On Michael Morse and Feeling Silly

I mean, seriousy. - Jason O. Watson

Remember when the Mariners traded for Mike Morse? The author was loudly against it. Now look what's happened.

I know I'm not the only one who didn't like the John Jaso for Michael Morse trade. There were hundreds, maybe even thousands of us! You know the story and so I won't dive too deep into the details, but Jaso had been the better hitter the season before, he played the more scarce position, and he was under team control for longer and cheaper. Morse was all old and hurt and overrated, the former Mariner brought home for the underwhelming victory lap, the story we'd all read and been disappointed by time and time again.

And then there was Spring Training and nine home runs and a team record and wasn't that just wonderful. Of course, Spring Training stats mean just about almost zero, but we're Mariners fans, aren't we? Even the most cynical among us, present company included, couldn't help but be somewhat intrigued by such a performance, right? Sure, the competition is weak and the parks are small and the numbers have been crunched with all predictive value dismissed, but nine home runs isn't nothing, kind of, maybe. It was a nice story at least.

Now, there have been four Mariners games and Mike Morse has jacked four dongers, the most of any hitter in baseball. His triple slash sits at .375/.412/.1.125 hahaha. He has a wOBA of .658 and has been the second most valuable position player in all of baseball according to FanGraphs. On top of all this, Morse also has a charming sense of humor and personality! Jesus. It goes without saying but I'm about to say it anyway: we're dealing with the smallest of small samples here. It's been four games. Replacement level quad-A players have hit like Ted Williams in four games. Barry Bonds has resembled David Eckstein in so few at bats. The head knows that this almost certainly means nothing and yet the heart allows itself to dream a little dream and to also make the head feel quite foolish for all the shit it has been talking since January 16th.

As a baseball weirdo, I try to pick my spots when it comes to pontificating. I know smugness and arrogance are unattractive personality traits. In mixed company, when baseball becomes a topic of conversation, I bite my tongue more often than not. That being said, I was unrelenting when it came to the trade that sent Jaso away and brought Morse to Seattle. There was Internet invective, unassuming co-workers were scoffed at mid-sentence, I yelled in the general direction of my wife for some time while she concerned herself with more important matters. In short, I was a real dick about the whole thing. And now to the more casual fans who remember my outbursts, I pretty much look like an idiot. This has happened before.

It's healthy to feel like and be reminded that you are an idiot sometimes. It might cause you to hesitate in the future when you feel really self-important and bombastic, or to investigate further the reasons why you were wrong. Maybe you start asking questions and then seek out the answers, questions about the Mariners and what they did or did not know and how and why and if maybe the numbers were missing something. Mike Morse is not really teaching me those lessons right now. No matter how many jokes or I-told-you-so's I've heard and will probably continue to hear for a while, I know what these four home runs mean and that it's very close to nothing. But that small remaining sliver of something doesn't mean I don't feel kind of silly right now in the present moment. There are worse things.

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