|Justin Morneau, speed demon: He scored from second|
base Wednesday on an infield single. It was the only
run the Pirates scored in the 6-1 series-decider.
He'll be part of the free agent field after the World Series, and I really wonder how much demand there will be for him.
Morneau hit an even .300 in the Division Series, but it was a soft .300, with just one extra-base hit (a double) and no runs batted in. Most of the blame for the lack of ribbies should be laid on Sterling Marte and Neal Walker, the Pirates' No. 1 and No. 2 hitters, who combined to go 1-for-38 in the five games, but still ... Morneau never hit a home run for Pittsburgh, not in the regular season, not in the playoffs.
Mike Bernadino of the Pioneer Press said on Twitter late in the game that he expects Morneau to return to the Twins:
Almost certain. 2 years at reasonable number should get it done “@lucasklaehn: @MikeBerardino you really think he ends up back in MN?”
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) October 10, 2013
As I said a few days ago, I'm inclined to believe the Twins will point Joe Mauer to first base and tell him to have a good rest of his career there. I suppose that, even if Mauer is done catching, that the Twins could split the first base and DH jobs between the two.
But why bother? The fact that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle stubbornly kept Morneau in the cleanup spot notwithstanding, the evidence that Morneau belongs in the middle of the lineup now is thin to nonexistent. He might be more an road block than a bridge to the next outstanding Twins team.
I don't like saying this. My emotions want Morneau back, never wanted him to leave, even for this brief period. My logic says it's time for the organization to move on.