Posted by: gravessack | January 19, 2018

Fan Favorites Return As Coaches

Justin Morneau shaking hands with Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad inside Target Field on January 17, 2018. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Photo: Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

For a while now, the Minnesota sports world has been focused on the Vikings, rightfully so, as they try to win their first Super Bowl. But the Twins also have made news in the last couple weeks. First, the Twins signed veteran relief pitcher Addison Reed to a two-year, $16.75 million contract on January 15. Then, on January 17, former Twin and fan favorite Justin Morneau officially retired and will become a special assistant to baseball operations for the Twins. A day later, the team hired fellow former Twin and fan favorite Jim Kaat to be another special assistant.

Morneau retired after 14 MLB seasons, 11 in Minnesota. His job will be to give “hitting advice to both Minor League and Major League players, as well as working in player development, player acquisition and the MLB Draft.” He will also be a Spring Training instructor along with fellow former Twins Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and LaTroy Hawkins. Click here for what Morneau can teach the Twins’ hitters.

Kaat, who had been a broadcaster since he retired in 1973, “will aid in community and business initiatives in Minnesota and Southwest Florida, and he’ll be at TwinsFest this weekend” (January 19-21). He will have a similar role to former Twins Tony Oliva, Tom Kelly, Rod Carew, and Kent Hrbek.

The fact that so many former Twins return as coaches says a lot about the loyalty of the Twins organization. Hopefully, Morneau and Kaat will be as good as coaches as they were as players! Baseball season is right around the corner, and until then, Skol

Written by: Sam Graves

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Responses

  1. Great story Sam. Twins did a nice job of hiring familiar faces. Now for a awesome season for the Twins. Oh yes Go Vikings!

  2. Every organization has alumni players doing the odd things. The Twins have quite a few, if you consider Blylevln, Laudner, Smalley and Morris are in the broadcast booth, too, and do goodwill for the team. That Carew and Kaat are both in the fold is truly wonderful. Hrbek and Oliva are mainstays…Tony living here since he was first called-up and one of the best ambassadors for the Twins ever. Plus the Twins do have a strong crop of local-based alumni, from Julio Becquer to Kevin Tapani and Dick Stigman and Dave Goltz, not to mention Scott Leius, JT Bruett, Brian Raabe amongst a few others statewide that still keep in the game on the local scenes.

    Yes, Great to have Hunter, Cuddyer, Hawkins and now Morneau. Maybe the Twins will add Nathan to the mix, as well as Glen Perkins if he hangs up his spikes. If guys has aspirations to do more in baseball outside of coaching on the lines, and if the talent is there…bring them abck into the fold!


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