Morrison back in old stomping grounds in KC
Marlins first baseman gets chance to play against favorite childhood team
KANSAS CITY -- Logan Morrison came out for early batting practice on Monday on his personal field of dreams.
As a young fan attending Royals' games at Kauffman Stadium in the 1990s, Morrison fell in love with baseball and decided to set a goal of becoming a Major Leaguer. Morrison was born in Kansas City, lived there full time from ages 11 to 16 and returned for a year at Maple Woods Community College in the KC suburbs.
At Monday's homecoming, Morrison had a group of 60 family members and friends cheering him on. Although the Marlins dropped a 6-2 decision, Morrison did well in his first Major League game in Kansas City. He reached base three times with two walks and an RBI double.
"I'm back to where it all started with a little boy's dream," Morrison said. "This is where I realized, I wanted to become a big leaguer."
Morrison, then in elementary school, remembers attending a Royals' game with his grandmother in 1994, when Rookie of the Year Bob Hamelin hit a mammoth home run. Years later, Morrison was hitting prodigious blasts of his own for Maple Woods coach Marty Kilgore, who was on hand to see his former pupil on Monday.
Maple Woods is known for producing Angels slugger Albert Pujols, but Morrison has his own special place in the program's history. Morrison hit .436 with nine homers in 2005 to put himself prominently on the radar screen of Major League scouts.
"It's a really great feeling to come out here and watch Logan play," Kilgore said. "It wasn't that long ago, he was with us and we're thrilled to have been a little steppingstone for him on his way to the Major Leagues."
Before the Marlins leave town, Morrison will have his powder blue Royals' replica jersey of George Brett signed by the Hall of Famer. Morrison, who changed his uniform number to Brett's No. 5 a couple of years ago, visited with Brett at the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.
"He said, 'I'm going to call you '5.' Brooks Robinson called me '5' and I'm going to call you '5,'" Morrison recalled.
Dobbs designated hitter for opener with KC
KANSAS CITY -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond cited experience as a key factor in his decision to go with Greg Dobbs as the designated hitter on Monday night against the Royals.
"When National League teams come into an American League park, it's a challenge for us because our guys aren't used to the DH," Redmond said. "Putting a young kid in as the DH is tough. You've got a guy like Dobbs who's used to pinch-hitting. That's probably the best fit in that role for us."
Dobbs made his manager look good by going 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI in Kansas City's 6-2 victory.
With left-hander Bruce Chen slated to start for the Royals on Tuesday night, Redmond indicated he would probably opt for a different DH in the middle game of the series.
Redmond hoping Ruggiano can catch break
KANSAS CITY -- With outfielder Justin Ruggiano locked in an 0-for-42 slump and approaching a Major League record involving a hitless streak for a position player, Marlins manager Mike Redmond continues to offer support and encouragement.
"There isn't much you can say except hang in there and keep fighting," Redmond said. "Anytime a guy struggles for that long, you feel for him because you know what he's going through. I used to beat myself up when I took an 0-for-4."
Just a simple bad-hop single or a blooper off the end of the bat that falls in could do wonders for Ruggiano, according to Redmond.
"He just needs a break," Redmond said. "It's not like he's going up there and striking out every time. He's putting the ball in play."
Boles calls on Redmond before series opener
KANSAS CITY -- Mike Redmond had a surprise office visitor on Monday when former Marlins manager John Boles dropped by to say hello. Boles is currently a senior advisor to Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
"He was a huge influence on me and my career," Redmond said. "I learned a lot from him."
The roles were reversed when Redmond played for the Marlins and occasionally was called into Boles' office.
"I was in there a few times," Redmond said. "But not for anything bad."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.