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Article: What do we make of Justin Morneau's quotes?

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#31 Shane Wahl

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

I have seen comments from Pirates fans laughing or crying in memory with regard to Doumit's defensive ability at first base. It might be his worst position. I agree that pushing Parmelee is not a great idea immediately. I am not comfortable with Luke Hughes' bat or Ryan Doumit's glove every day at first base. If Aaron Bates and Steve Pearce don't work out . . . what's wrong with throwing $1 million at Derrek Lee? It isn't panicking to add a former star (just a few years removed from a great season) for very cheap!

#32 Thrylos

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:16 PM

And what exactly is he downside of Morneau playing DH 80% of the time? It just means Doumit moves to first base. ON those occasions that Mauer needs a break at catcher, he and Doumit switch. If anything, it helps the roster to have Morneau DH, because then Gardy doesn't need to worry about his backup catcher being DH.


The problem with this is that Doumit played a grand total of 35 MLB and 4 MiLB games at first base and the bulk of those in 2006. (BTW, that was the last time that Willingham caught ;) ) And he was not that hot with the glove there, but I hope he gets some reps at some point. On the other hand, I suspect that Parmelee will probably get most of the reps at 1B during ST.
As a comparison, Luke Hughes played 36 games at 1B last season (and pretty well) with the Twins.
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#33 Terry Tiffee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:17 PM

I've said for quite some time that even if Morneau was to come back, he'd be a fraction of his former self. Obviously, I'm rooting for him, but I have zero expectations for him.

#34 Nick Nelson

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

The downside of moving Morneau off first base ostensibly is that you'd be replacing him with a worse defender. At one point, his glove would have been tough to lose, but last year he was thoroughly unimpressive in the field. He's probably still better than Doumit, but as long as RD can field grounders and scoop a few short-hops he's not going to kill you.

#35 BK432

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

I would only DH him. They need his stick in the lineup.


I hope that's the case. Him being at 220 pounds doesn't give me a ton of faith that he'll have the same kind of pop. What a depressing day...man, I'm hoping for the best but now starting to prepare for the worst.

#36 dwintheiser

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:41 PM

So my question is, how would his retirement affect the payroll for this year and next? I assume his salary would be taken off the books and that gives us 14 million for this year and next.


I'm neither a lawyer nor a front-office worker, and I can't seem to find the current CBA so I'm working off the 2007-2011 CBA, so here's what I think would happen:

1) If Morneau retires now based on the injury he received in 2010, he would not be eligible to be paid any of the remainder of his contract by the Twins. That's not to say Morneau wouldn't still receive money based on workman's comp or insurance. (Had he retired immediately, and met his contract requirements for reporting same, he would still have been eligible to receive full pay for 2010.) However...

2) If Morneau retires before the end of his current multi-year contract, some portion of that contract is still considered to be part of the 'Actual Club Payroll' for purposes of the Competitive Balance Tax until the actual contract expires, assuming the Competitive Balance Tax was affirmed for the 2012-2016 CBA (the 2007-2011 CBA says that the tax will 'sunset' after 2011, so unless it was renewed, it's not really an issue.)

What moves would the Twins consider if retirement occurs?


No idea. Given the uncertainty of who would actually end up responsible for the remainder of Morneau's contract (the Twins, an insurance underwriter, some other party under federal workmens' compensation rules), I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Twins just consider Morneau's contract a sunk cost and don't even bother trying to figure out how much of it they'll be able to use until after the contract expires after the 2013 season.

#37 gobie82

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

Sad to hear. He's been one of my favorites on the roster by far. Extremely great guy. Love he and his wife for the work they do with Juvenile Arthritis locally; something his little neice, my 3 year old son, and 300k other american kids suffer from and actually can be deadly. At some point life is more important imho than just a game. Hope he can stay healthy for his own sake though.

#38 Aaron Cross

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:09 PM

They should announce him the everyday DH immediately, and put this distraction to an end. Lets see if he can make it through 2012 at DH, then revisit him playing 1st base in 2013. Baby steps. Playing 1st base just increases the odds he'll get hurt again. All he'd have to worry about would be swinging the bat and running the bases, and he could be cautious on the basepaths (no more hard takeout slides). If they're smart enough to DH him, I like his chances. There are plenty of other options at 1st base (Doumit, Mauer, Plouffe, Parmelee).

#39 Knuckelball

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

These quotes scare the hell out of me. I hope they scare the hell out of the Twins. For the love of god, get a backup plan beyond pushing Parmelee.


Boy do I agree with you on this one!!! I thought the very same thing!!!

#40 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:50 PM

Seems fairly clear: If Morneau is not on the field and competitive this year, he's hanging it up.

#41 iTwins

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:00 PM

This really put a blow to my optimism for this season. I was really hopeful Morneau would be back to his old self this year. Instead, he sounds like he's resigned to his fate - an early retirement. Hopefully the Twins are proactive in this situation and find a replacement 'just in case'.

#42 Teflon

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

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.

#43 YLT

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

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.

#44 FranTheMan

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

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.

#45 jimbo92107

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:13 PM

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?

#46 Apostle43

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:25 AM

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!

#47 SteadyDietOfCheese

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:21 AM

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.

#48 Huskerboy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:51 AM

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.

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!


#49 sonofkenny

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

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...

#50 RyeGuy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

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..

#51 ssmart

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:24 PM

God I hope he can play this year. 1st. - DH, whatever. Another lost season, I fear, without him.

#52 ShaneMackAttack

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

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?

#53 StormJH1

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

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.

#54 JakeE141414

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:40 PM

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.

#55 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

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.

#56 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

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.