Morrison, praying mantis visit MLB Fan Cave

Morrison, praying mantis visit MLB Fan Cave

NEW YORK -- How did you spend your morning?

Logan Morrison, outfielder and five-hole hitter for the Marlins, was harassed and chased around Greenwich Village by a six-foot praying mantis Tuesday as part of his second visit to the MLB Fan Cave. Morrison, who had a real-life encounter with a praying mantis last week, had fun with his re-enactment.

"It's pretty special," he said of the Fan Cave, located at Broadway and West Fourth Street in Manhattan. "I came in the first time and everything was new to me, but they've got the paintings now and they've got some new little decorative stuff. And all the signatures on the wall.

"This is awesome. I think it's pretty cool for baseball."

Morrison, a gregarious second-year starter for Florida, went viral last week with a close encounter of the insect kind. Television cameras caught him looking at a praying mantis on the railing of the dugout, and then it followed his frantic reaction as the insect leapt on him and stuck on his shoulder.

The Fan Cave spot had fun with that piece of real-life drama, recruiting an actor in a human-sized insect suit to terrorize Morrison in and around the set. Morrison hammed it up for the cameras, often ad-libbing lines on the spot, and was a good sport when the action spilled onto the streets and the subway. Later, he was asked if he had been able to out-act the man-sized mantis.

"I don't know," he said, chuckling before responding. "You'd have to pay me a lot of money to get in that suit, so he's probably a better actor than me."

Billy Bretherton -- the star of A&E's "Billy the Exterminator" -- lent his talents to the shoot. Morrison, known for being one of the most approachable and responsive athletes in social media, said Tuesday that somehow his life outside the stadium has found a way to upstage his life as a pro ballplayer.

"I'm going to be known for everything but baseball, I believe," he said. "I was doing questions today on Facebook and they were asking me about Twitter and asking me about the praying mantis. They were asking me about [teammate] Mike Stanton, but nothing about me playing baseball. That's all right. You've got to be famous somehow, right?"

Morrison, 23 years old, said that the Marlins still have a lot to play for this season. Florida is 15 1/2 games out of first place and one win away from reaching the break-even point. The Marlins are just a game behind third-place New York, lending more urgency to a series between division rivals.

"Every game is important because we're so far back," Morrison said. "We've got to make up ground with every game we can. We're taking them one at a time and one pitch at a time."

The former 23rd-round draftee has established himself as a big leaguer, but he still isn't having the type of season he wanted. Morrison was hitting .320 as recently as May 31, but he's fallen off to .248 the last few months. Morrison said that he can take his struggles as a learning experience and that he doesn't care how he hits if the team wins, and he also said he can wait to pursue a second career in acting.

"If I keep hitting the way I am," he quipped, "it's going to come sooner than I want it to."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.