Tag Archives: Morse

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

A-Rod surgery Ok, but Yanks lose out on Morse

A-Rod’s surgery went ok, but a big bat the Yanks could have used—Michael Morse—went to Seattle.

Morse had no place in Washington after their recent moves. Morse could DH (which the Yanks are looking for) as well as play 1B and corner OF vs. lefties (which is also a Yanks’ need—a righty bat in the OF vs. lefties and a backup for Teix).

Morse hit .291-18-62 last year, OPS+ 112 and he went .303-31-95, OPS+ 147 in 2011 for the Nats.

Instead he goes to Seattle in a 3-team deal, the A’s and Nats also involved.

Morse is a free agent after 2013. So you had to watch what you gave up. The M’s now have added Jason Bay (hoping for a comeback), Kendrys Morales and Jason Bay to go with the developing Montero as they look to improve their offense. Apparently Justin Smoak (who they got for Cliff Lee) is out of their plans (as he should be after posting a .217-19-51 OPS+ 87 mark last year). … and to think that Seattle took Smoak instead of a package deal for Montero (who they got for Pineda a year later) for Lee. They might still have Pineda today. Of course, the Yanks don’t expect Pineda until mid-summer and hope he’s the same after his shoulder surgery. It’s funny how the dominoes fell.

Speaking of surgery, A-Rod had his hip surgery today and all reports are that it went as expected. If everything goes well, he may rejoin the Yanks shortly after the All-Star break.

Soriano goes to Nats.

Rafael Soriano saved the Yanks’ bacon last year by saving 42 games after Mo went down. He has now gone to Washington for a $28 MM, 2 yr deal. No way the Yanks were giving him that, esp. since they are giving Mo $10 MM to close in what will probably be his final season.

Having written that, I really like the Nationals chances to win the WS this year. Heck, they don’t have any room for Michael Morse (who would look nice as the Yanks’ DH this year). Harper gains another year’s experience, the kid gloves are off Strasburg, you have Gio Gonzalez, LaRoche is back, as is Ryan Zimmerman, Werth moves back to RF, they picked up Span, and have a closing trio of Clippard, Storen and Soriano.

Could Washington see its first WS since 1933?

Morse code?

With the Nationals re-signing of Adam LaRoche to a deal today, there appears to be no place for Michael Morse to play. LaRoche would play 1B, and the Nats have an OF of Harper, Werth and Span in place.

Morse could fit the Yankees’ needs very well.

Morse is a righty bat who has played LF (134), RF (124) and 1B (123) in his career. At 6’5″, 245 you’d be surprised to learn that he’s actually played 57 MLB games at SS! He has also played 9 games at 3B.

No offense to Scott Hairston (who the Yanks are pursuing), Matt Diaz or Russ Canzler (already on board), but if they can swing a deal for the soon to be 31-year-old Morse, you do it.

Morse is a .295 career hitter who had 31 HR and 95 RBI in 2011. In 2012 he hit .291-18-62 with an OPS+ of 112. His 162 g. average is .295-23-82, OPS+ 126. I wish he’d walk more (33 BB/123K) but he is versatile, young enough, has a solid OPS+ and is a better righty-hitting OF option than the players already acquired in Diaz and Canzler.

The Nats don’t have a place for him. He will make $6.75 MM in 2013 which, believe it or not, may be too much for the Yankees. But he fits. In the past three years, his average (115 g/yr) is .296-21-66, OPS+ 132.

That’s damned good and a better righty-hitting option than Diaz and/or Canzler.

Could the Yanks make it happen?  Who would you give up to make it happen?