Tag:Logan Morrison
Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Marlins job is the best . . . or the worst

In Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison, the Marlins have some of the best young players in baseball. They have a new stadium set to open next year.

They have a talented and creative front office.

Who wouldn't want to manage this team?

In Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins have an eccentric owner who is always convinced his team should be in the playoffs, but rarely convinced that he should pay for it. In David Samson, they have a club president who, to be blunt, is one of the least-liked people in the game. They have a new ballpark coming, yes, but many people who know the South Florida market are convinced it's in the wrong location and will never solve their attendance problems. And they're in the National League East, quickly becoming one of the best -- and maybe one of the biggest-spending -- divisions in baseball.

Who would want to manage this team?

There are times I think the Marlins job is a great one, so great that I could believe Bobby Valentine would want it, so great that I could believe Ozzie Guillen would leave his "second father," White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, for it.

"The next year or two, they will really be heard from," one baseball person familiar with the Marlins said on Sunday, after Edwin Rodriguez resigned as the team's latest manager. "Those young kids just need to be toughened up."

Those young kids are incredibly talented. Johnson, currently on the disabled list, is mentioned every year as a possible Cy Young winner. Scouts can't stop talking about Stanton, who has as much raw power as any player in baseball. And while Ramirez is in the midst of a hugely disappointing season, he's a 27-year-old three-time All-Star who has already won a batting title.

A month ago, when the Marlins were one game out of first place in the NL East, it was easy to believe that they would stay in the race all year. People were asking how Loria would deal with Rodriguez having all this success, when everyone knew the owner really wanted Ozzie Guillen as his manager.

Then came the collapse, which also tells you something about these Marlins players. One Marlins person complained that players spent too much time "pouting" after Loria ordered hitting coach John Mallee fired last week.

Maybe they do need to be toughened up. Maybe the right manager will turn this team into the playoff contender that Loria has always claimed they should be.

But remember the obstacles. Loria is a George Steinbrenner, but without the big spending. The NL East features the great Phillies and the outstanding (and young) Braves, along with the Nationals (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann and a willingness to spend big) and the Mets (big problems now, but with the New York market to draw on, big potential ahead).

This is either the best job in baseball, or the worst. I'll let you know when I figure out which one it is.


Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 9:11 pm
 

Sabean is emotional, but this is time for reason

OK, we get it. The Giants are upset that they lost their young catcher and cleanup hitter.

No one who likes baseball should be happy that Buster Posey got hurt.

And yet the discussion about what to do about plays at the plate is one that is absolutely worth having. Some people say that we wouldn't be talking about it if this were Eli Whiteside instead of Buster Posey, but that's irrelevant, because this is something we should be talking about.

But it's time to talk about it calmly. It's time to get over the emotion of the moment.

That's what Joe Torre needed to remind Giants general manager Brian Sabean, after Sabean's radio tirade Thursday. And that, according to sources, is exactly what Torre was expected to tell Sabean, when they spoke Friday.

After Sabean spoke with Torre, in Torre's new role as baseball's executive vice president, the Giants issued a statement saying that their general manager had spoken out of frustration, and also that Sabean was trying to reach Cousins to speak with him.

The frustration is understandable. And Sabean is an emotional guy. Baseball could use more colorful GMs like him.

But baseball doesn't need GMs issuing veiled threats to players on other teams.

"If I never hear from [Scott] Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy," Sabean said Thursday on KNBR, the Giants' flagship radio station.

He also said that the Giants will have a "long memory."

Meanwhile, according to Jim Bowden on Twitter, Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison said Friday that Sabean's comments were "ignorant and inappropriate," and "immature and unprofessional," in an appearance on MLB Network Radio.

But it's not just Sabean. Earlier this week, while covering the Giants' series in St. Louis, New York Times writer Tyler Kepner suggested on Twitter that "spending two days around the Giants, I get the strong sense that I would not want to be Scott Cousins the next time those teams play."

Again, we get it. The Giants are upset. But focusing on how angry they are does them -- and us -- no good.

What we do need, over the next few months, is a reasoned discussion of the best way to protect catchers.

A few things to keep in mind:

-- Plays at the plate are totally different from plays at other bases. Tony La Russa compared it to plays at first base, but those are almost always force plays and plays at the plate (especially those involving collisions) almost never are. Others have compared it to plays at second base, but the second baseman or shortstop never stands in between the baserunner and the base.

