So, today the Nationals did something we all saw coming. They Traded Michael Morse in a 3 team deal between the Oakland A's, the Seattle Mariners, and the Washington Nationals. The Nationals' needs were obvious and just about anyone who had an opinion on baseball knew what Michael Morse was going to be traded for. In a somewhat unexpected development, the Nationals had A.J. Cole returned to them in the trade, along with Blake Treinen and a player to be named later. It was a good deal for the Nationals, but Morse had the infamous label of "fan favorite" at the time the trade occurred. That leaves some people in a weird situation, so what does this mean to the fans of the Nationals?
I'll break it down like this; should you feel a bit sad that Michael Morse was traded? Sure, why not? Morse was one of the most personable players on the Nationals. He endeared himself to the fans in so many ways. His personality made the fans like him as a person. The perfect example being his at bat song. Take On Me is a catchy song, but it was different because Morse is an 80's music junky. It said a lot about him and the fans showed there support with a supportive serenade every time he walked to the batters box on a warm summer night in Washington D.C. Fans also know Morse for his "Beast" nickname, stemming from a shirt he was wearing that said "BEAST MODE" while being interviewed in 2011. His breakout season in 2011 built on the beast mode reputation he began to establish and it was quickly part of his identity. Personally, I loved his taste in cars. He had posted a few pictures of his classic Camaro that he had restored this summer and into the fall. It is a beautiful car, the fact that he has it and seems to enjoy it so much tells me he is a man of great taste and value. These are just a sample of things that make Morse such an awesome guy. Having said that, why shouldn't you be bummed that he has left the organization? Being bummed and being angry are two different things, though. Don't be angry about Morse being traded, there is no reason to be. He went to a team in the Pacific Northwest, meaning the Nationals will play very few games against them so the amount of times you will have to cheer against Morse are minimal. I for one can say with all honesty that Morse will still have a fan in me throughout his Major League career.
Knowing that I am in fact bummed about Morse leaving D.C., I want to say that he helped to give some of the best memories in Nationals baseball. He gave his all and he truly gave his best to the Nationals right to the very moment he left. Morse came to the Nationals as a nobody, not one person blinked when the Nationals traded for him. He was brought to a big league club that was horrible, the 2009 Washington Nationals. Remember that crud fest? Oy. Anyway, though he is not a great defensive player, his impact was immediately noticeable. He came off the bench to kill baseballs, beginning to show signs of his power at the plate. 2010 saw him in a part time role, where he grew even more. By 2011, Morse was a full time player, hitting a career high 31 home runs to polish off a fantastic 2011 season. It was so much fun. Morse's 2012 was pretty good when he was healthy, can't fault him too much for having a lat strain to start the season and when he came back he was a force to be reckoned with. He helped the team, he made the team better. However, when LaRoche resigned Morse became a redundancy for the Nationals. Regardless, he was still able to help the team. All his hard work helped the Nationals land some solid prospects, making the Nationals deep, powerful, and a team to be feared. Yes, even as Morse is leaving the Nationals he finds away to help make the whole team better. There is now less concern about pitching depth in the organization, something the Nationals lost a bit of in the 2012-2013 offseason. Then, as if he owed the fans of D.C. anything at all, he thanked the fans of D.C. for the love and opportunity, the Nationals organization for making him who he is, and Mike Rizzo and the Lerners for letting him play in Washington. What a guy. No, I'm not angry he was traded, I'm happy he still gets to play baseball and be awesome.
Morse was a lot of fun to have on the Nationals. Today, he said he was 50-50 on whether or not he'd use Take On Me in Seattle because he felt it was something he shared with the fans of D.C. I'll tell you, that I hope he doesn't. Every time I hear that song, I hear the chorus of fans in early October, I see the smile Morse couldn't pretend to fight back, I smell the air on a cool fall night when the Nationals accomplished something they never had in their brief history. What I do hope for, is that if Morse returns to D.C., be it as an opposing player or anything else, the song blares over the P.A. system again. It is a bummer to see Morse go, but he gave us in Washington too many great memories to be angry about it.