Longform

Logan Morrison is the Marlins' tweeter in chief

Miami Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison spends the morning of Valentine's Day 2012 at the nearly empty Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, the team's spring facility. He hits balls in a cage, sweats on a stationary bike, and works on stretching and strengthening his right knee. Morrison — who has been called stubborn, juvenile, and impatient but never lazy — underwent minor surgery on the knee in December, a result of a 2011 baseball season diving and slamming into outfield walls.

But on Twitter, the 24-year-old — or at least his virtual id, @LoMoMarlins — is looking for love. "After much deliberation," he thumb-pecks to almost 100,000 followers, "I've added motor boating @sofiavergara to my bucket list."

Sofia Vergara, for the woefully unacquainted, is a zeppelin-breasted Colombian actress. Motorboating, according to Urban Dictionary, is "the placement of one's face, specifically the mouth, into the area between a well-endowed woman's breasts, followed by a rapid shaking of the face in a side-to-side motion accompanied by yelling."

Later he ruminates, "There are 3 certainties in life; Death, Taxes & I will trim my pubes on Feb 13th of every year."

He also announces that whichever of his female followers makes the best argument for being his Valentine will "get a signed ball from me (à la Derek Jeter)" — a reference to the report that the New York Yankees shortstop uses autographed memorabilia to bid au revoir to his one-night stands.

Then he reposts a photo of one of his female followers making out with another chick.

Over lunch after the morning workout, the muscular former Army brat complains about the coaches and teammates who loudly order him to put his phone away at the ballpark. "I've been here since 7:30 a.m. while you were still sleeping, bro," he tells these hypothetical foes. "I can tweet on the training table while I'm getting my knee massaged. So what? Want me to focus on getting my knee massaged?"

Last season, he paid a heavy price for his seemingly genetic inability to censor himself. A summer-long sports-section soap opera saw him criticize team owner Jeffrey Loria, dress down star shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the locker room, and poke fun at team president David Samson on Twitter. For those crimes against the regime, Morrison was demoted to the minors for ten days.

"I'll never forget it, but I'm over it," he says bitterly of the demotion. "You don't do something so drastic and want somebody to forget about it."

This week, thanks to $634 million in taxpayer money — $2.4 billion with interest, kids! — the perennially skinflint and mostly anonymous Marlins officially move from a dingy, converted football stadium in Miami Gardens to their new, retractable-domed home in Little Havana. They play the world champion St. Louis Cardinals April 4 at 7:05 p.m.

The new Miami Marlins have art deco-inspired uniforms and an already-infamous neon sculpture of flamingos and dolphins that rotates when the team hits one over the fence. ("I think we may be the first team to get beaned because of our home-run display," Morrison posits.) And for the first time in franchise history, the Fish also swim with the burden of expectations.

Ninety wins aren't a sure thing, but at least a few epic tantrums are. The team spent $191 million on some of the most expensive and loony personnel in the majors. Joining the rotation: human frowny face Carlos Zambrano, a pitcher arguably better known for hurling fists and water coolers than baseballs. Poached from the ruins of the New York Mets: stealthy shortstop Jose Reyes, setting the stage for a clash with hometown all-star Hanley Ramirez. (Ramirez is so divalicious that he once demanded a trade when asked to cut his hair. See his Twitter feed, @hanleyramirez, for some entertaining preseason Spanish-language rants against news outlets reporting his reluctance to move to third.)

To lead them? The totally unfiltered, and usually nonsensical, former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who once famously called a Chicago reporter a "faggot." Guillen has an active Twitter page of his own. As Logan tweeted: "I really hope Ozzies on-field instructions r easier 2 understand than his tweets. I literally have no idea what this dude is talking about."

To ensure the Marlins will be the Jersey Shore of our national pastime, the team has given complete access to camera crews for Showtime's reality series The Franchise.

For his part, Morrison is hoping Zambrano tosses around Gatorade coolers all summer. When it's remarked that the pitcher could be in the headlines every day, he shoots back, "Good. That way I won't be. I'm not an attention whore."

Morrison's iPhone rarely stops humming on the table in front of him as he downs a citrus chicken bowl at Burrito Bros., the surfer joint in Jupiter where he eats with his BFF Petey — Marlins back-up outfielder Bryan Petersen — almost every day during spring training.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts