“Now’s there’s tears on the pillow, darlin’, where we slept, and you took my heart when you left. Without your sweet kiss, my soul is lost, my friend. Tell me how do I begin again?”
That is a lyric from one of Bruce Springsteen’s songs and now the theme for Twins fans with the trade of first baseman Justin Morneau to Pittsburgh for outfielder Alex Presley and there are unconfirmed reports that the second player is Minor League pitcher Duke Welker. The Twins front office has made some mind-boggling trades, but this one is just embarrassing.
Starting in 2003, Justin Morneau has been a fixture in the Twins line-up. Early in his career, he had played in most games, racking up MVP seasons and All-Star appearances. Morneau played well when he was healthy, smacking 20 or more home runs in five consecutive season, with a .278 career batting average. He was a four-time All-Star, has won 2 Silver Slugger awards, and was named AL MVP in 2006. On top of that, Morneau won the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby. Ultimately, he was the sticky glue that held this team together for almost 10 years. So, why on earth did the Twins basically put this city and Twins Territory in ruins?
Several times this season, the beloved player tried to start contract talks with the front office, but astonishingly they would not budge. Instead, the front office traded him for two basically unknowns. Will this move perhaps sour Twins fans?
The front office recently has traded away several players who have become All-Stars, including Go-Go (Carlos Gomez), J.J. Hardy and Michael Cuddyer. I think these moves have made the team worse (we’re looking at another 90-game season loss), and hope that former GM Bill Smith and current GM Terry Ryan are questioned. Either Ryan has something unbelievable up his sleeve or he and Manager Ron Gardenhire could be gone in October.
There are two possibilities, however, to save them from this trade. The Twins could call-up phenom Miguel Sano this September and put Byron Buxton and him in the starting line-up in 2014. It is time for Sano and Buxton to get a taste of Major League Baseball. Or the logical option would be re-signing Morneau during free agency.
I’ll close this post with another Springsteen lyric: “The church doors blown open. I can hear the organ’s song, but the congregation’s gone. My city in ruins.” Minneapolis will be unless something big happens soon.
Written by: Michael L. Sack