The other night I was sitting on my ass watching TV when a Gorton’s fish stick ad aired. I imagine Gorton’s would rather we all refer to them by their official title — Gorton’s Seafood — but let’s face it, what they’re known for is fish sticks. Frozen, rectangular conglomerations of mysterious fish parts. That’s all Gorton’s really is.
At the end of the commercial, a woman with a pleasant voice sang the Gorton’s slogan — “Trust the Gorton’s fisherman…” — and a thought crossed my mind. I’ve heard this jingle my entire life and never once have I actually put any faith in the Gorton’s fisherman. Does anyone trust the Gorton’s fisherman? Because I don’t.
First of all, I don’t even know this guy. I don’t trust my mailman, so why would I trust this bearded seafarer hawking fish goulash? If anything, I’m more apt to fear this man. He peddles a questionable food item, makes his living through murder, and wears a yellow raincoat all day. He also hasn’t shaved in years and never once have I heard him speak. What about all this would make me trust the Gorton’s fisherman?!
Anyway, this is neither here nor there. They say in writing that you should always grab hold of your audience with an anecdote to kick things off. Well, there’s my anecdote. I hope you enjoyed it.
What we’re really here to talk about is Michael Morse and the Seattle Mariners. And let me start by saying right now that I’m gonna have to scrap this “Michael” junk. He’s Mike Morse. That’s how I was introduced to him, that’s how he’ll remain. You know how much time we’ll waste over the course of our lives adding that second syllable, that “-ael,” to his first name? Probably about as much time as I just wasted explaining all the time we could waste, but whatever. Mike Morse. He’s Mike.
Mike Morse, what a guy. Four home runs in four baseball games. That puts him on pace for 162 trips around the basepaths this year. Some people would have you believe that 162 homers in a season is impossible. It’s not impossible. Implausible, yes. But impossible? No. For all we know, nothing’s impossible. I wager a transvestite riding a unicorn through a wormhole connecting 1955 to today would be damn near impossible. But it’s not entirely impossible. It could happen. We don’t know. We just don’t know. And I, for one, like to live in the realm of the implausible. Because it’s fun. And because my imagination knows no bounds. And because some people have told me that my mental growth has been stunted to the point of existing around a sixth-grade level. So, you know, I just go with it.
Fact is, if a guy is guaranteed 500 plate appearances in a season, it’s possible that he could hit 500 home runs. Again, wholly unlikely. But still possible. So let’s just play make-believe for a minute.
I like to think that Mike Morse is some sort of archangel sent down from the heavens to save Seattle Mariners baseball. I’m not religious or anything. I just want to believe that because, again, it’s fun to believe in crazy stuff like that. If in fact Morse is some kind of baseball deity, then 162 dingers should be no problem for the guy, right? Not at this pace. Not with 158 games left in the season. Games in which he’ll average four plate appearances per contest, ensuring him right around 632 chances to hit those longballs.
Okay, this is ridiculous, I know. If Morse hits just 26 — twenty-six — more home runs this season, we’ll call his individual campaign a success. My goodness, if he were to do us ten better and belt thirty-six more home runs this season, well, we’d be damn near ecstatic. And anything more than that? Anything more than nine times his current home run total from here on out? With 40 times the number of games already played left to go? We’d wet our pants. Most of us would, at least.
I brought this completely absurd mathematical discussion to Facebook and a pseudo-argument ensued. Mostly, it was just hilarity. One individual argued that, because of a spotty health history, Morse would be unable to wallop 162 round-trippers this season. As if that would be the only thing holding him back. Seriously. It was awesome. Here’s what it looked like:
Big thanks to Terri for being a good sport about the entire conversation, despite basically everyone attempting to bait her into making ridiculous proclamations about the M’s outfielder. But this serves to show us something. Terri’s baseball knowledge seems to be rather limited. Based on what she does know, however, in tandem with the plausible mathematical outcomes tied to Morse’s current home run pace, she’s willing to wager that Mike will indeed record a 40-to-50-homer season. That would be damn exciting! Who wouldn’t be satisfied with 40-to-50 Mike Morse home runs this year?
Experts will tell you that Morse might end up with around 35 bombs if all goes well. Eh. Thirty-five, huh? That’s all well and good. But I like the idea of 40. I like the idea of 50. I like the idea of 70, 80…heck, I like the idea of 162.
So what the hell. I’m counting every one of Mike Morse’s jacks this season. I want to see the implausible, whatever that implausible number may be.
Mike, we love you, you’re great, and here’s hoping you keep sending baseballs over the outfield wall. The quest for 162 is on. Be amazing. Be a hero. Test the impossible.