After establishing that Larry Beinfest’s track record of personnel moves since 2005 includes many mistakes [click here], imagine my surprise that Beinfest has now set his sights on David Samson’s record for unbelievable public statements. This from the SunSentinel’s J.C. Rodriguez about how the Morrison demotion was handled:
When the door opened to the media [after Saturday nights game], manager Jack McKeon said the moves were decisions made by the organization and that Morrison needed to “work on his whole game.”
Morrison was sitting by his locker with his head down, seemingly in shock after being summoned from the training room to the manager’s office, where President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest and GM Mike Hill delivered the stunning news.
“Heartbreaking move, disappointed. What are you hitting, .240?” Morrison said Beinfest told him. “I don’t know if that makes any sense to me or you guys, but all I know is I go out and give everything for this team. I play hurt, play through injury and this is how you get treated. It doesn’t seem very fair or right to me.
“They didn’t say anything about [my 17 homers and 60 RBI]. They didn’t say anything about maybe the reason I was hitting .240 was getting the guy over to third rolling over groundballs, not worrying about average.”
Of course, no one believed the reasons given by management and over the next few days it became clear that the reason for the demotion was not baseball related. I have no idea whether Logan Morrison deserves to be punished for his behavior. My point is that only an organization which has become accustomed to operating with disregard towards its fan base would pull such an arrogant stunt.
To appreciate why the Morrison demotion was such an arrogant move, you have to consider the following factors:
- The Marlins sole organizational focus as the season winds down is generating positive publicity about their new resort-tax funded stadium opening in 2012 – spoiler alert, it’s the coolest….
- Once Josh Johnson got hurt, the silly pretense of the playoffs was gone early.
- Once Hanley Ramirez hurt his shoulder [or feelings], the pretense of .500 was gone recently.
- The Marlins very young team has had 3 [technically 4, sorry Brandon Hyde, I can’t even count you on this parochial blog] managers in the last 2 seasons.
- The Marlins very young team has an 80-year old manager because its owner prefers to be coddled rather than hire a manager which could have an impact on his young team, but who might have displeased him at some point.
- The Marlin’s former best player is Hanley Ramirez. A talented Dominican player approaching his prime in a city with an overwhelmingly Hispanic fan base and he is disliked. Having a bad image is about the only thing Hanley appears dedicated to.
- The Marlins best combination of talent and fan appeal is Logan Morrison.
That’s why the demotion, and the initial lies about why it happened, are so arrogant. Also, think of how the demotion was handled. Why do it right after a game when Morrison was returning to his locker with reporters standing around? If Mark Cuban was the owner of the Marlins, do you think that Logan Morrison’s personality would have been anything but encouraged and exploited? Bill Veeck would have hired a model to handle Morrison’s tweeting. The difference is that Veeck and Cuban would have cared about the fans reaction since they viewed their financial success as dependent on those customers being pleased. The key to the Marlins financial success is MLB’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement which failed to provide incentives for teams receiving monies to spend those monies.
So from an incentive-based perspective, the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Angels and Red Sox may be to blame. Revenue sharing payee teams guaranteed hand-outs have so emboldened MLB’s biggest corporate welfare recipient that they now seem incapable of operating in a way which might be interpreted as appealing to their fan base.