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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Killer adviceJustin Morneau finished 2008 with a whimper. In the offseason, he was cold-called with some advice. It was a call worth taking:
Reluctantly, he answered the phone, and a voice brightened his day: "Hi Justin, it's Harmon Killebrew." "He knew I was down after we lost," Morneau said. "He knew I blamed myself for everything, and he just told me: 'It was a great year. You did a great job. Don't worry about what didn't happen.' That was pretty cool. He's probably the nicest Hall of Famer you'll ever meet." Killebrew, 72, spent more time talking to Morneau recently on his annual spring training visit. Morneau, who has hit 34, 31 and 23 home runs the past three seasons, asked Killebrew for tips on hitting more.
According to the article, Morneau is basically ignoring Killebrew on this point, even if he is doing so in the most polite way possible. Which is a shame, really, because though I don't know that I've seen enough of Morneau to say if he could actually become a Killeresque hitter one day, he'd be a far more interesting player if he tried.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:19pm
Alex C said...
He’s probably the nicest Hall of Famer you’ll ever meet.
And Stan Musial cries a single tear underneath the bleachers.
Posted 03/31 at 03:26 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Based on everything I’ve heard, Musial and Killebrew could face each other in a nice-off for 40 days and 40 nights and still nothing would be decided. Each one of them eats humility and politeness and poops magnimity and modest charm. My one brush with Stan Musial confirmed that with him, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t true with Killebrew as well.
Posted 03/31 at 03:30 PM
Have to say I was surprised to see Morneau only hit 23 homers last year. I was even more surprised when I checked his b-ref page and was reminded how he finished 2nd in the MVP. Then again surprised to see Dye finishing ahead of Mauer in MVP voting in 06.
Posted 03/31 at 04:07 PM
I met Killebrew, possibly the nicest man I’ve ever met. He could also hit a bit…
Posted 03/31 at 05:14 PM
Killebrew does seem like a genuinely nice guy.
I wonder if they’re both kind of missing the point, though. Killer walked about 100 times per 162, and Morneau only manages about 60. How about: stand wherever the hell you want to, but try to mainly swing only at pitches you can pull? It seems to me that Killebrew’s greatest strength was only swinging at pitches he could hit really hard (or go down trying).
From watching him every day, it’s hard for me to believe there’s a hitter in the American League with more natural power than Morneau…it’s fine to want to spray the ball over the park and whatever, but if you’ve got his talent and you hit 23 HR in 163 games, you’re doing it wrong.
Posted 03/31 at 05:24 PM
Detroit Michael said...
George Kell just died, so if you say that Killebrew was the nicest living Hall of Famer, I won’t quibble!
Nice headline, by the way.
Posted 04/01 at 10:21 AM