Michael Morse

Washington Times columnist refers to Michael Morse as “dumb,” gets Morse’s stats completely wrong

Michael Morse SF Giants

I don’t make a habit of reading the Washington Times, and I’m generally distrustful of anyone who goes by “Thom.” But neither of those things stopped me from clicking on one of the worst columns I’ve ever read.

Thom Loverro, a writer whose story titled “Nats much better off with Michael Morse gone” starts with “ANALYSIS/OPINION,” seems to have problems with the former.

He has reunited with his old teammates this week as an opponent with the San Francisco Giants, where his career has been resurrected with 15 home runs, 57 RBI and a .275 average.

Morse hasn’t gotten any smarter, though. He told USA Today that he still has issues with the Nationals’ decision two years ago to shut Stephen Strasburg down as part of their Tommy John surgery recovery plan — a decision that looks better in light of the Atlanta Braves sending two of their pitchers back for second surgeries.

Morse has 13 home runs, 42 RBI and a .279 average. When it comes to statistical blunders, Loverro wins the Triple Crown!

Morse was a fan favorite in Washington, because sometimes dumb can be cute and fun. His connection with fans here manifested itself in his signature song, “Take On Me,” which became the team’s seventh-inning stretch song. The team continued to play it even after Morse was gone — until recently, when it stopped.

Morse told the Washington Post on this visit to San Francisco that it’s a connection he’ll always have with Washington fans. But he also said the connection with Giants fans is better.

“I still got it here,” he said. “It’s incredible … it’s something I’ll always have with the people of D.C. But you know? It’s to another level here. It’s a whole other level.”

A smart man might have realized that was an insult wrapped in a compliment.

A smart man would also realize that Morse might not care much for the Washington Nationals, since they traded him. And he probably doesn’t lie in bed at night wondering if Nats fans still love him or his trademark ’80s tune.

Morse is right. It is a “whole other level” in San Francisco. The Giants sell a higher percentage (99.6%) of their available tickets than any other team. Their average attendance is over 11,000 higher than Washington’s, just as it was in 2012. The Giants drew an average of 17,000 more fans per game than the Nationals in 2011, Morse’s best season.

But he was a defensive liability, and there was no place for him moving forward in Washington. Morse’s idea of running down a ball in the outfield was waiting until it stopped rolling. When you have a starting rotation like the Nationals’, you don’t want to compromise it with bad defense.

Washington traded for Denard Span to shore up the defense in center field, and he has done just that. That meant moving Bryce Harper to left field, and, with Adam LaRoche at first base, there was no position for Morse.

You see where he is playing in San Francisco? First base, primarily.

There’s a pretty good chance Loverro has never heard of Brandon Belt, so no surprise that he appears to have no clue as to why Morse is playing first base. Just another lazy insult in a thinly-veiled hack piece written by someone who doesn’t like Morse for whatever reason.

Maybe Loverro wanted to get an exclusive interview a few years ago and Morse declined, or perhaps some girl declined Loverro’s invitation to dance with A-ha playing in the background back in 1985. Either way, this column proves once again that even if someone is part of the so-called “mainstream media,” he or she is more than capable of producing terrible articles full of misinformation and immature insults.

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