. Morrison had no reason to regale us with a tale of Loria's actions during a difficult time in Morrison's life, but he did so anyway because he believed it is worth it for the fans to see another side of a much-maligned person in Marlins lore. The same goes for other front office and ownership types like David Samson.
If Morrison wanted to air out the dirty laundry, he could have done so here on his way out. It probably would not have served him well on his next team, but it would not have been surprising; after all, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle did it when they left Miami. Instead, Morrison assured the fans that the organization has been top notch and that there were no lingering problems from the much-cited 2011 incident.
Now, for the men I had the absolute pleasure of competing with day in day out: from Dan Uggla and Cody Ross, who taught me how to play in the big league, to my closest friends Scott Cousins, Bryan Petersen, Giancarlo Stanton, Ricky Nolasco and Gregg Dobbs. There are many others who have helped me immensely along the way, but I would get carpal tunnel if I mentioned all of them. I named these guys because it adds weight to how much they mean to me.
These are lifelong relationships and impressions that I will never forget. You lean on your teammates for advice on things from baseball matters to relationships with wives and girlfriends. I can honestly say that I love them with all my heart. They were and always will be a part of my family.
This is an excellent ode to a group of guys who have hung out together for a very long time. Morrison and Stanton went through parts of the minors together. Bryan Petersen and Scott Cousins did as well, and the group all became close friends. Greg Dobbs, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, and Ricky Nolasco served as "veterans" who taught Morrison how to act when he got in the majors, and while it did not always come out that way off the field, he was nothing but a professional on it.
And that may have hurt him in the end. One of the things I truly believe despite not having evidence is that Morrison's knee injury was exacerbated by playing in the outfield. But you only saw it in small instances in 2012, when the team put him back on outfield duty coming off of offseason knee surgery. Miami figured he was healthy enough to play, but it turned out that Morrison was toughing it out and may have hurt himself more trying to do what the team said than he would have by perhaps reporting the injury to the staff. Morrison did not want to let his teammates down, but it may have cost him and his career in the end.
I'm angry because I wasn't able to stay healthy enough to hold a trophy over my head and spray champagne in my teammates face.
The goal has always been to win a championship, and had everything not gone wrong in Miami in 2012, perhaps the Fish would have been in line to do such a thing. Alas, that group never worked out the way it was supposed to, and Miami is worse for wear because of that run. It is a shame, but Morrison did play a role in that team's downfall, and it was likely the closest Miami could have been to title aspirations.
I feel anxious because, I don't know where I'll end up. I don't believe I fear the unknown in this case. I think I'm just excited to find out where I'll be. I want to get it over with.
The rumors affect my family more than me. For those who don't know, I was raised a military brat. So, I am used to the gypsy life style. My wife has lived in Jupiter for nine years. She established roots that were just starting to blossom. She will have a harder time leaving than I will.
My sister-in-law moved down there to be a nurse, but more importantly to be with my wife. Now we will be leaving her by her lonesome. I feel more than terrible about this.
We often dismiss the family aspect of players being traded, and this is yet another example of why the Marlins will continue to struggle signing major free agents to long-term deals. If there is a constant fear of moving from city to city, then families of players cannot settle down, and there are a good number of guys with wives and children who are searching for that stability. Morrison was one of those players and he was lucky to be a young player in Miami and have that stability for a little while. But as his injuries mounted, the odds of him staying on the team decreased dramatically, and he and his family faced the likelihood that he would have to be dealt.
It is difficult to uproot yourself over and over again, and Morrison's example proves that. His family wanted to all come to Miami to be close, and now his move will send him and his wife elsewhere and leave his sister-in-law alone. This is one of the casualties of being an MLB player, especially one in Miami, and for some people this is an important aspect when deciding on a team.
As I read back over this, I realize that I am pretty terrible at writing about serious stuff. Sorry for wasting your time!
This was an excellent letter to say goodbye, LoMo, and you should not be ashamed. My relationship with you as a fan has always been rocky, given that you were such a likable person with your charity work, but also an occasional difficult (and entertaining) person with your Twitter feed. On the field, you were nothing but professional, but that may have cost you more than expected. It was tough being a fan of yours with all of the injury problems and ineffectiveness. But I appreciate your work for my team, and you tried your best.
Best of luck to you, Logan Morrison. Here's a salute back at you from Fish Stripes.
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