Major League Baseball didn’t pick the Tampa Bay Rays’ Logan Morrison to participate in Monday’s Home Run Derby, and he isn’t happy about it.
Morrison, who has hit 24 home runs this season, took square aim at the guy with the least home runs among the eight who are slated to go — Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who has 13.
“Gary shouldn't be there,'' Morrison told the Tampa Bay Times this week. “Gary's a great player, but he shouldn't be in the Home Run Derby.”
Those are mean-spirited and immature comments. But that’s not why Morrison is wrong.
The Home Run Derby is a showcase for the stars who fans want to see. Sanchez is a rising star. As for Morrison? He’s a 29-year-old who hasn’t been terribly relevant until now. And besides, could even hard-core baseball fans pick out Morrison out of a lineup of one? Nobody is buying a ticket to see him play.
Yes, because of injuries, Sanchez has only 13 home runs this season, but he missed a month with an injury. In 107 games played since his promotion last summer, he has 33 home runs. In Morrison’s last 107 games, he has hit 28. (Hat tip to ESPN’s Buster Olney for that statistic.)
Also, consider that the game will be in Miami, and if MLB had dropped Sanchez and invited Morrison, that would have left only one Hispanic among the eight participants — the Twins’ Miguel Sano. Instead of dropping Sanchez, MLB probably should’ve found room for Marcell Ozuna, who has 23 home runs. Perhaps he could’ve replaced Miami Marlins teammate Justin Bour.