Oh no, LoMo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Marlins have shown once again that when it comes to tone-deaf PR, they are second to none in MLB. Logan Morrison has long wanted to wear the number 5 to honor his late father, Tom. Tom Morrison's favorite player was George Brett, who also wore the number 5. In LoMo's words, Tom "told me to model my game" after Brett when he was learning the game.

But the Marlins retired the number 5 before they had ever played a game in order to honor Carl Barger, the team's first president who died suddenly during the 1992 winter meetings. But having made a convenient shift to the "Miami Marlins" this winter, the team felt justified enough to ignore former  owner Wayne Huizenga's promise that "No other Florida Marlin will ever wear No. 5."

The Barger family, as you may imagine, is not happy. The team didn't even bother to contact them, and their promise to honor Barger with a plaque at the new stadium is hugely incommensurate with the un-retiring of number 5. Making this all the more laughable is that the team claims it tried for months in vain to contact the Barbers, but it took the Palm Beach Post 5 minutes to find their number.

The move makes more sense when you consider what Morrison gets out of the deal. No other Marlin has been as big a thorn in the side of management over the past year as Morrison. Giving him an opportunity to honor his late father will surely improve his opinion of the front office. And while Carl Barger was a close personal friend of Huizenga, he had no connection whatsoever to Jeffrey Loria. The team will once again have egg on its face, but if doing so allows them to more effectively manage one of their budding stars, then the tradeoff is worth it.

This is not to say the Marlins are justified. A retired number for a dead executive strikes me as a tad cheesy, but a promise is a promise, and there are plenty of ways for Morrison to honor his dad that don't involve the Marlins breaking this promise. While the team is being less than moral here, they are clearly getting some benefit from the move, one which (to them) outweighs the cost of the bad PR.


jerseys August 26, 2012 at 3:56 AM  

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