Washington Nationals: A Farewell to Michael Morse

Jordan PittContributor IIJanuary 17, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12:  Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 12, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

So long Michael Morse. The man fondly known as “Beast Mode,” maybe the first real fan favorite in the brief history of the Washington Nationals, has left town.

On Wednesday, Morse was traded to the Seattle Mariners in a three-way exchange between the Nats, Mariners and Oakland Athletics, for pitching prospects AJ Cole and Blake Treinen and a player to be named (via Washington Post). Morse was made expendable after the Nationals re-signed first baseman Adam LaRoche, leaving him without a spot in the starting lineup. Considering that the Nationals had depleted their pitching prospect depth in previous trades for Denard Span and Gio Gonzalez, the team was all but forced to trade him.

Though trading Morse was the right decision and truly a surprise to no one, it is a move that Nationals fans may deem a necessary evil.  

In the three-plus seasons he spent in the nation’s capital, Morse proved to be incredibly likeable.

A large man with an even larger personality, he became one of the most popular athletes in Washington with his kooky antics (including his bizarre pre-at bat routine that he referred to as his “Samurai Cobra Snake”), boisterous celebrations (he was no stranger to shoving a shaving cream pie into a teammate’s face ) and, of course, his anthemic at-bat music.

Forty-five thousand fans singing Aha’s ‘80s classic “Take on Me,” trying (maybe not quite so successfully) to hit the high note in the chorus, is the closest thing to a tradition the Nationals have had.  

Now Morse heads all the way across the country to dreary, rainy Seattle—a city certain members of the District population aren’t too fond of at the moment—from a first-place team with World Series aspirations to a team that is rebuilding.

He wasn’t in D.C. long, but he helped the team make its first playoff berth and clinch its first NL East title and the image of him running around the field dosing teammates and fans alike in cheap champagne is one Nationals fans won’t soon forget.