Tagged: Brandon Hyde

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: GETTING TO KNOW FLORIDA MARLINS LHP SEAN WEST

The drums.

  Apparently, if you were at the Arizona Fall League championship game at Scottsdale on Nov. 22, you couldn’t miss them.

  They gave the game that “high school football championship drumline” feel … except a lot of people had no clue where the drumming was coming from.

  The answer? The Mesa Solar Sox dugout, where Florida Marlins pitching prospect Sean West had put together an impromptu drumline made up of, well, whatever he could get his hands on in the dugout that had a percussive sound. Drafting teammates such as fellow Marlins southpaw Aaron Thompson, West kept the mood light even in the face of the late-inning rally by the opposing Phoenix Desert Dogs who captured the league title. (Many thanks to the always awesome Barbara Jean Germano for this shot!)

West,Seanlaughingdrums.jpg  The 6-foot-8 West, who goes by the nickname “The Donk” (“as in Donkey,” he added, in case GotMiLB hadn’t figured that out) is a Louisiana native taken by the Marlins as one of five first-round and supplemental-first-round picks back in 2005 (Thompson was one of that quintet as well), a haul which has set them up now with the potential to have one of the best young pitching staffs in the game. 

  Talk to West, though, and you’ll realize quickly he’d much rather talk about his music than his baseball. Luckily for him, he is immensely gifted in both areas, as GotMiLB learned almost immediately.

  One caveat before reading this interview: West’s “persona” is cocky and confident and a lot of it is tongue-in-cheek. When you read something instead of experiencing it live and in person, it’s not always easy to tell which is which. So yeah, he’s cocky. But he’s not a jerk about it. And, as they say, it ain’t bragging if you can do it.

GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?
West: I have many, actually. I am a guitarist, I play the drums and I play piano and I sing. I play in a band called iPod. I do play Rock Band, Guitar Hero, all that good stuff. I am a huge Dave Matthews fan.

GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that …
West: … there is a lot more trapped inside this body than just good looks.

GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?
West: I also like to dance.

GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?
West: I guess my ability to teach myself to play all these instruments. I’ve never had a lesson. But if I’m not playing baseball, I’m playing music. That’s my life.

GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?
West: I’d be a rock star. I’ve been playing drums for 11 years so I’d be a drummer and maybe a backup guitarist if it was acoustic night. I wasn’t put on this earth to go to college. I was put here to throw a baseball and be a rock star.

GotMiLB: What one item have you found you cannot live without on the road?
West: My guitar. I have an acoustic Taylor 614-CE. She’s a beauty. Costs a pretty penny but it is so worth it. I have a Fender Stratocaster and a few more. A Takamine acoustic, a Steven Patrick from Canada. This past season I lived at (Marlins pitcher) Taylor Tankersley’s house and he got the EA sports check that everybody gets and took me on a shopping spree at Guitar Center and let me pick out a drum set, a couple of guitars and a space amp. We set his whole garage up. He’s a great guy.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors do you find to be the biggest challenge and why?
West: Staying mentally tough as well as physically tough.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?
West: The grind of playing baseball every day.

GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?
West: (Marlins pitching prospect) Cristhian Martinez (and yes, that is really how it’s spelled). No matter how bad your day is going he’ll always put a smile on your face.

GotMiLB: Which coach/manager have you had that you think should be in the big leagues?
West: Brandon Hyde, our manager at Jupiter this year. He knows the game and he works pretty freaking hard at it.

GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?
West: Do you play basketball? And how tall are you?

GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?
West: Jamestown, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; Jupiter, Fla.

GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club (Jupiter), what was your favorite thing about playing there?
West: It’s definitely a pitchers’ park, the ball does not fly there.

GotMiLB: If family or friends were coming in to visit, where would you take them on a day off?
West: My family did come for my birthday last year. We spent a lot of time at the beach because in Louisiana we only have brown water. Then we looked at the million-dollar houses down in Palm Beach.

GotMiLB: What has been your least favorite visiting act or promotion?
West: We had a promotion this year where the players were sold to women. No, I’m not kidding. You had to make videos and put yourself out there for the public. I declined.

 

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BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: GETTING TO KNOW FLORIDA MARLINS 1B LOGAN MORRISON

  They call him “Lo Mo.”

