In ancient days, when I was in school and Tony, Killer and Carew were patrolling the field at Met Stadium with Billy Martin chewing umpires up and spitting them out, players from opposing teams did not play buddy-buddy with one another. I don’t know if those were the “good old days” or not, but there’s something “old school” about players genuinely carrying the same disdain for rivals and rival players that we, as fans, carry for those bums.
So I loved reading the piece by Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago with the following quotes from Jesse Crain and Mark Teahan (who was Justin Morneau’s workout partner in Arizona this offseason):
“He never congratulated me; he’s the one guy who didn’t,” Crain said. “Even [Michael] Cuddyer and [Denared] Span and all those guys, [Joe] Mauer, everybody did. But Morneau was the one guy who never did it.”
Told that Morneau still hadn’t congratulated his buddy Crain on landing a financially solid deal and winding up with a winning team at the same time, Teahen didn’t seem too surprised.
“You know that there’s that rivalry there, but with Morneau, he seems to take it hard even off the field,” Teahen said. “It was fun to see and it lights your fire to want to have the same passion back the other way.”
So when it was time to end the workout routine and head in their respective directions for the start of spring training, was Morneau able to wish Teahen well?
“He gave me a little fist pump and said, ‘All right, I’m going to act like I don’t know you until the end of the season,'” Teahen said. “I told him I was cool with that.”
LaVell E Neal III at the StarTribune went straight to the source for the information, posting this reaction from Morneau in LaVelle’s Twins Insider blog:
I got reaction from Morneau about a ESPN Chicago article in which Jesse Crain claimed Morneau was the only Twin not to congratulate him for signing a three-year deal. Morneau said he jokingly texted Crain.”The White Sox? Are you kidding me?”
But, at the end of our talk, he referred to comments from Alex Rios about Chicago being the favorite to win the division.
“They said they are the team to beat in the division, so whatever,” Morneau said.
So from accounts, Doc has a particular dislike for the White Sox. I knew there was a reason I liked that guy!