Michael Morse’s Head Was Bigger Than His Bat Last Night

The title of this post isn’t meant to be insulting. It is only the truth.

Morse went 1-for-4 with a strikeout in Tuesday night’s disaster against the Philadelphia Phillies (more on that later), but his cardboard visage stood tall, proud and cardboardy in center field all night.

I’ve sat here trying to think of a punchline involving “getting a little head,” but I scrapped the idea because I couldn’t come up with any jokes involving getting “big head.”

These are the conflicts bloggers endure on a daily basis.

Bryce Harper Is Bad To Baseballs

The Nats dropped a 3-2 NL East affair to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share a couple pictures taken by Dr. W or gush about a few of the good things that happened during the game.

Steve Lombardozzi collected his first MLB home run against Tommy Hanson to lead off the game while Bryce Harper (freshly named the NL Top Rookie of May along with Gio Gonzalez being named Top May NL Pitcher) unloaded on the very next pitch and planted the ball and Tommy Hanson’s soul in the upper deck for back-to-back home runs.

Great gravy, Harper had a beautiful shot. It was orgasmic. If you need any more proof, check out this young Bryce Harper fan in the throes of ecstasy and eye black:

All these moments will one day be lost in time like tears mixing with the beer that was just splashed over my head. That is why you need to pick up your Bryce Harper Black Label shirt NOW. I know, that was a badly placed, shameless plug. I hide my head in my hands. I put a lighter to my fingertips as punishment.

While I do that, here are a couple shots from Dr. W:

Michael Morse To Finally Make Those $40 Beast Mode Shirts Worth It

The world was rocked yesterday as someone on Twitter claiming to be injured Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Morse (@MLBeastMode38) entered the social flow of the Internet and said that he would be returning from his DL stint (torn left lat muscle) and that he would be making his 2012 debut Friday night at Nationals Park against the Atlanta Braves.

Since then, the account has been somewhat verified as Morse, but his “debut post” has long since been deleted which probably means the team isn’t as solid as to the “when” he will return. Make no mistake, Morse will be at Nationals Park and Davey Johnson plans to use him if he is ready to go. So he might actually make an appearance Friday, but it might be something as small and simple as a pinch hit opportunity.

Regardless, this is good news to a Nationals line up that is in desperate need of reinforcement as injuries continue to plague its starters. A big bat in the line up is exactly what the doctor ordered. Whether or not Morse can replicate his 2011 season has yet to be seen obviously, but the NQ is of the opinion that Morse is going to have a hard time of it. Last year he had the element of being an unknown. This year pitchers will be looking for him so I suspect there will be a lot more challenges and a lot more walks. However, Morse will be inserted into a line up full of guts and grit and perhaps that is exactly what he needs.

Morse’s return is also good news for the fans, especially those who spent forty f**king dollars on those Beast Mode shirts. Forty f**king dollars. Holy smokes! What the hell is it made out of that it is forty dollars? Mithril? I don’t even spend $40 on a pair of shoes!

This might explain why I wear tennis rackets tied to my feet.

Six More Weeks At LEAST MODE For Morse

The Washington Nationals have announced that outfielder/slugger Michael Morse has re-aggravated his strained right lat muscle (located on the back if you want to play doctor) while rehabbing for Class A Hagerstown and he will be shut down for at least six weeks at least.

There is no surgery that could fix the lat and there is really no timetable for his possible return– which is very inconsiderate and selfish because what about my feelings? I would like my team to remain in first place and Morse not being available sort of goes against my plans. Nationals.com:

“We are going to put him on total shut-down mode for six weeks, so he can rest it,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’d tried to ramp him up and get him ready as quickly as we could, because he is a big piece of our lineup. He just reaggravated it, and we have to be ultra cautious and make sure he is right for the majority of the season.”

Define ultra cautious, Rizzo. Do you mean send him home and Barry Bonds him into a recliner with no sex for six weeks ultra cautious or the type of ultra cautious where you take him to Cloud City and freeze him in carbonite for six weeks?

