Logan Morrison has filed a grievance through the Players Association with regards to his demotion last month. There has already been quite a bit of discussion regarding the matter; Blaine Blontz covered it on FanSided’s Call to the Pen, and Eric Seidman did a great job breaking down the various aspects of the situation over on FanGraphs. To those thoughts, I’ll add a few more.
The Marlins stand to lose nothing in this grievance. The worst that can happen is they lose a bit of money paying Morrison’s lost major league salary for the ten days that he was demoted. As far as reputation is concerned, the Fish already carry one of the worst reputations in the business, so it isn’t as if they are going to lose a whole lot more in this ordeal. Indeed, Major League Baseball stands to lose a lot more in terms of precedent set by this case than the Marlins would individually for losing the grievance. For the Fish, this is mostly a neutral situation.
Morrison, on the other hand, stands to lose a lot more. It may be “noble” of him to “fight for what’s right,” as he puts it, but ultimately no one will care about what he does if he plays well. As evidenced by his numbers, he has yet to make a major impact in the majors, totaling just 2.0 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement in 770 plate appearances in the majors. That is not bad, but it is not good enough to guarantee him a a future position should his trouble-stirring grow too great for the Marlins or another future employer. I am a big proponent of “let your play do the talking for you,” but I cannot say that major league teams would agree with me on that. They prefer a player who is not going to stir up trouble with the organization, and while Morrison in my opinion has not done enough to justify some of his punishments, the entire package certainly does not make him look favorable. If Morrison wins this grievance, he himself does not gain much. Again, it is the Players Association that gains more in terms of precedence. However, if Morrison’s efforts cause the Marlins to sour on him and other teams to follow suit, he would have a much more difficult time finding a nice place to work in the future, especially if he does not develop into a superstar.
For me, I do not care who wins. None of what is done outside the foul lines really matters to me unless of course it ends up affecting what happens in between the foul lines. But I get the feeling that, if it ends poorly for one of these two parties, it will undoubtedly be for Morrison; the Marlins as an organization in terms of professionalism and reputation have nowhere to go but up, and losing a batter like this would only reinforce the stereotype everybody already has about the team. At the end of the day, the team is still going to be there. Morrison will depend on his performance to remain in the majors, and if his mouth gets too big for his performance, teams like the Marlins may choose to forgo using him. Of course, if the Marlins then choose to trade LoMo for the rights to have Ozzie Guillen yell at the team’s players, then the team stands to lose a good deal as well.