There are a lot of ways to describe Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison's attitude. Brash, maybe, or better yet, obnoxious. Some would say inappropriate, and the Marlins brass would most certainly add unprofessional. Take a look at his much-followed Twitter feed and you'll see posts that are all of those things.
Like this number from Saturday: "That awkward moment when you're able to muffle a giant fart, then realize its smells like Bigfoot's dick... #ItWasntMe"
It's rude, it's childish, and it's the kind of thing that typifies what makes baseball fun. It's
typical Logan Morrison, the subject of this week's cover story in New Times, and it's good to see a player who isn't afraid to say more than just sound bites.
Because, in baseball, players can say those kinds of things. Basketball, hockey, football -- all of those sports are arenas where players have to take themselves too seriously, where laughter is frowned upon, where a jokester has to learn to be a team player above being a person.
But in baseball, fans relish in the odd. "Ninety percent of this game is half mental," said Yogi Berra, one of the game's greatest catchers, who's infinitely more popular because of his Yogisms. Then there's Tim McCarver, maybe the game's best commentator, who offered up this gem: "Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn't score any runs."
There's laughter in baseball. There's no crying, sure, but laughter, you expect that every few innings, when the cameras catch the Red Sox middle relievers drumming water bottles on the bullpen roof or Tigers skipper Jim Leyland cracking himself up after sticking a wad of gum on the arm of his hitting coach.
Football may be America's most popular sport, but it's also a game that takes itself far too seriously. Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson laughed on the sidelines of a game in which his team was getting blown out by 18 points, and suddenly he became some symbol of the team's indifference to winning. Anderson was asked about his light moment after the game and blew up at the reporter, knowing that a football player isn't supposed to have fun.
Then you have baseball, where players put pies in each other's faces during postgame interviews. And where rain delays turn into entire teams performing ridiculous routines, like what happened with FAU's team two years ago.
All of that, and Logan Morrison's Twitter feed, is acceptable in baseball because it's America's sport. We're a country that values a hero who doesn't take himself too seriously, who's willing to come out on the field after a big game and do an Irish step dance. Fart jokes on Twitter? Sure, it's juvenile. But so are we, and so is baseball.
Eric Barton is editor ofNew Times Broward-Palm Beach
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