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Ron Gardenhire on Justin Morneau returning this season: "I don't see how it can possibly happen"

Sep 24, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

Justin Morneau hasn’t played since suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet on July 7 and this afternoon manager Ron Gardenhire finally admitted that the Twins don’t expect him back in the lineup this season.
Appearing on 1500-ESPN with hosts Patrick Reusse and Phil Mackey, Gardenhire replied “I don’t see how it can possibly happen for him” when asked about Morneau returning for the end of the regular season or even the playoffs.
He also added “I hope I’m wrong” but given the lack of progress Morneau has made while sitting out the past three months his return has been viewed as a longshot for quite a while now.
Minnesota has thrived since Morneau went down, going 47-21 for the best record in the American League, which is amazing given that Morneau was hitting .345/.437/.618 and ranked second among AL hitters in OPS at the time of the concussion.
Adding his bat to a lineup that ranks fourth in the league in scoring would obviously be a huge boost and even having Morneau available as a bat off the bench would’ve been plenty useful in the playoffs, but unfortunately it sounds like that won’t happen. Morneau is another sad reminder of how unpredictable and scary concussions can be, and at this point there have to be serious questions about his status for 2011 and beyond.

  1. ThatGuy - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Come on Gardy, don’t say that. Atleast keep it lingering until it doesn’t happen. Keep em guessing.

  2. minnesconsin_ad - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    it’s certainly bummer but not unexpected. i’ll cross my fingers for the slightest chance he’ll be available as a pinch-hitter, but as difficult as it is to make out the post-season roster there’s no chance Gardy activates him unless he’s had a chance to get his feet wet first and shows he’s ready… and the time remaining for him to do that is quickly slipping away.

  3. BCTF - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Chris Fiorentino comment on how this kills the Twins playoff chances because they won’t get anywhere with that bum Thome in Three… Two… One.

  4. kander13 - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    good thing the world series is played in november this year…

  5. minnesconsin_ad - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    this isn’t football, it’s not exactly as if the yanks or rays are furiously trying to figure out whether the twins will have morneau in the lineup and putting their entire “game plan” (do baseball teams game-plan?) on hold until they have it figured out. The only difference it could possible make is with L/R pitching matchup strategies, but it’ll basically be Kubel or Thome, lefties, even if Morneau’s not there.

  6. JCD - Sep 24, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    I find it so odd that baseball players who sustain concussions are generally out for a couple of months, if not longer, yet football players usually miss about a week, if that. Are football players just pretending that they don’t have concussion symptoms, or do the symptoms make it harder for a baseball player to play successfully?

  7. BCTF - Sep 24, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Hitting a round ball coming at you at 95 MPH with a round bat is a lot harder to do than one fat guy pushing around another fat guy

  8. minnesconsin_ad - Sep 24, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    it’s not about “harder.” i don’t know why foobtall players seem to come back so quickly. my guess is that they’re making one mistake after another. With Morneau, I read or heard someone explain that it’s the visual/cerebral reaction that puts him at risk. The act of trying to visually focus on that ball, make a decision, and then physically react, is apparently enough stress on the brain that it can make the symptoms rush right back in if you’re not fully healed.

  9. doctorfunke - Sep 24, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Yeah and they only play for 3 seconds at a time. Then they stop and do it again until they amass a whopping 12 minutes of actual game action. Riveting.

  10. Gobias Industries - Sep 24, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    The Phillies have virtually clinched a playoff spot. So as far as Fiorentino is concerned the Twins, the Yankees, the Reds, etc. don’t have a prayer in the playoffs anyway. Something about the Phillies pitching rotation. Well I’ll just let Chris explain in Three… Two… One.

  11. UpDude - Sep 24, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    If anyone thinks this is anything other than a decision to have the insurance company pay Morneau’s pro-rated 2010 salary then you probably still ask for autographs and dream about Kirby Puckett too.
    This decision was made awhile ago and supported by the Twins’ amazing record without him. As exciting as it is to get wasted at Target field and daydream about 1991, this is a business — and the Pohlad’s do it well.
    There is NO WAY Morneau’s yeast infection is this bad. This is 100% about money.
    On a side note, you are excused for dreaming about Kirby. He was pretty rad.

  12. f*ck la - Sep 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    What UpDude? no seriously wtf are you talking bout?

  13. f*ck la - Sep 24, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Yup, its about the concentration and focus, and football players come back for the most part too early(see brian westbrook)and now with all those ex nfl players going crazy or retarded theyre taking head injuries more seriously.

  14. Mrsteve - Sep 24, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Morneau is great when he plays. If he is out since July 7 for a tiny head bump then it’s not a question of will this happen again, it’s when.
    Konerko is a bad ass. Took a ball to the face then hits a HR next at bat. Awesome.

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