 

  The baby-faced sweet-natured hitting machine had a breakthrough campaign in 2008 for the Florida Marlins, winning Florida State League MVP honors with the Jupiter Hammerheads, hitting a league-best .332 with 13 homers, 74 RBIs and nine steals.

 

  He followed that up in the Arizona Fall League as his organization’s lone Class A representative and vied for the batting title right down to the wire, finishing third with a .404 average and tied for second with 29 RBIs as he helped lead the Mesa Solar Sox to the best record in the league (26-12).


Morrison,Logancopy.jpg 
A military kid (his dad was in the Coast Guard) who has lived all over the country, moving from Kansas City to Key West, Florida, to Virginia, to Wilmington, N.C., back to Kansas City before finally settling in his current home of Slidell, Louisiana, maybe that has contributed to his gregarious nature and ability to make everyone feel like his new best friend. I’m guessing he never suffered from the “outcast new kid” syndrome. In fact, his happy-go-lucky demeanor reminds me a lot of another big friendly first baseman with a live bat that I met back in his Minor League days in 1996 named Sean Casey.

 

  I suspect Marlins fans can look forward to seeing LoMo at first base in Miami in the not-too-distant future.

 

  And thanks to the amazing Camralady, Barbara Jean Germano, for saving my sorry butt with this picture of LoMo.

 

GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?

Morrison: I’m pretty good at alliteration.

 

Maybe she hadn’t had that second cup of coffee that morning, but for some crazy reason GotMiLB didn’t have the wherewithal to actually follow this answer up by asking him to alliterate for her.

 

GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that I …

Morrison: … am a romantic at heart.

GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?

Morrison: I like to watch football and basketball and go to sporting events, so, no,  pretty much none.

GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?

Morrison: Winning the Marlins’ Minor League Player of the Year award this year.

GotMiLB: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

Morrison: Hitting a walk-off home run here (AFL) was pretty cool because I’d never hit a walk-off before.

GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?

Morrison: I’d probably still be in school trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.

GotMiLB: What one item have you found you cannot live without on the road?

Morrison: My computer. I need my laptop.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors do you find to be the biggest challenge and why?

Morrison: The daily grind.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?

Morrison: I’m surprised at how many people are willing to help out with your career.

GotMiLB: What is the biggest misperception that people outside of baseball have about life in the minors?

Morrison: That we have a lot of money.

GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?

Morrison: Casper Wells (a Detroit Tigers outfield prospect who was his teammate on Mesa in the Arizona Fall League). He’s just an unusual character, you just have to know the guy.

 

GotMiLB fans will get a chance to do just that later this month when Wells is featured in a Beyond The Boxscore Q&A of his own.

 

GotMiLB: Which coach/manager have you had that you think should be in the big leagues?

Morrison: Brandon Hyde, my manager at Jupiter this year.

GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?

Morrison: “How’d you miss that pitch?”

GotMiLB: If you were commissioner for a day, which one rule would you change?

Morrison: I would make it mandatory that on a checked swing the home plate umpire had to appeal to one of the base umpires.

GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?

Morrison: Jamestown, N.Y; Greensboro, N.C. and Jupiter, Florida.

GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club, what was your favorite thing about playing there? And is there anything you would change?

Morrison: In Jupiter, the lights are really good out there and you can see the ball pretty well. I’d change how big it is, maybe shrink it down a little bit.

GotMiLB: What was your favorite restaurant there?

Morrison: Jumby Bay

GotMiLB: If family or friends were coming in to visit, where would you take them on a day off?

Morrison: The beach and then go down to City Place (a shopping center and social mecca near Jupiter).

GotMiLB: In your career, what has been your favorite road trip and why?

Morrison: Greenville, S.C. is pretty sweet. The stadium is awesome and the area around it is pretty nice.

GotMiLB: What’s your favorite road restaurant?

Morrison: Domino’s! It’s not really my favorite but we get it all the time.


LittleSpecial Delivery for Special D kids.jpgGotMiLB
: What has been your least favorite visiting act or promotion?

Morrison: The one I never want to see again is in Jupiter we did one where little kids had to change into the player’s uniforms and race down and race back and I don’t really like that one.