Simply Baseball Notebook straight from the source June 2005

Slugger Justin Morneau sounds off

SBN: The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a full page feature on in their baseball preview section touting you and Joe Mauer as the new “M&M boys”, what did you think about that?

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They said they were going to do it as more of a joke.  I didn’t really want to do it – I didn’t really like it.

SBN: Is that because of the pressure?

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Not really pressure, but being compared to two guys that are in the Hall of Fame, two guys that had a lot of big league time (isn’t fair).

(Note: Roger Maris is not in the Hall of Fame, but Morneau is hardly the first to make that mistake.)

SBN: Have you been teased about it at all?

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Not Really. Nobody has said anything about it.

SBN: Unlike the past two years, you entered spring training with an established spot on the roster, how was that different for you?

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It was a good feeling going in there, there wasn’t as much pressure.  Obviously I put pressure on myself to perform, but it’s a good feeling going in there knowing that if I get off to a slow start I won’t get sent out right away.

SBN: You had a variety of off season ailments, while you never want to get sick, was it better for it to happen this year rather than last year when you were fighting to make an impression?

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I wasn’t going to make the team anyway (last year), so it didn’t really matter.  You want to do well, but usually (the roster) is set before you get there.

SBN: You were hit in the head with a Ron Villone pitch in early April, were you nervous about getting back into the box after that?

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I went down to the minor leagues and took care of that -- got that feeling out of the way.  When I came back, I was ready to go.

SBN: Have you talked to Villone since then?

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No, he didn’t call me or anything.  It was an accident, but you know, a lot of people would have called to see how someone is doing after they got hit in the head.  Especially if they had to go on the DL.

SBN: Is that something you’ll keep in mind when you face him again?

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Of course.

SBN: There has been a lot of change in the Twins infield before and during this season, is that a challenge for you?

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I played with a lot of guys in the minor leagues, if not, we spent a lot of time (together) in spring training.  We are almost two months into the season, so everyone’s pretty familiar with each other.  It’s going pretty good.

SBN: Your numbers are as good as any first baseman in the American League right now, do you think about making the All Star team?

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Of course it would be cool to be recognized for playing well, but that’s not what I am here for.  I want to play well, be one of the best players on our team and if we are winning games and I am helping out, that’s all that really matters to me.

Morneau's page @ Baseball-Almanac.com

The Morneau Chronicles

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