Posted at 10:39 AM on July 15, 2007
by David Zingler
Fresh off his first All Star Game appearance, I sat down with Justin Morneau before Friday's game. Here is Part II of our chat:
DZ: Now that you've won the MVP and made a name for yourself, do you notice any difference when you go to opposing stadiums? Do you get heckled a little more?
MORNEAU: (pauses) I don't think it's any more than usual. We go into stadiums like Chicago, Cleveland or Detroit - we have a good rivalry and they get on us anyway. It is always fun playing there.
DZ: How about in New York? You beat out their guy - Derek Jeter - (for the MVP) and a lot of fans were mad about that. Did you hear about that at all?
MORNEAU: Not really. It wasn't too bad. We got there and their team had been struggling a little bit and they beat us up pretty good.
DZ: What is it about the Yankees...do you guys just not match-up with them well?
MORNEAU: They have good players. They are capable of scoring 10 runs any game with their line-up. It's a tough place to play and a tough team to play against.
DZ: You had a three-home run game last week. What is it like when you are in that kind of groove?
MORNEAU: You are just not really thinking about anything and seeing the ball well. You go out there and feel pretty relaxed and patient and when they give you that pitch, you do something with it.
DZ: Did you know that no Twins player had hit three homeruns (in a game) since 1973?
MORNEAU: I did. Earlier in the year when I had a two-homerun game, somebody told me about it. I wasn't really thinking about it though.
DZ: I missed most of the game, but I got home in time so see your last at bat. What about the first pitch - the high fastball - it was 12-0, so you might well take a cut, right?
MORNEAU: It was the only at-bat where I was trying to hit a homerun and after that swing I said 'All right, I don't want to get myself into a bad habit'. I wanted to hit it hard and he actually gave me a pitch to hit and I just missed it.
DZ: You also got your 100th career homerun in that game. What does that mean to you at this point in your career?
MORNEAU: I was waiting awhile for it. I think it took 13 games to get it. It is something that is nice, but I definitely don't want to stop there. It's an accomplishment, but hopefully I have a lot more left.