Tag Archives: Mike Morse

Stick a Fork in the Nationals 2013 Season

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My preseason World Series pick from the National League is done. Forget any magic number talk. Forget any ‘buyer’ move they make at the deadline because it won’t be good enough. Forget any hot, magical run they string together because no matter what they do from this night forward it will be too little, too late. This team is dead. For Davey Johnson, there will be no more pretty ladies and he sure as hell won’t be riding out on any white horses.

The Nationals lost 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight in 10 innings to fall a game under .500 on the season.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise. I’ve watched a lot of Washington this season in thinking that I could actually pinpoint a team that was similar to the 1986 Mets. They seemed on paper to have it all. What they have ‘all’ of is a shitload of problems.

You look up and July and over and Bryce Harper has all of 13 home runs and 29 RBI. He’s hitting clean-up for them. He’s hitting in the .260’s. To be honest, I was more impressed with Harper as a rookie than I have been during this 2013 season. He’s been underwhelming. He’s still playing left field like he’s a catcher, and it’s been all season long. He’s not getting behind fly balls and forgetting fundamentals of the game that every big league outfielder should have down by their third season at the position.

Stephen Strasburg isn’t an ace. He’s a soft kid with really good stuff that usually wilts in a tough position. He’s got a LONG ways to go to become a big game number-one type starter that will carry a team and end losing streaks.

The loss of Mike Morse has been very visually obvious. The Nationals could really use a middle of the order bat right now; Adam LaRoche has returned to being the same old shitty Adam LaRoche he’s always been. I guess the guy only hits in contract years.

There are a few things to like about this team – Jordan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond are stud players who could lead a championship caliber team – but there are just too many things working against the Nationals.

The Nationals are the biggest disappointment in all of baseball this season. It’s time to start thinking about RG3 and the Redskins in the Nations’ Capital.

Mike Morse headed to Seattle in three-team trade

We had a feeling that this would be the last Take on Me ever heard at Nationals Park.

Today was another day that the Nationals were in the thick of things, highlighting a three-team trade that sent Micheal Morse to Seattle and A.J. Cole to Washington. The trade also involved the Oakland Athletics picking up catcher John Jaso.

The Nationals will receive right-handed pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen along with a player to be named later from the A’s, according to CBSSports.com baseball insider Danny Knobler.

As part of the deal, the A’s will receive catcher John Jaso from the Mariners. The A’s also announced that catcher George Kottaras has been designated for assignment.

Cole was rated the A’s third best prospect and performed well at class-A before struggling in high-A ball. This trade was a return home of sorts, as the Nationals originally drafted Cole in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Morse originally broke into the big leagues with the Mariners in 2005 and was in Seattle until 2009.

We always liked Morse. Later on it was for the A-ha batter walk-up song. Any guy who digs 80’s music that much and flaunts it is okay in our book. But our mind always shifts back to a night in Cincinnati in 2010 when we saw him take batting practice before the game. He was just a reserve then. We noticed how big he was. We noticed how he seemed to lace balls and there was a different sound off the bat compared to other guys. We thought the guy could play if given the chance as a full-time regular. The rest is history, and when it happened we always had a soft spot for Morse.

These guys are Awesome

Yesterday was pretty much the ideal 4th of July, other than I had to return to work today. And I didn’t have even a drop of alcohol.

One of the things that made it perfect was there was baseball on starting at 11:00 AM ET in the nation’s capital. Bryce Harper, Mike Morse, Ryan Zimmerman (all fantasy teamers of mine) were destroying Madison Bumgarner (fantasy teamer I cut prematurely last season) during the brunch hour.

The monster that is Mike Morse took a destroyed Mad Bum fastball out backside. Washington ended up winning the game 9-4, which was Washington’s third straight victory. Because the game started at 11:00, by the time it ended there was still an entire day to enjoy the holiday and the 95 degree heat. I’m a proponent of more 11:00 AM start times on weekends and holidays.

Not sure what made baseball’s schedule makers get creative and try this yesterday, but I loved it. Along with Washington kicking off my 4th of July on the right note, I’m loving their young nucleus along with red-assed Davey.

Long live the Nationals!

It’s Hard Not to Love Red-Assed Davey Johnson and the Nationals

Last night was another one of those nights. Another Bryce Harper rope off the wall. Another Nationals home victory.

Right now the Washington Nationals represent everything that is energy-infusing and exciting in the game of baseball. Everyone is quick to talk about Harper or Stephen Strasburg, myself included. But I think one of the coolest aspects of this roster is who it’s being led by; their R. Lee Ermey style manager Davey Johnson (tell me he doesn’t look like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman down in the dugout some nights).

This is the tough son of a bitch who won 108 games and a ring with those 1986 Mets. Spry enough to fight (and drink with) a few of those hazy-eyed Metropolitans back then, he’s back from the dead for one more run at the Holy Grail. And therein lies one aspect that I love so much about baseball–Johnson managed Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden–and now he’s overseeing the precious roost of prospects that the Nationals have compiled. Two completely different eras with eras in between, and Davey Johnson probably still has the same wad of Beech-nut tobacco in his cheek from that summer in ’86.

Just above the Parris Island drill instructor who moonlights as the club’s manager is general manager Mike Rizzo. He’s part rich uncle, part wise guy. He’s just the kind of Italian your mother always warned you about. He’s also the architect of the roster that has collected the best young kitty of talent in the big leagues. He has the players’ backs. And he’ll forever be a hero because he is the guy who brought Strasburg and Harper to the nation’s capital.

The Roster doesn’t end with the big two. How did we all miss this much young forged talent before the season started? No one should be surprised at the club’s 23-14 record (best in the NL East) when you look at the wonderful mix of veteran and young-stud that litters the roster up and down the organization.

I know Wilson Ramos got hurt this past week and will miss the entire season. But even after Ramos, Harper, and Strasburg, the cabinet features a collection nice young names like Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, Henry Rodriguez, Ian Desmond, and soon to be ‘next one’ Anthony Rendon. I even still think there’s hope for Danny Espinosa. The Nationals are primed to make this their league over the next few seasons. Rostering veterans like Ryan Zimmerman, Rick Ankiel, Mike Morse, Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge and Adam LaRoche adds a really nice mix as well.

They play the game the way it should be played. Reflective of their manager’s temperament, they grind out ugly win after ugly win with pitching, defense, and timely big hits in crucial spots. Dominant at home while taking every other game on the road. That’s how a winner is built.

There’s a lot of directions we could go from here. President’s races at the park. The best two young players in the game today. Based in a great city. The Nationals are young. They’re exciting. Finally a fresh face in the National League East. They’re about to begin a decade of dominance a few years before anyone ever predicted–which is how every true great run starts to begin with.

But we digress by going back to the girl who brought us to the dance.

Their manager is a hardened old baseball man who would win any era and these guys are simply playing their ass off for him. In sports nowadays, you just don’t see ballplayers motivated in such a way anymore. This is like Jack McKeon’s last run; if you packed McKeon’s cigars full of cow chips. Davey Johnson is coming downstairs, and he’s pissed off folks. He might be 85, but he’s still here to kick your ass and drink your Johnny Walker.

And back to Harper: isn’t he the type of kid you could see taking a curtain call after every home run? I hope he decides to do it. In fact, I hope the Nationals never lose again.