By Brent Stecker
It’s easy to assume that the impact new Mariners acquisition Logan Morrison has on the field won’t match the attention he’ll make off the field with his outspoken persona on Twitter. But judging by what he’s done this offseason, the Mariners could be in line to reap the benefits from a low-risk, high-reward trade with the Miami Marlins.
Morrison, 26, hit just .242 with six home runs in 85 games in 2013 after recovering from knee surgery, but as he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Wyman, Mike and Moore,” a lifestyle change could make a big difference in his ability to play both first base and in the outfield.
“I have lost 30 pounds roughly … since the last pitch of the 2013 season, so I think I’m ready to play outfield as well as first base,” Morrison said, noting that vegan tendencies are responsible for the weight loss. “It (veganism) is not a diet. If you look at it as a lifestyle, you will stick to it. It takes a little to get used to, yes. (And) to say I was strictly vegan is tough, because there’d be once to twice a week I’d eat meat sometimes.”
Regardless of how strict he’s adhered to veganism, it’s had a positive effect for him.
“I’m leaner, more flexible, faster — not much faster, but faster. And as far as the defense goes, I don’t really know to rate myself, I just know I’m gonna play hard and run through a wall to catch a baseball.”
It’s unknown where Morrison will spend most of his time in the field, especially since he was traded for on the same day Seattle signed fellow first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart to a one-year deal. Morrison said he isn’t too concerned with where he plays defensively, though.
“I don’t really care. Just as long as I’m in the lineup it doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I’m comfortable playing first base, and give me three games in the outfield in Arizona, I’ll be comfortable playing out there. The Rawlings rep’s gonna hate me though, because I’m gonna be ordering like seven gloves this year.”
While it’s up in the air where he’ll spend most of his time in the field, one thing that is more concrete is Morrison’s likelihood to raise eyebrows with his Twitter account, which he has changed the handle of from “@LoMoMarlins” to “@CupOfLoMo” to represent his new city’s reputation for coffee.
Morrison is aware of how his tweets have turned him into a lightning rod, but he’s unapologetic about it.
“The cool thing about Twitter is if you don’t want to follow me, you don’t have to. You can actually press unfollow,” Morrison said. “If you don’t like it, don’t follow me. If you do like it, then follow me. Is there controversial stuff that I may tweet about? Yeah, but that’s who I am, so I’m not gonna censor who I am.
“They might be controversial to some people, but to me they’re just who I am and my opinions. I’m trying to have fun and have fun with people and joke and mess around and get some laughs, and that’s about it.”
Seattle is Morrison’s first stop in the Majors outside of Miami, and even though the Mariners don’t have the greatest recent history, the future looks brighter in Seattle than what Morrison is coming from. The recent signing of superstar second baseman Robinson Cano has a lot to do with that.
“That didn’t hurt, that’s for sure,” Morrison said of the Cano signing. “Having the best player in the game to your right if you’re playing first base is gonna be a comforting and a pretty cool feeling. Having him in the 3-hole everyday … can do nothing but help your team.
“Knowing that they did sign Robinson Cano, that tells me that they wanna win and they wanna win now, and that’s all I need to know as a player.”