Over at the Strib, Patrick Reusse posted an article yesterday going over Justin Morneau's return to the Twins for this weekend's series. We've all heard of Morneau's text to Bill Smith: "Get me [redacted] out of here." I love that. I love that Morneau is so impatient to get back to the team that he's sending messages directly to the man in charge. I loved it earlier this season when it came out exactly how much he hates the White Sox.
Michael Cuddyer is one of the leaders on this team, and nobody should be doubting that at this point. But one guy shouldn't have to do it on his own, and Morneau is slowly demonstrating that he's willing enough and vocal enough to be one of the players in the clubhouse that guys can look to for leadership. And he should be.
We've spoken in the past about the different types of leadership, and how Joe Mauer doesn't appear to be the vocal leader that some people would like him to be. He's quiet around the media, he doesn't snipe players or managers or the organization or the opposition that way, and his attitude is going to raise questions among the portions of the fan base who want to see passion in their stars in terms of how much of a leader he really is.
I still believe that there are different types of leadership. But I'll agree with those of you who say you like to see the leaders stand up and make themselves known. I think Justin is starting to step into that role. Even from Rochester.
When he returns to the lineup tomorrow night, it will be the first time Joe and Justin have started together since April 12. They've only played together nine times since Morneau suffered his concussion last July. Reusse is right: if the Twins want to contend next season, and if they want to show some fight this season, they'll need both of those guys to step in and produce.
It's not a secret, of course. The Twins need Mauer and Morneau. The last 13 months have shown us excatly how much we need them. It certainly shounds like Justin can't wait to step into the box. And that's awesome.
Bring on tomorrow.