-- If you want to totally eliminate collisions, you'd also need to totally bar catchers from blocking the plate (or even standing in the baseline in front of the plate). There seems little sentiment for that drastic a change.

-- Yes, Cousins could have avoided the collision. But even with many of the rules changes proposed, there's a real chance he wouldn't have been called out, because Posey was close enough for the plate for the runner to assume that the catcher would be in the way.

-- One reason Posey was hurt was that he put himself in the worst possible position -- on his knees.

-- Teaching catchers to make swipe tags and avoid collisions isn't really a solution, because that's exactly what the Giants taught Posey.

-- The real danger of blocking the plate may not be a horrific ankle injury like Posey's. As we learn more about concussions, you wonder if catchers blocking the plate in the traditional way (and falling backwards and potentially hitting their heads) are in even greater long-term danger.

-- The Giants have run into plenty of catchers themselves, most notably when J.T. Snow did it while making the last out of the 2003 Division Series against the Marlins. Of course, in that case, catcher Pudge Rodriguez had the ball, held onto it, and wasn't hurt.

It's a hugely complex issue. It's a discussion well worth having.

And, as much as possible, it's time to take all the heated emotions out of that discussion.

Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:46 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:08 pm
 

The Gaby Sanchez All-Star campaign

NEW YORK -- Joey Votto is the reigning MVP.

Albert Pujols is the best player in the game. Ryan Howard leads the league in RBI.

And Logan Morrison is trying to get Gaby Sanchez elected as the National League's All-Star first baseman.

I guess you can't blame a guy for trying. But you realize, Logan, this isn't going to be easy.

"I'm trying to get the awareness out there," the Marlins left fielder said Monday.

Morrison began his campaign over the weekend on Twitter, at @LoMoMarlins. He plans to continue it daily there, and vowed to take the campaign to the MLB network, and wherever else he can.

"I've got 25,000 [Twitter] followers, and if they all vote 25 times . . . " Morrison said.

If they all vote 25 times, it's still not going to be enough.

"It can't hurt, right?" Morrison said.

And what does Sanchez think of all this?

"He's politically correct," Morrison said. "He says he doesn't care, and just wants the team to win."

For the record, Sanchez is off to a fine start. He's a fine player, and if you didn't read colleague Scott Miller's column about him in spring training, it's still worth reading now.

And, as Morrison helpfully pointed out, Pujols is off to an uncharacteristic slow start. Votto and Howard aren't, but Pujols is.

Anyway, if you want to vote for Sanchez, go right ahead. It would certainly please Logan Morrison.

Just don't expect him to win.

Not at first base. Not in the National League.


Posted on: May 13, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Ruiz, Young, Morrison all back from DL tonight

Three teams will get significant players back from the disabled list on Friday.

The Phillies are activating catcher Carlos Ruiz, who missed the last 12 games with a lower back strain. The Twins are activating Delmon Young, who missed the last 19 gaems with an oblique strain. And the Marlins are activating Logan Morrison, who was out 21 games with a sprained arch in his left foot.

The Phillies have rolled on in Ruiz's absence, going 8-4 without him. But if anything, Ruiz has raised his profile among scouts with his play this year. Just this week, a group of scouts were talking about how he now ranks very near the top of any list of major-league catchers.

Ruiz takes Brian Schneider's roster spot. Schneider went on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

Ruiz played in a rehabilitation game Thursday night for Class A Clearwater, as did Chase Utley and Roy Oswalt. The Phillies have been quiet on a projected date for Utley's return, but it's worth remembering that he tends to keep these rehab assignments as brief as possible. As for Oswalt, the Phils have been hoping he'll be able to start on Tuesday in St. Louis, although his lack of velocity Thursday night must be a concern.

The Twins haven't done nearly as well without Young, going 6-13 while he has recovered from a strained oblique. While Joe Mauer's health and Justin Morneau's struggles justifiably get more attention, Young's absence has been felt. Young drove in 112 runs last year, although he wasn't off to a great start (.228, 6 RBI in 16 games) before he got hurt.

The Twins optioned Rene Tosoni back to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Young.

Morrison was a big part of the Marlins' early-season success, hitting .327 with 11 RBI in 15 games. The Marlins went 12-9 in his absence.
 
 
 
 
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