It’s Mardi Gras, Let’s Celebrate!

It’s not like we really need an EXCUSE to party tonight, but we might as well get in the Mardi Gras spirit, right!?

I may not be the biggest party animal in Twinsville, but there are plenty of reasons for Twins fans to be celebrating tonight!

First and foremost, there was the return of Justin Morneau to the playing field. Check out the video of both of Doc’s plate appearances this morning in the ‘B’ game with the Pirates!

This got everyone pretty excited!

It doesn’t take much to get the Twinsville Tweeters’ fingers going (much to Gardy’s chagrin, at times… does anyone else find it just hilarious that he hasn’t quite come to grips with the fact that things he tells reporters no longer take 18 hours before those words become public?) and we certainly had reactions flying across the airwaves today. Here’s just a sampling of today’s revelry:

Justin was all smiles after the game… at least I THINK there’s a smile under that fu manchu somewhere. Check out the pic link:

@Twins_morsecode Photo of the day – #Twins 1B all smiles. Justin Morneau.

Naturally, Carl “the ‘stache” Pavano, himself, was not easily impressed:

@JoeCStrib Pavano on Morneau: “He shaved into a handlebar moustache. You gotta be feeling really good if you are going to be wearing that around here.”

Joe Mauer was duly impressed… kind of:

@JoeCStrib Huge crowd was watching Mauer take swings in batting cage. I told him Morneau hit a 3-run 2B. “Did he?” Mauer said. “That’s pretty good.”

OK, so I’m not really sure this falls under the category of “revelry”… but it’s interesting anyway:

@JoeCStrib Blue Jays had 3 scouts watching B-game, one with a video camera. I’m told they like Slowey and have relievers to spare. #stribtwins

Tsuyoshi Nishioka got in to the Mardi Gras spirit:
@TwinsNow Japanese media said Nishioka was very excited today because, for the first time with the #Twins, he started a double play.
@JoeCStrib Nishioka lines an opposite-field single to left and is replaced by a pinch runner. He was 1-for-2 today. #stribtwins
Ben Revere had his own way of celebrating:
@PMac21 Ben Revere just made a ridiculous diving catch on the left-field warning track.
Gardy was in a jovial mood, as well:
@TomPelissero #Twins manager Ron Gardenhire when asked how Justin Morneau looked in his spring debut: “Canadian. Real Canadian.”

Of course, Gardy made sure everyone knew Doc wasn’t the only guy making his spring debut today:

@TwinsNow Gardy on DY’s 2 walks today: “Haven’t seen that in a long time, ever maybe. … We thought that was historic.” #Twins
OK I guess that’s enough celebrating for this old man tonight… and enough of stealing others’ work to fill blogspace here at Knuckleballs.
So let me leave you with this final Mardi Gras thought… and image.
Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

ST – Pirates @ Twins, 12:05 pm, am1500 &

These darn noon games are killing me! I can’t always work out the early lunch schedule in order to get the lineups up.  At any rate, here’s how we STARTED and then I put up an early boxscore just so you can see where we’re at right now if you are away from a radio!

Pittsburgh @ Minnesota
McCutchen, A, CF   Revere, LF
Tabata, LF   Nishioka, 2B
Alvarez, 3B   Valencia, DH
Overbay, 1B   Brown, M, 3B
Walker, N, 2B   Tolbert, 1B
Jones, G, RF   Dinkelman, RF
Cedeno, SS   Repko, CF
Doumit, C   Casilla, A, SS
    Burres, P   Butera, C
      Pavano, P


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 5 8 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 11 1


Well that game just kind of sucked..  Pavano looked good, Butera had fun, Neshek looked a bit like the Neshek you remember pre-surgery – gave up a giant solo homerun, a strike out, a walk and two regular outs – I little inconsistent but improving…  Oh man, there are days when I really wish I wasn’t listening on the radio and I would have given a lot to see Revere’s catch in the 7th.  Dazzle thought it was out of the park the whole way and then gave the shocked alert that Ben had actually CAUGHT it!  Apparently he cut up his hands on the play – not the greatest part of the body for a baseball player to sacrifice but Gardy says he is going to be fine.  Manship got the loss by giving up three runs in the final inning from what had been a tie game.

OH, and just in case you missed the post before this, Delmon Young AND Justin Morneau both played in the B game this morning… sounds like both looked pretty darn good.  Can’t wait to get them and our other starters in the regular lineups!

UPDATE:  LaVelle E. Neal over at the Strib had a pretty entertaining postgame wrap – I encourage everyone to go check it out.

Doc and DY are back!

Both Justin Morneau and Delmon Young are in the line up this morning for the Twins during a “B” game against the Pirates on a back field at the Twins’ complex in Fort Myers, FL.

Justin is back! (Photo: @MinnesotaTwins)

Young is hitting 3rd and Morneau 4th. Morneau is also playing first base. According to Star Tribune reports from the Twins complex, Morneau is expected to get two plate appearances in the game.

Just seeing that Morneau is back on the field in a game might just be the best news to come out of the Twins spring training site thus far.

Let’s hope all goes well and this is a sign of better days ahead for Doc and the Twins!

–  JC

UPDATE: And now, thanks to @MinnesotaTwins, we have visual evidence. What a terrific sight to see!

UPDATED UPDATE: Morneau played four innings in the field and hit a bases-loaded double down the right field line in his second plate appearance. Terrific return for the big Canadian!