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Justin Morneau is feeling great for the first time in years

Dec 28, 2012, 7:41 AM EDT

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Getty Images

This is highly encouraging. After three years of post-concussion syndrome, back trouble and other ailments, Justin Morneau tells Phil Mackey of ESPN radio that he’s feeling great, working out hard this offseason and is ready for an old-school Justin Morneau season:

“I’m feeling good, feeling strong, building strength instead of just doing rehab like I’ve done the last two winters — not recovering from surgery, but actually building toward the goal of getting strong and being ready for spring training and being ready early for that World Baseball Classic.”

Morneau played almost a full season last year — his only time lost was due to a wrist problem unrelated to past woes — but he wasn’t really his old self. And maybe we never see that old Justin Morneau again.  But the fact that he’s able to work out hard without all of the caveats and equivocations of the past — he’s not saying things like “I hope to be ready” as we’ve heard before — is excellent news.

  1. RedHeadedBastard - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    But is he in the best shape of his life?!

    • El Bravo - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      BSOHL of the body, but not the BSOHL of the mind.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    I’m glad he’s feeling great. The guy has been through a lot the last few years. I wish him well. Also, he’s a FA at the end of the 2013 season it will be interesting to see the level of interest in him when he hits free agency because of his past injury history.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      He’s a nice speculative buy, and with the money teams are throwing around I’m sure he’ll be able to get a nice (if potentially unspectacular) contract, but with signings like EJax there is clearly some market value in guys who are consistently healthy right now. He’s a great player and I hope he can stay healthy for many more years.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Up next is the WBC. If Votto is unable to play due to his injury, having Morneau play first base is a very nice alternative.

    • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Wow – I don’t think Morneau ought to climb back into the ring at all with his concussion history. He’s liable to wind up as an opening day decoration at Macondo Banana Massacre Field.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Some baseball fans do not realize that WBC could stand for something other than the World Baseball Classic.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        Some don’t know that anything exists beyond the range of their video games and reality TV shows. Some can hardly read or write at all.

        It goes with the territory.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        I’m confused. How are White Bloodcell Count and concussions related?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        I am sure that The World Boxing Council has nothing against concussions.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        OG, I sometimes wonder if people are voting you down because they just hate the word Macondo.

        But then I figure they just assume you’re Craig pretending to be from Florida.

      • El Bravo - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        MMSMFP my brothas. Make me some motha f@ckin pie. Remember this acronym, it’s gonna be huge in 2013. Stick that cake in your pipe and smoke it.

  4. markofapro - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Good luck, Justin!

  5. sailonoc - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    The Twins have missed the “true” Morneau since his slide into the SS’s knee in Toronto in late June 2009!
    I believe he hitting .345, with 18 HRs & leading the AL in RBIs. He was off to another MVP season when he attempted to break up another DP hit into by Cuddyer. (I believe
    Cuddyer did lead the league in that dubious category!)

  6. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Does anyone else (when they see this picture) think “Holy crap that baseball bat looks like it’s souvenir size!”?

  7. psuravens19 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Really wish the Orioles would trade for this guy.

  8. buckybadgair - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    As much as I hate to say it, the Twinkies need to trade him for starting pitching.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      Great! Morneau straight up for Jeff Niemann! (Before any Twins fans blow a gasket, I’m kidding…although if the Twins were that brain dead and went for that deal, I’d happily accept.)

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        Oh, wait! Niemann and Loney for Morneau, done and done! (Still kidding.)

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