SCOTTSDALE — Mike Morse has already made quite an impression on Giants fans.
From his 80’s walk-up song (“Take on Me” by A-Ha) to his crazy on-deck circle movements to his budding friendship with Hunter Pence, it seems that Morse will fit in perfectly with this San Francisco team that’s full of personality. His quirks have endeared him to fans even before the season has begun.
So how does Morse feel about becoming a member of the two-time World Series Champions Giants?
“From day one, it’s been a team that’s made me feel like I belong here. I’m happy to be here, and this is a great organization.”
One specific factor that helped bring the outfielder to San Francisco was manager Bruce Bochy.
Morse sung the praises of the skipper back in January, and now that he’s had a chance to play for him, Morse’s opinion of Bochy has only gone up:
“He’s great. He’s a highly respected manager. He’s first-class, the way he goes about his business. He’s well respected by the team. That’s all you can ask for in a manager.”
Last season, Morse battled a wrist injury that plagued him at the plate and eventually led to an offseason surgery to remove a bone growth.
In 2013, he had 312 Major League at-bats and hit .215 with 13 homeruns and 27 RBIs. It was a big fall from his career average of .281.
Morse has a powerful swing that could help propel the Giants’ offense — if he’s healthy. Right now, he says that his wrist is 100 percent, and it seems to be true.
In the first game of Spring Training, he was robbed of two home runs by A’s outfielder Josh Reddick, and Friday against the Kansas City Royals, Justin Maxwell made a diving catch to take another hit away from Morse.
So, what are his expectations for a bounce-back season in 2014?
“Don’t get injured. (Laughs) Stay healthy. That’s about it. I think if we all just do our part, we’ll be playing in October.”
And what about those reports of his bromance with fellow outfielder Hunter Pence?
“I think that’s something that happened on twitter, I don’t know. We’re just buddies on the team. I like the way he plays, he plays the game very hard … he’s my throwing partner.”
Regardless of whether or not he and Pence are best friends, it’s clear Morse has bonded with Pence as well as his other Giants teammates.
On a team that’s known for its team chemistry, watching those friendships continue to develop will be fun for fans to follow. Seeing Morse attack opposing pitching this season and launch balls over the fence should be pretty fun to watch, too.
Giants pitchers got rocked on Saturday. Ryan Vogelsong gave up five earned runs (seven unearned), Yusmeiro Petit allowed two more unearned runs, Javier Lopez gave up three, Sergio Romo allowed five, and Mason Tobin gave up one as the Mariners routed the Giants 18-3. …Andrew Susac got San Francisco on the board with a two-run double in the sixth. …Pence (elbow) and Morse (calf) sat out Sunday’s 3-2 win against the Dodgers to get some extra rest and battle their injuries.