Speaking in Morse code

NEW YORK - Let's get the important stuff out of the way regarding newest Oriole Michael Morse.

He's still going to use Aha's "Take On Me" as his walk-up song.

Morse and Nate McLouth could spend hours talking '80s pop music. McLouth already approves of Morse's hair.

If you assumed that Morse was stressed during the 48-hour period after the Orioles won the waiver claim on him, guess again.

"It was a fun experience, I guess you could say," he said. "To get claimed by Baltimore, for me it's a great opportunity. It's a great ballclub and a great team to be a part of. I'm very excited to be here.

"I look at it as, I turn the page of what was going on over there and I get to start fresh here and help this team get to the playoffs."

Morse doesn't feel like a complete stranger in the clubhouse.

"With this team and the players you've got here, I know a lot of the guys," he said. "It's a great group of guys. I'm not worried about that. It's a good jell here and good mix here. I'm just very excited and I can't wait to get on the field with these guys.

"I came up with Adam (Jones), known him for a couple years. I know Danny Valencia, Nick (Markakis). I have a little core of guys that I know."

So, I've used "hair" and "jell" in the same blog entry, but not in the way you'd expect.

Morse said he's 100 percent physically after missing five weeks with a quadriceps injury. And the Fort Lauderdale native is glad to be back on the East Coast.

"This is a great area," he said. "Baltimore-DC area is a great area. It's a good baseball area. There are a lot of fans. To me, it's always been good. I'm just happy to be back."

And dropped in the middle of a pennant race.

"I'm also excited to watch these guys and keep watching how they're playing," he said. "It's all about getting to the postseason. That's the goal. Whatever it takes, I'm for it."

Note: The Orioles officially placed Steve Pearce on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, with tendinitis in his left wrist.

Also, Alex Rodriguez has been scratched from the Yankees lineup with flu-like symptoms. Mark Reynolds will shift to third base with Lyle Overbay starting at first.

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