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  • What do we make of Justin Morneau's quotes?

    ďThere comes a point when you can only torture yourself so long.Ē

    Those are the words of Justin Morneau (courtesy Phil Mackey of 1500espn on Twitter), uttered just this morning while speaking to reporters for the first time since reporting yesterday to Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers. Today the Twins will hold their first full squad workout of spring training.

    Mackey tweeted Morneauís quotes, ďI donít know if I can be a full, 100 percent go, but Iím going to go out there and participate in everything and take it day by day.Ē The quotes are pretty straight-forward. Clearly, Morneau is not completely past concussion symptoms (not a surprise, I don't think). To me, it sounds like he is a guy who has decided to just go all-out until he canít again. Itís like a pitcher with some elbow soreness who decides that he is just going to air-it-out on his bullpen sessions until it either feels better or snaps.

    There has never been any question about Justin Morneauís toughness or his willingness to play with pain. It sounds like he has worked hard and is in good shape. But concussions are not something with which one messes around. Morneau has a young family and is just 30 years old. He has, hopefully, another 60 years left on this earth to spend with them, so it is understandable that he wants to be able to enjoy those years.

    At the same time, Morneau came in on Thursday and took a full round of batting practice. He said he is going to work out with the team today. He sounds like he is feeling good right now, but based on what he has experienced the last couple of years, he doesnít know how he will feel tomorrow, or next week or sometime next month. Morneau sounds like a man who is ready to take that retirement step should he go through another concussion. And frankly, I donít blame him at all. Baseball is a great game. We all love the Twins. Morneau was an MVP who led this team through several very good years. We all appreciate that. He has earned enough money already that his familyís needs will be met.

    I've said throughout the offseason that I thought anything the Twins got from Morneau in 2012 should be considered a bonus, and my opinion doesn't change based on these quotes. I certainly am hopefully he can be close to what he was in his best days. But donít give up on Justin Morneau and the Twins just yet. Letís see how this plays out. For now, heís ready to go, excited for spring and hopeful for another strong season. Thatís what Twins fans should hope for. He also clearly has had some very difficult discussions with himself and those close to him and is realistic as well.
    This article was originally published in blog: What do we make of Justin Morneau's quotes? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      In an earlier interview on the MLB network, Justin talked about "retraining" the brain after the injury. They showed him doing motion-tracking eye exercises and balance drills which didn't fill me with a lot of confidence about his ability to judge a 92 mph pitch in a fifth of a second and then react like a pre-concussed Morneau.
    1. YLT's Avatar
      YLT -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      In an earlier interview on the MLB network, Justin talked about "retraining" the brain after the injury. They showed him doing motion-tracking eye exercises and balance drills which didn't fill me with a lot of confidence about his ability to judge a 92 mph pitch in a fifth of a second and then react like a pre-concussed Morneau.
      I fully agree. Relearning timing and coordination for one of the hardest activities to do in all of sports (hit a baseball) after a concussion cannot be easy at all. Safety-wise it's probably a wash (hitting/baserunning vs. fielding) but his ability to track a baseball while at the plate will likely suffer the most. It's just a matter of how much and if he and the Twins will be OK with that decline.

      I wish him the best this season.
    1. FranTheMan's Avatar
      FranTheMan -
      There certainly is cause for concern. But it doesn't seem Morneau's condition has changed for the worse. The story is colored by Souhan's typical glass half-empty perspective. The presentation of the same quotes by other Twins media are not nearly as gloomy.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Bates is a good singles hitter, and maybe that's the best the team can do this year, if they also want a steady first baseman. Maybe it would be better to have a guy like Bates setting the table for other hitters. It doesn't always work out in a conventional way. Can Gardenhire make a winning team out of this year's misfits?
    1. Apostle43's Avatar
      Apostle43 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Doumit and Mauer would likely play most of the time at 1B. Parmelee and Benson most likely won't make the big league Opening Day roster... maybe in June. Revere will be in LF.
      Yeah, leave Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee in Rochester so we can have a winning team for once. We know you all in Minnesota can't wait for the season to start, but we feel the same way down on the farm. The AAA roster is going to have quite a few stars in the lineup (and we pay minor league ticket prices to see them)! BTW, this new website, Twins Daily, is fantastic!
    1. SteadyDietOfCheese's Avatar
      SteadyDietOfCheese -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I also shook my head when, like last year, we heard that he doesn't need to be healthy until Opening Day. That's never a good sign.
      Exactly. It's been a year and a half. Doubtful that a lot is going to change in the next 6 weeks.
    1. Huskerboy's Avatar
      Huskerboy -
      When Morneau was at he best he stayed on the ball like the goalie he once was reported to be he stood tall and drove through the strike zone. Seems to have lost that confident and courageous edge.Too many swings pulling away from the zone last year. The doubt doesn't sound like he is not ready to return to his fearless approach at the plate. Would 60 day DL him at the first sign of recurrence and move on, wishing him a return to good health.
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
      What a slippery slope he's on. How hard should he go after that ground ball? Should he dive? Should he let it go, allowing a run to score?

