Sunday, August 14, 2011

Morrison Demotion a Twitter Bonanza

Logan Morrison was demoted after yesterday's game to the Marlins' Triple A affiliate. The news broke on Twitter, which has truly become the place to be for such events. Several of the beat writers that cover the Marlins have lustily included the Twitter riot the demotion has caused in their newspaper columns. This Twitter phenomenon, one that made Morrison one of the most popular players in the major leagues, is probably at its zenith. Yes, this is the new world.

This writer can't add much to the cacophony of what is already been written about the demotion. The current speculation is that the Marlins weren't happy with the player's candid statements concerning Hanley Ramirez. Perhaps the final straw was when Morrison refused to participate in a photo event with season ticket holders before the game. It doesn't seem coincidental that Wes Helms was released as he too missed that photo op.

The current opinion around the Fan's follows is that this is not about Logan Morrison's play. Yes, he's slumped since early June. Yes, his batting average is disappointing. But how can you demote a guy based solely on the fact that he is second on his team in slugging and third on the team in OPS? How many players have been demoted to the minors with an OPS+ over 110? Not many. So the opinions that this is more than just a performance demotion seem solid. Morrison's own statements seem to confirm those opinions.

But if there is an off-field problem, wouldn't it have been wiser simply to suspend the guy for a few games instead of weakening your team by demoting him? Seriously, is Bryan Peterson a better player than Logan Morrison? Please!

The Marlins probably don't understand that they have a serious PR problem here. No matter what their stance, Logan Morrison has over 59,000 followers on Twitter. He has, like it or not, become the face of the franchise and his demotion comes just a couple of months before the end of a season that was supposed to lead into the glory of their new stadium next season. This probably wasn't how the franchise drew up how to build excitement for next season.

And that's how Twitter has changed the world. Not only is Logan Morrison the poster child of the social media era, that world-changing phenomenon now creates the buzz for baseball teams more than just what happens on the field. Social media has been like a tidal wave that has washed over traditional media outlets and LoMo was one of its stars. Now that star--who was not that awful on the field for the Marlins in a sea of mediocrity--is creating a nightmarish backlash on a team parked in a stressful financial situation to begin with.

Logan Morrison is the second highest trending topic on Twitter today. It's not a good day for the Marlins.

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