Posted at 6:33 AM on July 31, 2008
by David Zingler
Everybody already knows what an exciting All Star Game/Break Justin Morneau had. I was lucky enough to talk to him about that and more:
DZ: Was (the All Star Game) different this time, being your second time around?
MORNEAU: Yeah, I was a lot more relaxed this year. I enjoyed it a lot more, I knew what to expect - I tried to have as much fun with it as I could.
DZ: You are not making friends in New York - you beat Derek Jeter out for the MVP (in 2006) and then beat fan favorite (Josh) Hamilton, in the homerun contest. Did it seem like everybody in the stadium was rooting against you?
MORNEAU: They were rooting for Hamilton, it was...it has happen before in the 1st round, McGwire did it Boston (in 1999) - he didn't end up winning, but he put on a show - I was just glad to be a part of it. I had as much fun watching (Hamilton) as everybody else.
DZ: How about when the guy who handed you the charity check called you "Jason" - was that kind of weird - do you just let it go?
MORNEAU: (laughs) It is what it is - people make mistakes.
DZ: You didn't start the game, but still ended up playing nine innings. That was kind of an advantage, in this case, anyway.
MORNEAU: I don't know. I was expecting one or two at-bats play three or four innings and then it's over, but I played a full nine innings in a memorable game and scored the winning run. It was pretty cool.
DZ: I saw you hug (the White Sox) Carlos Quentin (after scoring the winning run), now tonight you are playing for the division lead. What is it like when you have teammates (for one night) that really aren't your teammates most of the time?
MORNEAU: It's different, because we are all American Leaguers - when you are in the playoff chase, it's on, but when you are playing on the same team, you want to win. It was fun when we were doing it, but I didn't even notice who it was - what uniform they were in. I just know we were trying to win that game and the American League won and everyone was happy.
DZ: I talked to Brian Buscher a couple of weeks ago and he said when he first got called up last year, you helped him out - let him stay at your place. Is that something you try to do for the young guys?
MORNEAU: It depends on who it is...Buscher is a lefty, coming up his first time in the big leagues and we had the same agent. It was just a situation where I asked (my agent) about it; he said he was pretty good guy, easy to get along with and a hard working guy. I remembered when I first came up - it's not the easiest thing to do - you are getting used to new stadiums and that kind of stuff. So, I tried to help him out as much as I could.
DZ: Did anybody do that for you when you came up back in '03?
MORNEAU: I stayed in the hotel, but (Corey) Koskie helped me out a lot (explaining) stuff you are supposed to do and stuff you are not supposed to do. When to go to the park...Koskie was the guy...you remember stuff like that.
DZ: How about Mike Redmond, he seems like a guy who likes to needle everybody. What can you tell me about him?
MORNEAU: He is entertaining. He keeps us loose; he helps us have a lot of fun. He is a good teammate, he is always cheering for his teammates. He is a pretty funny guy, a lot of people don't know that, but he's a party all of the time.
(Getty Images: top photo by Nick Laham/bottom photo by Chris McGrath)
Posted at 8:55 AM on July 31, 2008
by Chris Dall
According to Fox Sports and ESPN, the Chicago White Sox have traded for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. No word yet on who the White Sox gave up in return. But the deal apparently hinges on Griffey's approval, and that's not necessarily a given. Griffey has reportedly nixed deals in the past.
If this trade does go through, how much does it improve Chicago? Griffey Jr. is certainly not the player he once was, and his 2008 numbers aren't great (.245/15/53), but adding a player of his calibre can't hurt. It could also mean fewer at-bats for Paul Konerko, with Nick Swisher moving to first base.
Posted at 4:54 PM on July 31, 2008
by Steve Rudolph
The White Sox got Ken Griffey, Jr., the Yankees got Pudge Rogriguez, the Angels got Mark Texiera and the Twins simply got worse.
With Alexi Casilla possibly out for the season and the front office reluctant to mortgage the future in a trade, it's now going to take a near miracle for the Twins to remain in the hunt.
As a fan, I'm disappointed. However, I'm not sure there was much the Twins could have done.
Management is probably like most fans and never imagined this team would be 11 games over .500 at the trading deadline. Knowing that this team should be even better next year, it doesn't make a lot of sense to trade a player who is going to help the team in the future for one who likely won't even be on the roster in the spring.
Is there anyone you really wanted to see in a Twins uniform? If so, I'd love to hear who would you have been willing to give away to get him?