      Or try taking that extra base?

      Very difficult situation he's in. I wish him the best.

      Hopefully the Twins take it easier on him than he will on himself. Take it slow!
    1. sonofkenny's Avatar
      sonofkenny -
      He has been burned by expectations in the past year regarding his recovery. I wonder if he is not under promising so he can over perform...
    1. RyeGuy's Avatar
      RyeGuy -
      Quote Originally Posted by kirbyelway View Post
      I would only DH him. They need his stick in the lineup.
      Agreed..they've lost hitting in the offseason and need his bat more than him at 1stbase everyday...

      kind of scary when you hear that neither span or morneau seem out of the woods yet..
    1. ssmart's Avatar
      ssmart -
      God I hope he can play this year. 1st. - DH, whatever. Another lost season, I fear, without him.
    1. ShaneMackAttack's Avatar
      ShaneMackAttack -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      CF Span
      SS Carroll
      C Mauer
      DH Morneau
      RF Willingham
      1B Parmelee
      3B Valencia
      2B Casilla
      LF Benson

      If the team does that, instead of using 1B as a committee thing, it pushs Doumit to the bench and probably prevents Gardy with going with 3 catchers. (Bench - Hughes, Doumit, Plouffe, Nishi)
      Really? Benson? How about the best outfielder on the team, Ben Revere? He doesn't even make the team?
    1. StormJH1's Avatar
      StormJH1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by FranTheMan View Post
      There certainly is cause for concern. But it doesn't seem Morneau's condition has changed for the worse. The story is colored by Souhan's typical glass half-empty perspective. The presentation of the same quotes by other Twins media are not nearly as gloomy.
      It wasn't just Souhan. LaVelle, Reusse, and virtually every local commentator on Twitter that was at that conference live came away with that same feeling from the content and tone of what he was saying. And even if Morneau was 100% sunshine, the fact that he had symptoms as recently as JANUARY (last month) means there is zero confidence that he's over these problems now.

      For people who can't understand this, think about a 33-year old slugger who comes back the next year and just falls off the face of the Earth. A guy like Mo Vaughn or Greg Vaughn who was once an elite hitter, and then loses just a bit of bat speed and reaction time, and suddenly they can't even hit .200. Morneau's ability to focus has been compromised by concussions. The changes may only operate on the level of one-thousandths of a second, but that's enough in baseball to completely wreck a hitter's swing. I really wish he could play, but I'm glad he has the proper perspective on this if he can't.
    1. JakeE141414's Avatar
      JakeE141414 -
      The Morneau situation definitely doesn't look good, but he has fully performed in every workout so far this spring which is a good sign. I think he'll be alright until another knock to the head and then I imagine he'll retire. Let's just hope that's not for a few more years.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ShaneMackAttack View Post
      Really? Benson? How about the best outfielder on the team, Ben Revere? He doesn't even make the team?
      In what bizzaro world is Revere the best OF on this team? He's an ideal 4th OF who has a starting job b/c there's no one to challenge him. Benson has a much higher ceiling, and while I think that he'd be much better benefited from a season in AAA, I still think he's a better option now.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      In what bizzaro world is Revere the best OF on this team? He's an ideal 4th OF who has a starting job b/c there's no one to challenge him.
      I think he meant the best defensive outfielder. In which case he's probably right.
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