Posted at 8:41 PM on June 12, 2005
by Josh Lee
After his performance on Saturday I was all set to write an optimistic little blurb praising Justin Morneau for getting all those monkeys off his back. There was the batting monkey that rode him through a 4-for-35 hitting slump; the injury monkey that's dogged him his whole career, most recently poking him in his elbow; and the toughness monkey, which recently hopped on when Ron Gardenhire and Torii Hunter made some oblique comments about Morneau's ability to play through pain. On Saturday, though, he shook off the whole pack (flock? Pride? What's the word for a group of monkeys?) to hit 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a nice home run in the 3rd inning.
Unfortunately, it takes more than one good game to get rid of a gaggle of monkeys like that. On Sunday, Morneau went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Twins staggered to a 4-3 loss against the Dodgers. Torii and Jacque continued their hot streaks, but the rest of the lineup couldn't really get anything going, as the left-on-base-with-two-out monkey started getting ready to jump back onto the team's collective back.
The Dodgers' Hee Seop Choi, on the other hand, hit three dingers on Sunday and six in the series. He's had his own issues and second guessings to deal with over the years, but he looked refreshingly monkey-free this weekend. I'm pulling for him, not because he's the first Korean position player in the major leagues, but because he's the first Korean who has a chance to avoid becoming a complete head case. (I'm looking at you, Byung-Hyun Kim.)