Either way, this is a huge hit against the Nationals who are putting a lot of faith in Xavier “Ax” Nady, Roger Bernadina and whoever else they decide to throw out in the outfield on any given day to pick up the slack. It has worked so far, but damn it if I wouldn’t like to see some of Morse’s beef in that line up. If he is right and can still mash like he did in 2011 then his presence could turn that line up into a slaughterhouse.

The NQ will be in attendance at Friday night’s Nats game at Nationals Park as they go into their second game of their series with the Cincinnati Reds. I have no idea why, but I am seriously tempted to dress all in black for the occasion.

Sorry I haven’t been on the blog the past few days. I’ve been dealing with a child with an ear infection and a 103.6 temperature. Needless to say I have been busy and sleep deprived.

In all seriousness, I know what a zombie now feels like.

Behind The Scenes Of A Michael Morse Photo Shoot

Here is a behind the scenes video of a photo shoot Nationals outfielder Michael Morse had with the 22 Fresh clothing company.

Hot clothes, hot cars, baseball fields, Asian guy pointing guns at you…

I am totally in the wrong business.

In Other Beast Mode News…

Some friends of Morse’s in Taiwan gave him a special gift today in camp:

(Photo via @NationalsPR)

2012 Topps Nationals Cards Look Toppslicious

The Topps 2012 baseball cards were released Wednesday and the NQ got our grubby little hands on three of them. Pictured:

  • Topps 2012 Jordan Zimmermann
  • Topps 2012 Stephen Lombardozzi Rookie Card
  • Topps 2012 Michael Morse

Nothing overly odd or wild about them except if you scratch them and then take a sniff they give off a unique and pungent odor.

It smells like playoffs.

Cat Scratched

Usually Washington D.C. is very accepting of Panthera tigris or the common household “tiger.” This is most in part to the National Zoo having a litter of them this past year, but if the Zoo was any smart they’d put security on those kit-cats because there might be a contingent of Nationals fans wanting to drown the little buggers in their own wadding pool.

The Prince Fielder Sweeptakes officially reached their conclusion Tuesday afternoon as Fielder Scott Boras was wooed by a surprise mystery team in the Detroit Tigers who signed the free agent slugger to a monstrous nine-year, $214 million deal.

The NQ called it. Kind of. We said Fielder would be a Texas Ranger if it came down to it and Texas is kind of close to Detroit.

Sweet Jesus, nine years at $214 million? Thanks, but no thanks. I’m sort of relieved that Detroit sunk their money into that ship and not the Nats, but that is easy to say. Because what now for the Nationals? With the Miami Marlins strengthening and the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies always powerful it is looking like the Nationals are going to have to play way over their heads now to even think of kissing the postseason. It is still completely possible without Fielder, make no mistake, but it won’t be any easier without a true slugging threat in that line up. Basically what the Nationals have right now is the 2011 Washington Nationals plus Gio Gonzalez and Mark DeRosa– that is not going to get it done.

I’m also willing to bet now Bryce Harper will have his clock started and be in the Opening Day line up. The Nationals will need to put butts in the seats somehow. The Yankees will thank Detroit later for that. And now the pressure has been put most extreme on Michael Morse to duplicate his 2011 season as he is now “the big bat” and he will probably be spending time at first base at some point in 2012 with Adam LaRoche. If he can’t do it then the Nationals line up will be a total mess.

Poor Adam LaRoche. He will be playing with the complete knowledge that the team was trying to go over his head and replace him (while he was still on the team) and the fans are going to eat him alive after every bad swing or strikeout. As I said a few days ago, LaRoche is the loneliest Washington National in the world.

So it is over and the Nationals once again failed to get their man. Can’t totally blame them. That price was outrageous and they were right to pass. But that hardly fills the void that the Nationals are once again a team with too many questions and not enough answers and a team that will be fielding basically the same line up as 2011 who couldn’t hit a lick.

I am looking forward to the official team spin on this one and I am sure “fair market value” will be included in the statement. But for now LaRoche Tebows and the search for a mystical center fielder who can lead-off, hit, have great athleticism and actually wants to play for a third or fourth place team is on.

It is sort of like watching Smokey and the Bandit, but the Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo aren’t the Bandit anymore.

They are Jackie Gleason.

