There's something patently phony about major-league baseball spring training, not the least of which (as we know today, March 13, in drippy-and-50° Seattle) is that most of it takes place during winter.
Other fakery includes the ongoing patter by managers about players clearly destined to make the team. Field boss John McLaren was coy again Wednesday (March 12) about the destiny of Mike Morse, who started what would be an M's 5-1 victory against Milwaukee a tick below .500 at 12 for 25. By day's end Morse, playing right field, was 15 for 29, and figured to have solidified his roster position as the M's regular-season "fourth outfielder."
One may have wondered why the versatile Morse, who is eminently suited for another position if only because he's 76 inches tall, would not actually be considered to be the first infielder instead? Shouldn't the coaches be working him out at first base, in other words? Actually, this hasn't happened and probably won't because the most prominent ongoing fraud about this ballclub is that Richie Sexson by opening day somehow will have whipped the whiffs of 2007 and will proceed to hit .263 (his career average after last year's .205) with 35 home runs.
There's hope, of course (that's what winter-spring training is largely about), but there simply isn't any evidence that this will happen. Sexson has one home run (referenced by the announcer-corps sycophants about every five minutes when he's in a game), but his average this morning was .208. Morse, with spotty major-league service, has hit .302 in 291 big-league at-bats. If he's not in his prime right now, maybe Morse will be next week on March 22, when he turns 26. By then, contrary to the conceit of major-league baseball, it actually will be spring.