Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mourning Morneau's injuries

Justin Morneau in 2009.
The older I get, the more I realize that time is the enemy of an athlete.

Everybody's time is limited, of course, but unlike a copy editor/blogger, a first baseman has only a few years to do his thing.

And Justin Morneau's prime years are slipping away from him.

2009: Stress fracture in his back. Missed the September stretch run after having a terrible August because of the back.

2010: Suffered a concussion in early July, missed remainder of season.

2011: Struggled through 55 games with a variety of problems, now is to have surgery on a pinched nerve in his neck. He's expected back in August, or so they say.

From the All-Star break 2009 to All-Star break 2011 (which hasn't year arrived), roughly two seasons of play, Morneau has had a half season of quality time. The rest of it, he's either been on the shelf or a shell of what we've come to expect.

He's on the wrong side of 30 now, and he's lost a year and a half of what figured to be peak performance  — a season and a half he'll never get back.


  1. i know this is off topic but did you get a chance to see friday's game? i was wondering what your thoughts were on the fielder's go-ahead rbi double off of mijares. first of all, why did they replace baker with mijares? fielder hits lefties better than righties and mijares hasn't been very good (or at least good enough to use in a game situation like that) this year.

    also, and more importantly, why did they pitch to him in the first place? first was open, there were two outs, and the next hitter in the lineup wasn't nearly as good a hitter as prince. mijares even went down 3-0 and continued to pitch to him.

  2. It was second base that was open, so walking Fielder would have put the winning run into scoring position and loaded the bases, further squeezing the margin for error. Fielder had to get an extra-base hit to beat the Twins; walk him, and McGehee only needed a single.

    Mijares has, unlike Dumatrait or even Perkins, the track record of getting lefties out, and is the best LOOGY in the 'pen. He was the man to use. (Baker was, I thought, obviously fried.) Mijares needed to throw a strike early in the count to get to his slider, and he didn't do that.

    The Brad Radke Rule of Pitching: Any pitch will work if it's thrown well enough. Mijares threw six pitches to Fielder, two of which were quality pitches and the other four poor.

  3. Makes sense now. Thanks!