|Justin Morneau is at Twins Fest this year. Last winter|
it was decided to have him skip the event while he tried
to recover from his concussion.
About three weeks to spring training, folks.
With so much of the team around, and with the season fast approaching, there are plenty of stories popping up.
Alexi Casilla had a good winter ball season in the Dominican -- hit better than .330 in their regular season and almost .400 in 17 playoff games -- and told the Strib's Joe Christensen: "Oh my god. I was on base too much." I hope he has that problem all season.
Justin Morneau has spent the winter rehabbing from various surgeries -- neck, knee, foot, wrist -- and letting his concussion heal itself. Joe C.'s story took an optimistic tone, but reading between the lines, one wonders. Morneau hasn't had concussion symptoms since December -- which means he was having them into last month -- and he hasn't yet been cleared to hit (that related to his wrist surgery). He still lacks feeling in his left forefinger; that's from the pinched nerve in his neck. It all adds up to: This was one hurting puppy last season, and this season is no certainty.
To whatever extent Morneau was inclined to feel sorry for himself, that notion was doubtless dissipated when he and a handful of other players visited Jack Jablonski, the high school hockey player paralyzed by a check in the back. Also visiting Jabs: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Butera and newcomer Jason Marquis.
In probably better health news: Nick Blackburn reports he'e feeling fine and ready to go after his latest surgery. Denard Span says this is the best he's felt in two years, and Ron Gardenhire says Span (not Ben Revere) is his center fielder. Joe Mauer is raring to go.
A Kent Hrbek statue is coming to Target Field. At this rate the plaza will be so filled with bronze there'll soon be no room for the kettle corn stand.
And the Twins moved the stoic Tom Kelly to tears with the announcement that his No. 10 will be retired this year. Deservedly so.