Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy. Michael Morse didn’t participate in Act One of the Washington Nationals’ rise to prominence in 2012, but the goofiest National didn’t let his team have all the fun without him. Morse returned to the lineup on June 2 after being sidelined for the first two months of the season with a lat injury. His batting average steadily climbed through the month of June, and his numbers stayed consistently high all season as he continued to make solid contributions to a Nationals lineup that grew more potent at the season progressed. In 102 games, Morse put together a power hitter’s slash line of .291/.321/.470 with 18 home runs and 97 strikeouts. And for all 406 at-bats, Nats fans were there cheering on their beloved slugger. The fans were there to encourage him when he struggled. Morse’s strikeout rate was almost as high as Xavier Nady’s,  but instead of complaining when he struck out, the fans would continue belting “Take On Me,” even if the at-bat was over before the song was, as a kind of encouragement saying, “It’s okay, Mikey. You’ll get em next time.” The fans were also there to celebrate with him when he succeeded. They watched him pat himself on the head every time he hit a ball out of the park, even if the ball in question was invisible. And if he wasn’t the one who hit it, you could be sure he’d be the first to shower his teammate with a bucket of bubble gum or a cooler of Gatorade after the game. In 2012, “87.5 percent of Nats celebrations heavily involve Morse. He’s basically just a full-time celebration smile hug party," Dan Steinberg wrote in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog. There isn’t a better way to describe him. Morse is a special player because not only did his Beast Mode performances on the field give fans something to cheer about, his fun, outgoing character off the field didn’t give fans a choice but to love him. He allowed the fans to have a special connection with him – to experience his ups and downs as he did – because of how much of himself he shared with them. From his Samurai Cobra Snake to his locker room pranks, he gave this team a personality. Reminiscing on the many Morse moments of last season (some of which The Nats Blog has chronicled here) and lamenting his absence on the 2013 roster is already making me appreciate 2012 for the very special season it was. Next Year: After three years in Washington, Morse will return to the team he made his major league debut with, the Seattle Mariners. In a three-team trade, which also involved the Oakland Athletics, the Nationals sent Morse to Seattle to presumably play outfield and DH, in exchange for former Nationals pitching prospect A.J. Cole and two other players. The Nationals don’t play the Mariners in 2013, but the Orioles should expect to see a lot of Natitude at Camden Yards when The Beast comes to Baltimore on August 2-4. Up Next: #40 Chien-Ming Wang, #41 Sandy Leon, #45 Ryan Perry
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Browns lament ‘unacceptable’ loss to winless Jaguars

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Hockey fights of the week

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.