Why Are We Fighting Over the Jaso-for-Morse Deal, Again?

morseWhat the hell is going on? People are fighting like there’s reason to fight or something. Everyone has an opinion on the Mariners’ trade of catcher John Jaso for outfielder/first baseman Mike Morse. Some people think it’s a great deal, some people think it’s a horrible deal, but regardless, everyone seems to be either agonizing or rejoicing.

First of all, this is stupid. The Mariners were Godawful last year and neither of the players we’re debating — neither Morse nor Jaso — are world-beaters. We’re talking about JOHN JASO and MIKE MORSE! This is not Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, people! We should not be having aneurysms over two slightly-above-average major leaguers. It’s foolish in every sense of the word. No matter how many advanced statistics you can ejaculate onto the world wide web, I’m not convinced that either of these players is or was going to be the fulcrum for the Mariners’ 2013 season. We weren’t going to go from a cellar dweller to a playoff contender simply because we inserted Jaso into the lineup, nor are we going to win the division just because Morse is here now. No, there’s a greater reality here and why we can’t just discuss it for what it is is mind-boggling.

Here’s the reality: John Jaso was a player with a limited role on a shitty team. Shitty. The Mariners were shitty last year. That’s exactly what they were and you know it. No amount of statistics will overwhelm wins and losses when it comes to a baseball team. They didn’t win enough and they lost too damn much. That’s all you need to know.

Mike Morse, on the other hand, was a player with a full-time role on a good team. A playoff team, no less. That’s just a fact. You cannot dispute it.

So which player would you rather have? Frankly, I’d rather have the outsider who got shit done with a winning team. Maybe he’s got something that doesn’t show up in the statistics that helped his team win, we don’t know. All I know is the guy’s a winner, he put up damn decent numbers, he had an expanded role in his team’s lineup, and our team, the team he’s coming to, could use him every single day.

On the flip side, our use of Jaso was limited. Yeah, maybe he had better individual sabermetric stats than Morse. But you know what? John Jaso wasn’t going to play every day for the Seattle Mariners. Not this year, not next year, and maybe not ever. He was a part-time player on a bad team. That’s just who he was. And I know it hurts so many of you to hear that, but it’s true. Great guy, that John Jaso. Heroic on many occasions. Had a wonderful, thriving beard. But the M’s didn’t deploy him every day. And they weren’t going to. Not with Jesus Montero on the roster. Not with Mike Zunino flourishing in the minors. Jaso’s future with the Mariners was iffy, at best. And so as a result, he was expendable.

For all we know, the Oakland A’s might play John Jaso every day and he might turn into the next Carlton Fisk. But the fact remains that he probably wouldn’t have become the next Fisk here. Because the Mariners wouldn’t have given him that opportunity like another team might be able to. If Jaso morphs into a Hall of Famer, then be pissed at the M’s roster circumstances because of that. But just know that had the guy stuck around in Seattle, there’s a good chance he never would have become the player he has the potential of becoming now.

Mike Morse will play just about every day so long as he’s healthy. Maybe he reverts to the average player he was before the M’s sent him to D.C. a few years back. Maybe he becomes the next Jay Buhner. Or maybe he just continues the production he put up in the second half of last season — he batted .310 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI over his final 83 games, as Ryan Divish points out in his blog. If nothing else, we know that Morse will play. And for Jaso, that same guarantee could not be granted.

John Jaso was one of the hotter chicks at your high school. Mike Morse is one of the hotter chicks at your college. Jaso was a big fish in a small pond with the Mariners. Morse was a big fish in a bigger pond with the Nationals. How will that translate in 2013? We don’t really know for sure yet.

But I do know this. I bag on the Mariners all the time. I might make more fun of them than anybody in Seattle. But even I’m optimistic enough to see that this trade could help us in certain ways, no matter how in-depth stats may go to convince us otherwise. This team is bad enough from April to October. We don’t need to be miserable now. We don’t need to be miserable before the season even gets underway. Save your misery for later. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth a being a miserable individual over the loss of John Jaso and the addition of Mike Morse. That’s stupid. This team needs much more than a Mike Morse or a John Jaso to be better than shitty. Don’t kid yourself.

This deal, and this team we’re talking about, isn’t worth fighting over. Let’s win some games first before we get all hot and bothered. Let’s make a postseason before we scratch each other’s eyes out. We’re like two dudes coming to blows over a pair of snaggle-toothed girls at a bar. Let’s up our standards first, then throw down. Cool?


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