Michael Morse was sitting in the clubhouse rocking out to some tunes this morning and getting ready for his second act with a Mariners team that traded him to Washington for Ryan Langerhans back in 2009. Much has changed for Morse since he left. Back then, his spring training locker was in a rear section of the clubhouse and he largely stayed in the background, letting more established teammates be front and center.
Nowadays, Morse controls the clubhouse music. His locker is where Ichiro’s used to be and there’s a side buffer locker to his right that handles the overflow between him and Franklin Gutierrez (who has the end locker where Chone Figgins used to be). So, Morse is now big in clubhouse stature as well as in the lineup, where he’ll occupy the third or fourth spot.
“I got a chance to play,” Morse said.
Indeed he did. He nearly got that same chance in 2008 before diving for a fly ball and tearing the labrum his shoulder. I asked him whether he ever thinks things might have gone differently for him had he not been hurt.
“I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason,” he said. “I don’t like to look back on it or question it. I just know that good things have happened for me since I had the chance to play and I’m in a good situation right now.”
Morse owns at-shirt company 22 Fresh and today brought in a version he had made up yesterday. It reads: I love Japanese pitching and has a heart-shaped logo where the word “love” would be. The first person he showed it to was Antony Suzuki, interpreter for Hisashi Iwakuma.
“I think I’m going to have them made up for everybody except him,” Morse said with a smile, in reference to Iwakuma. “For him, I’ll maybe get one that says ‘I love American hitters’.”
Across the locker row, Raul Ibanez was preparing for his third go-around with the Mariners.More