NEW YORK -- "Who actually knows about this city?" began the substitute tour guide on top of the red double-decker bus as it began rolling through Manhattan.
"Does anyone know why Manhattan is called the Big Apple? Anybody? No? Well, I do," he continued. "It's because there are tons of apple trees in Central Park, and they make the biggest apples in the world. Ninety-five percent of America's apple juice is made from there. So that's pretty sweet. That's where they get the 'Big Apple.'"
As a tour guide, Logan Morrison is a great Major League Baseball player. He came to New York for the Marlins' series starting Tuesday night against the Mets, and the first player to visit the MLB Fan Cave a second season treated fans to a ride on a tour bus with him. Morrison invited followers of his @LoMoMarlins account on Twitter, and finished video of the tour will be on MLBFanCave.com within a couple of days, or however long it takes to edit out a lot of words.
"He was really funny," said Christie Sofocleous, his longtime girlfriend. "I didn't think he would say half the things he said. That's Logan for you. You don't know what to expect."
"It's fun. Every experience I've had here at the Fan Cave has been fun, getting to do interesting things," Morrison said. "I can honestly say I'll probably never do a tour bus guide again, so I'm glad I got to do it one time."
Who knew that SoHo stands for "Southern Hospitality" or that King Kong climbed the Chrysler Building or that tour guides can sing Justin Bieber's "Baby" to their patrons along the way?
"It was challenging -- trying to be funny, which I'm not really good at," Morrison said, back at the Cave. "Doing improv ... it was fun, but also challenging."
"Challenging" is a good word to describe the first month of the new Miami Marlins era. They brought a 7-8 record into this series at Citi Field, 4 1/2 games behind the fast-starting Nationals. One of the best sights, however, was something that happened in Morrison's most recent at-bat: He hit his first home run of the season, after 23 last year. It was a moonshot off Brad Lidge in the ninth inning on Saturday.
Morrison is batting .325. Is he back from the sore knee that limited him to five Grapefruit League games?
"It's not back, not 100 percent by any means, but you just manage it, day-to-day thing," Morrison said. "Hopefully it will get better as each day passes. It's just the timing. I didn't have a Spring Training, so getting at-bats under my belt and getting my timing down is helping me out a lot."
Morrison made two Fan Cave videos last year, one of them offering pickup tips for guys and one of them pertaining to a certain praying mantis. He and Sofocleous took a tour of the redesigned Cave, and he played a game of skeeball, signed the autograph wall, hung out with Dwellers and did a Fan Cave chat before heading out into the cold for the bus tour.
What has been his most embarrassing moment on the field?
"Dropping a fly ball in the ninth inning to lose the game, that's pretty embarrassing," he replied.
Morrison said early attendance at Marlins Park shows that there are indeed baseball fans in South Florida, and that they wanted their own ballpark. There were 23,168 fans for the most recent home game, against the Cubs, and 25,723 for the game before that.
"This whole thing about we don't have any fans, we get to play in front of two people, it doesn't fly anymore, so that's pretty cool," Morrison said.
The tourists on his bus thought it was pretty cool to have an improv guide.
The Cave Dwellers rode with him, and they were treated to a magic show and magic lessons from Penn Jillette earlier in the day. The illusionist and comedian had just been fired from "Celebrity Apprentice" and when asked if he had any advice for the Dwellers, who will be gradually booted out of the Cave until one is left standing this fall, Jillette said:
"They make too much of the competition on 'Apprentice.' The main thing is, it's a game and have fun. There's no need for all of the yelling."
Benjamin Christensen, the A's fan among the Dwellers, was having plenty of fun with Morrison around. What did he think of the bus tour?
"I'd say probably by far one of the worst bus-tour guides of all time, but probably one of the most randomly funny bus-tour guides of all time," Christensen said. "So I'd say somewhere on the plane of a 1-to-10 scale, I'm going to give him about a 4, just being generous. I could go 5, with his jersey number, but I'm not."