Logan Morrison Serves as the Wild Child for the Already Loony Miami Marlins | Feature | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Logan Morrison Serves as the Wild Child for the Already Loony Miami Marlins

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Morrison has broadcast photos of himself in a full-body penis suit. For another Twitpic, he donned a female lifeguard costume complete with a thicket of pubic hair sprouting from the crotch. "I'm a 24-year-old living the dream," Morrison says to the critics who would have him restrain his tweets. "If you don't like it, there's no rule that says you have to follow me."

Morrison adopted the 140-characters-or-fewer social networking service when he was a minor leaguer in 2008 at the advice of his agent, Fred Wray, who — don't scoff — thought it might help his career.

Sometimes the conversation gets deep, like when Morrison announced his father's death from lung cancer in December 2010: "Shortly after 9pm last night my hero, Thomas Morrison, passed away." And since then, he has urged his tweeps to donate to lung cancer causes, including his own Jupiter charity, LoMo Camp for the Cure.

But usually, the conversation is more like that time Morrison told a follower: "lick my butt hole."

In February, a follower named Andrew Fleming tweeted, "I'm a Cardinals fan, but I'm blowing my tax return to come see you guys open the park. Can I get love for a true baseball fan?" Morrison retweeted the message but changed it so it looked like Fleming wrote, "I'm blowing my tax guy."

As a result, Fleming spent the rest of the afternoon giddily jousting with Twitter users, including Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal. "I thought it was hilarious," Fleming says. "I got faced by a major-league ballplayer. It kind of makes him one of the guys, unlike [Albert] Pujols or somebody who never interacts with the fans."

And before a game last August, Morrison gave away 342 tickets to his Twitter followers. He would do that more often, he says, if it weren't for the taxes and fees that even players have to pay for tickets. "Tell the Marlins to pay me more money," remarks Morrison, who makes the league minimum salary of $414,000, "and I'd be happy to pay for more tickets for fans."

The way Morrison tells it, his Twitter personality is really just an attempt at trying to return baseball to the days of three-time major-league batting champion George Brett, when players hustled like mad on the field and spoke their minds off it. "He made no excuses for who he was," Morrison says of the former Kansas City Royals third baseman. "He didn't care what anybody else thought."

Logan grew up in Kansas City and attended games with his dad, Tom Morrison, in the early '90s, when Kauffman Stadium was a wonderful shithole with a rubber warning track. Brett was nearly 40 years old but still legging out triples. He was old-school and dirty, with a knob of chaw in his cheek. Father and son worshiped him.

Logan's dad was a gruff and hard-nosed Coast Guard gunner who worked as a recruiter during the family's years in Kansas City. At other times during his son's youth, Tom's military work bounced the family from Key West to North Carolina and Virginia.

"Tom always thought that you don't do anything half-ass," Logan's mom, Diane, says. So when his only child announced at age 8 that he wanted to play baseball for a living, Tom — a hulking former University of Kansas tight end whose body creaked with old football injuries — treated it like a blood oath.

The family sculpted a mound in the backyard. Dad stocked up on dusty instructional volumes by authors such as Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn. He'd paint symbols on baseballs in a system designed to get Logan to hit to left. They'd head to baseball fields with 200 balls, and after Logan had hit every one of them, Tom would chart the landing spots. If about 70 percent of the balls weren't in left, he'd make Logan start over. And punishment for failing at a task was running laps.

Logan missed school dances and trips to Disney World. "You don't want to train?" Tom would bark. "Fine, go work for a living."

When the boy was 12, Tom took him to work out at the instructional camp of former Royals third baseman Kevin Seitzer. The kid was gawky, his dad was cartoonishly overbearing, and Seitzer was in love. He called Royals General Manager Allard Baird. "All the years that I've known you," the former big-leaguer demanded, "how many times have I told you about a kid?"

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Gus Garcia-Roberts