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Friday, February 15, 2008

First Base

The only other position as locked up as Joe Mauer at catcher would have to be Justin Morneau at first base. The nicknamed M&M boys are undoubtedly the leaders and future of this franchise.

Morneau 2007 season was solid considering it is tough to follow up on an MVP season from 2006. The first baseman hit .271 with 31 homeruns and 111 RBIs. Having someone in the lineup to hit 30 HRs and 100 RBIs in back to back seasons is enough to make Morneau one of the best Twins hitters of the past 15 years.

After signing the biggest contract in team history last month, Morneau, like Mauer, is going to be counted on to produce and be both a leader on the field and a leader off the field. His bat is arguably the most important one in the lineup. Some critics feel the new contract is overpaying Morneau considering his career track record, but I think it was important move in many ways. The Twins learned their lesson this offseason losing former stars Johan Santana and Torii Hunter, and signing Justin to a 6-year deal not only shows their committed to keeping their star players but is sends a very needed positive message to Twins fans.

I'm excited to see Justin thrive this season it what I would claim as an improved lineup. Ideally, I'd love to see Morneau stay in his cleanup No. 4 spot in the lineup with new LF Delmon Young batting in front of him at No 3. and RF Michael Cuddyer hitting behind him at No. 5. If we can convince Ron Gardenhire to bat Joe Mauer in the No. 2 spot, we'd have a great lineup of left, right, left, right in Mauer, Young, Morneau, and Cuddyer.

I'm convinced this lineup will score more runs than last year and it must to make up for the youth and inexperience in the rotation. For the first time in many years, we may see some 10-9 and 8-6 Twins victories. If those victories are to pile up and the Twins are to have a winning season Justin Morneau must be a team MVP... and hopefully another AL MVP!

If you're a big Morneau fan check out his own website at www.justinmorneau.com. Random Morneau info, Justin announced this offseason that he is engaged to a "Minnesota girl." Sorry ladies!

YOUR OPINION: If you were manager, where would you bat Morneau in the lineup?

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