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What do we make of Justin Morneau's quotes?

Attached Image: justinmorneau1.jpg “There comes a point when you can only torture yourself so long.”

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 Morneau’s quotes, “I don’t know if I can be a full, 100 percent go, but I’m going to go out there and participate in everything and take it day by day.” [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]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 can’t again. It’s 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 Morneau’s 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 doesn’t 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 don’t 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 family’s 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 don’t give up on Justin Morneau and the Twins just yet. Let’s see how this plays out. For now, he’s ready to go, excited for spring and hopeful for another strong season. That’s 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.


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