“I was mad. In May I was very mad at this team, mad at the organization, I was just a mad guy. Just because it goes back to all the feelings I have for this organization."
Michael Morse has plenty to say about the Giants. NBC Sports Bay Area hired him as an analyst to talk about the team he cares so much about and he's done just that after years of experience playing, and talking about the game.
An MLB journeyman in his own right, Morse spent his 13 years in the league as a member of six different teams. Two of those seasons he spent wearing the orange and black and earned a World Series ring in 2014. Needless to say, he's aware of the "Giants mentality," a term he preached when I spoke to him back in May. Morse said the team at the beginning of the season was definitely in a rebuild, as much as he hated the word, but he noticed a drastic change from when he roamed the field.
Are things different now? Well, slightly. He likes what he sees in outfielder Mike Yastrzemski.
“I think the one thing that the Giants can bring out of this year is Yaz," Morse said. "I think Yaz is a great pickup, I love his background, his grandfather you can see Yaz -- Mike, and Carl they all play the same. They’ve got just good baseball blood. You know, if that’s one thing the Giants can take out of this year, being a rebuilding year supposedly, I’m not even sure in spring training next year if some of these guys will be on the team or even invited to camp, but you can guarantee that Yaz will be in the mix next year as an outfield spot.”
Morse said of everyone on that roster, Yaz brings that "Giants' light" he's been talking about.
But is he that Max Muncy-type Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was searching for? Sure.
"Well, I mean if you pick up 100 players you’re gonna find one," Morse explained. "[Zaidi] has picked up a ton of guys and if you remember during the beginning of the season, he started picking up every other team's trash and we were all saying ‘What is he doing, why are we picking these guys up?' And you know ones going to land."
"It’s like you throw a bunch of junk on the wall somethings gonna stick," he said.
Yaz stuck. After years in the minors, Yastrzemski got the call he had been dreaming about. He then called his wife, his father, then eventually his grandfather, who, as Morse said, is a legend in the baseball world.
We know Yaz could be part of the Giants' future, but what about Madison Bumgarner? He was the big "what if," heading toward the MLB trade deadline. And maybe the right situation didn't present itself when it came to MadBum.
“Honestly I just think there wasn’t a deal out there for him," Morse said. "I don’t think the right deal was out there. I think he wanted a lot for him, we 'San Franciscans' think a lot of our MadBum and it would be a shame to see him go away for nothing. If you’re not going to get a good package for him you might as well not get rid of him and then you can spark the conversation of ‘we’re trying to go for it.'”
And with that, what about the future for the Giants? Well, Morse hasn't shut the door on the team by any means but agreed it'll be an arduous journey ahead.
“Right now there are a lot of really good, young teams out there. The Giants still have a couple of core guys that are aging and they’re tied up with money."
There are some bright spots, however, Morse said. Including the starting pitching that is starting to show some promise. But beyond that, he remains unsure.
"I don’t know. It’s sad because I love this team, I love this organization. I think Bruce Bochy retiring this year he kind of knows that the next couple years are going to be different. Everything’s going to start changing and I think we’re going to see it on the field. Look at the A’s across the bay, five years ago they stunk and now look at them, they’re a playoff potential team.”
[RELATED: Yaz knows it'll be 'emotional' to watch grandson at Fenway]
And how does he feel overall about the organization? Well, his tune has changed from being angry. He remains hopeful.
"It’s going to be a long road," Morse said. "But I think we’ve got the right GM to steer this boat in this storm.”