Ryan Langerhans Was the Best Thing to Happen to Michael Morse

In 2009 the Washington Nationals made a seemingly aimless trade that sent outfielder Ryan Langerhans to Seattle and a guy named Mike Morse to Washington. Nearly three years later (and a rechristening to “Michael Morse”) the powerful outfielder/first baseman has become a D.C. favorite, a MLB Cinderella and late Friday afternoon he got a two-year extension from the Nationals.

Thank you, Ryan Langerhans. Nats Press Release:

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse on a multi-year contract extension, thus avoiding salary arbitration. This contract was agreed upon prior to arbitration figures being exchanged and was contingent upon a since-completed physical. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Morse, 29, is a career .296 (338-for-1140) hitter with 69 doubles, 52 home runs and 183 RBI in 383 games spanning seven big league seasons with Washington and Seattle.

The deal is for two-years says Bill Ladson off Twitter. The Nationals obviously want to invest in their diamond in the rough, but not invest too much considering no one truly knows if 2011 was a complete fluke year where he hit .303 and 31 home runs. Two years sounds about right and better yet sounds safe. He earned this extended look.

Of course, if he looks like he is going to bottom out, the deal makes him easier to trade too. You gotta keep that in mind and have all the angles. This extension has some sweating about the possibility the Nationals can’t sign Prince Fielder now. Trust me on this, Nats fans:

The Nationals might shoot themselves in the foot in the Fielder proceedings, but it won’t be over Michael freaking Morse.

Nats Have A Couple Of Huckleberries

Greetings readers of fine Inner-Netting blog rot. I am hoping you found your three-day holiday weekend restful and full of joy and happiness.

Sadly, mine was not. Life threw your friend Dangernat some off speed sh*t, some of which has seriously jeopardized the NQ Spring Training plans. I’m still trying to figure things out, but I will keep you informed. It would suck to have to miss ST for the first time in five years, but men have to do what they have to do to survive.

So the weekend was spent wallowing in pits of degradation and all sorts of unmentionable fun that most baseball writers take part in when suffering from a case of bored. The January Off Season is the worst.

So what happened over the weekend?

Let’s get it out of the way: free agent first baseman Prince Fielder is still not signed and will not until after Wednesday. That is because the Texas Rangers have until Wednesday to sign Japanese stud pitcher Yu Darvish. The plot of this drama is simple: if Texas signs Darvish, they will be out on Prince Fielder and the Nationals truly become the #1 landing spot for the big guy. If they fail to sign Darvish, Prince will be a Texas Ranger. Simple as that. I know it sucks the Nationals 2012 season is actually in the hands of another team and it isn’t the rosiest of outlooks, but it is what it is. What would you choose? A team with on-paper potential or a team one out away from World Series victory? I expect by Friday the latest we’ll see Pot-O-Fielder heating up on the stove.

Somehow, someway all the Fielder talk coupled with the fact the Nationals extended pitcher Gio Gonzalez’s contract, five years/$42 million w/options (largest contract for a pitcher eligible for arbitration for the first time) and avoided arbitration with catcher Jesus Flores, has all lead up to the continued harping on getting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman an extension and now certain writers are even calling for a contract extension for Michael Morse– but not both, never both, signing Fielder AND extending the contracts.

Look, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: whatever happens in the coming weeks is just as much a test for the Nationals FO and ownership than it is a test for the players getting on that field and getting to the playoffs. This either-or horse crap is ridiculous and nothing but the media stirring up drama. If it really comes down to choosing Michael Morse or Prince Fielder then that is a no-brainer- good-bye Michael Morse. The Nationals and Zimmerman have nearly two more years to get an extension done. Why the absolute rush? So Zimmerman’s feelings won’t get hurt? Give me a break.

January Off Season sucks so bad…

So the Nationals have a couple of huckleberries. Right now they are doing something similar to that scene from Tombstone above. Zimmerman is Ringo, drunk and deranged in total confusion over his contract wanting to go at it with the Wyatt clan which consists of Michael Morse, Gio Gonzalez and we’ll say Ted Lerner. Then of course there is, Prince Fielder looking all suave, going Doc Holliday on everyone.

“I’m your Huckleberry.” Yes you are, Prince, yes you are. Now where you going to have a shoot out?

Washington or Texas?