So Logan Morrison has been in the headlines this week, thanks to being snubbed from the All-Star Game and being relegated to the Final Vote and was in last place according to the most recent ballot update.
Now yesterday, Logan Morrison voiced his opinion on not being invited to the Home Run Derby, while Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees was given the final spot on the American League squad, joining Mike Moustakas, Miguel Sano, and fellow Yankee, Aaron Judge.
Morrison isn’t the only Rays player to have a problem MLB inviting Gary Sanchez, but he is the only that spoke up, thus tossing him into the spotlight as he targeted one of the faces of the most popular team in baseball.
"Gary shouldn't be there. Gary's a great player, but he shouldn't be in the Home Run Derby," Morrison said.
"I remember when I had 14 home runs. That was a month and a half ago."
Corey Dickerson, the Rays lone All-Star also had some words on the matter, although his weren’t quite as pointed.
Dickerson, thrilled to be voted in as the starting DH, said he, too, was hoping to get an invite for the derby. "Crickets," he said. "I think it would have been pretty cool. It's a big stage and it would be fun to do. … We're all just wondering how it works”
Morrison should not have gone after Gary Sanchez.
The Yankees starting catcher has pretty much non-stop hit home runs since he promotion last August and if not for an early season injury, there’d be a lot less of a discussion. This isn’t about the name on the back of the jersey, but the name on the front.
Thus far in 2017, the Rays have the 3rd most home runs in the majors while the Yankees have the 5th most. In my opinion, a team that nearly leads the majors in home runs, but will not be represented at an event or even have anyone asked to participate is the real crime here.
But the real qualm is whether the powers that be invited two players from the bigger market New York Yankees solely for the reason that they’re a more popular team than the Rays.
The smaller market point is driven home by Morrison when he discusses how he and the Rays have been covered this year.
"I'm not disappointed. It's par for the course. I play for the Rays. I get it. They can't even get my picture right. When they put my name up there they put Corey (Dickerson's) picture up there ... on MLB Network. When they put up the home run leaders they put Corey's swing on there not mine.''
So far in 2017, Logan Morrison has slashed .256/.366/.579 in what has turned into a breakout performance for the 29 year old first baseman. His 24 home runs tie him for the 3rd most in the majors, and he also leads American League first basemen in fWAR with 2.9.
To break it down though, Morrison has been one of the top HR hitting players in 2017, while Gary Sanchez has not.
Let’s break it down by plate appearances per home run hit.
Logan Morrison has been at the top of the league (with 100 more PA than Sanchez) with a home run coming about once per every 13 plate appearances or so. That puts him at the 5th highest mark in the majors behind only Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Mike Moustakas. Three of those players are participating in the Home Run Derby while the other probably would have if not for being on the DL.
Gary Sanchez ranks 28th on this list at a home run once every 17 plate appearances.
But again, Morrison’s main grievance here, isn’t that he, himself, wasn’t invited, it’s that MLB chose to invite two players from the New York Yankees because...they’re the Yankees instead of branching out to try and include the smaller market Rays, who certainly have a deserving player in Morrison.
Does playing for small mkt #Rays lead to getting slighted? Morrison: "That's the most obvious answer to a question in the history of world"— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 5, 2017
All of the backlash on Morrison for his comments are completely undeserved at is a media narrative driven to showcase Morrison as a whiner when he is actually completely right about the system being flawed.