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Are the Marlins punishing Logan Morrison?

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The LoMo demotion continues to confound.

The Marlins’ front office isn’t saying much on the matter, and Logan Morrison kept his comments light on Twitter last evening. So we’re left only to wonder whether his demotion was performance-related or a punishment for an off-field incident.

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post seems to think it might have been a mixture of both.

Here’s a snippet of Capozzi’s Saturday evening article on the Marlins’ sudden and surprising decision to send the talented and productive 23-year-old outfielder back to Triple-A New Orleans. It seems to go beyond LoMo’s recent slump:

I might be able to clear up the “incident” LoMo referred to when he said he suspected his demotion was related to something off the field.

First, I was told by a person close to LoMo that the matter was not criminal related or even sordid.

Earlier in the day, he refused to participate in a photo session with season ticket holders at Sun Life Stadium. That might sound surprising, given Logan’s outgoing personality and popularity with fans, but apparently there were some hard feelings related to earlier promotional activities.

I know that this past Thursday — a Marlins off day — Logan canceled a charity bowling tournament in Miami because he said the Florida Marlins Community Foundation “dropped the ball” and didn’t sell enough lanes in advance.

Logan wasn’t happy about that. And there apparently were some other events in which players were supposed to participate. There was also an autograph signing earlier Saturday, which Logan participated in. But he put his foot down and did not participate in the photo session with season ticket holders.

Read the rest of Capozzi’s piece for more. It also has a full transcript of quotes from LoMo’s pow-wow with the media after learning that he had been sent to the minors. This story is obviously far from over.

Yordano Venutra killed in an auto accident

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 2:  Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals jokes with teammates as he walks off the field after the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.

Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.

Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.

Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.