Posted at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2007
by David Zingler
Life is good for Justin Morneau and seems to be getting better. The reigning AL MVP has already shown that his breakout 2006 season was no fluke and looks poised to become the second Twin ever to post a 40-homerun season.
Fresh off his first All Star Game appearance, I sat down with the 26-year-old first baseman on Friday - here is Part I of our chat:
DZ: You've had a pretty exciting week with All Star Game and Homerun Derby, what did you take away from that?
MORNEAU: Hopefully, if I get back there, I know what to expect now. It was very busy, but it was a good experience.
DZ: Was it intimidating being around all of those veteran, star players?
MORNEAU: It was more enjoyable than intimidating. When you get around those guys, you try to see what they do, try to have fun and not embarrass yourself (laughs).
DZ: How about the Homerun Derby, how do you approach that?
MORNEAU: You try to hit homeruns, but you don't want to mess up your swing too much. It's difficult because you sit around so long in between rounds. It takes a long time. You have to go up there - without any practice swings - and try to hit homeruns.
DZ: In April, you said you were moving into a new house in May. How is that going?
MORNEAU: I am still in the process of filling it up, but it is going pretty good. I am happy with it so far.
DZ: Last month you had a chance to hang out with the Mighty Ducks after they won the Stanley Cup, being a hockey fan that had to be pretty cool.
MORNEAU: It was good. I got to go down to their locker room and be around that winning atmosphere - it was a good time.
DZ: Did you know any of the Ducks players (before that)?
MORNEAU: I knew (Chris) Pronger. He set me up to get down there and drink out of the (Stanley) Cup - it was cool.
DZ: In Florida (last month) you spent time in the hospital (with a bruised lung), what did you do to pass the time there?
MORNEAU: I watched Discovery Channel and History Channel. I saw the full season of "Deadliest Catch"...it was really boring. (I am) glad it's over.
DZ: Were you in a lot of pain?
MORNEAU: It hurt at first, but went away after awhile. It wasn't too bad...I couldn't breathe (at first). I thought I just had the wind knocked out of me and then I started coughing up blood. It was a little scary.