You are in the hands of Brian Lee Rivers every day 10am-3pm on KJ-108. This is working man's radio with a guy at the controls that REALLY knows his rock! BLR brings you Classic and new rock that you can listen to all day long. Plus, at high noon, the Electric Lunch; Win lunch from the Red Pepper of Grand Forks with the Lost Lyric Competition, Name That Album, and more! This REALLY is radio that you can lock into and stay with all day long!
I’ve got two boys that I’m raising and so far they have picked up none of my bad habits. Now that I’m a family man, I left the rock band thing that I did when I was younger. I spent age 17 to 35 or so moonlighting as lead vocalist with a little keyboard playing to help fill out the sound with different bands over those years, Ranging from high school garage bands to serious regional bands that toured a little and to local bands that got it’s ya-ya’s out in small clubs around the area. I was never close to the big time and never expected to get close; I just had a good time doing it. I realized I had to quit because my kids were young and demanding and it was too hard to function as a parent on Sunday morning when you got back from Warroad at . God, do I miss the band thing, but my life with my kids is beyond words and I have no regrets, just a little longing that would probably go away a couple of weeks later if I got back into it again.
My life is Family, Work and Youth Sports right now and it’s been blur.
Justin Morneau... Who knows what the future holds for the Big Canadaian 1st Baseman. I've been a fan of Morneau since he was power hitter in AAA back in 2003. Doug Meintkewicz was the 1st baseman with the Twins at the time. Dougie was amazing defensively but he didn't have a lot of home run power. Justin had hit 22 home runs in just 90 games down in AAA and I couldn't wait for him to take over the big league job. A young player with home run power... Just what the Twins needed.
Justin took over the job in 2004 and eventually became the MVP of the American League in 2006. In 2008 the Twins signed Justin to a 6 year contract worth 80 million. It was the largest contract ever signed by a Twin at the time and it seemed like a bargain until July 7, 2010. That's when he suffered the concussion that has seemingly defined his career since. Justin was having a fantastic 2010 before the injury. He was hitting .345 with 18 home runs... It was only early July... Justin had played in 81 games with 81 games to go. 18 Home Runs could have possibly turned to 40 by years end with health. Numbers that would have possibly given him a 2nd AL MVP if he could have stayed healthy. He was voted by the fans to start the all star game that year but never did get to play in the game... nor did he play a game for the rest of the year because the concussion was that severe.
Justin tried to play some in 2011 but suffered through wrist, foot and shoulder injuries... Along with neck surgery and a return of concussion symptoms.
Justin returned to health in 2012 and has been healthy since but let's face it... he hasn't been the same hitter. Justin hit around .260 in 2012 and is doing the same in 2013. He hit 19 homers last year and that power dropped furthur this year until August. He had only found the seats 7 times at the July 31 trade deadline. There was simply no interest in Justin at the July Trade Deadline and to be honest... With 7 home runs... I was barely interested in Justin as a member of my favorite team.
So... The question is this... What are the Twins going to do with Justin Morneau? It's a good question and it's a tough question... His contract is up after this year! According to reports... The Twins have not been negotiating a contract extension for him. He made 15 million this year and his production in the past two years do not justify a 15 million dollar contract for 2014 and beyond.
Then came August and Justin got hot and hit 8 home runs in quick fashion and now his home run total is up to 15. Still not overwhelming for a big 1st basemen but considering he was only at 7 a short time ago... It's a nice number for a trade candidate in August.
Trades can still happen in August but all players involved in trades must clear waivers first. August waivers are a little complicated but in a nutshell. If Justin is placed on waivers any team can claim him and only the team that claims him can then negotiate a trade with the Twins. If the claiming team does not make an offer that satisfies the Twins... They can simply pull him back off waivers and keep him.
Justin was placed on waivers and despite the August hot streak that saw his homer total inflate to 15... Justin went unclaimed by every team.
OK... So now... What is the Morneau status? By clearing waivers unclaimed... He can be traded to any team. The Twins can negotiate with multiple teams and play them off of each other. That is if multiple teams or any team wants him. Any trade for Justin must be completed by September 1 because September 1 is when the 25 man playoff rosters for all teams must be set.
OK... So Now... What are the Twins going to do? In my opinion... of the contending teams that should be looking for a boost... The Rays, Indians, Rangers, A's and Pirates all could use him. These teams would only be resposible for the 3 million dollars left on his contract. That's a lot of money to you and me but for a club trying to reach the playoffs... it is nothing. Justin is just sitting there... Make a decent offer and you get a veteren for your stretch run.
Surely, the Twins will take a young prospect over losing Justin at the end of the year when his contract expires and getting nothing in return.
If Justin isn't traded by August 31st... My guess is one of two things:
1. Justin is seen by the rest of baseball as damaged goods and simply isn't wanted. If this is the case... Justin Morneau will become a free agent at the end of the year and will end up signing a low dollar deal for 2014 with someone and try to revive his career.
2. The Twins plan on making a qualifying offer to Justin at the end of the year. If this is the case... It will be costly. The Twins will have to offer Justin at least 13.3 Million Dollars for 2014. That offer will be accepted by Justin immediately. If he doesn't accept (he will take it) he becomes a free agent... By making a qualifying offer... The Twins will recieve a compensatory draft pick at the end of the 1st round in 2014 if Justin doesn't sign the contract. You can pretty much erase the dream of a compensentory draft pick because Justin would surely sign a 13.3 million dollar contract to remain with the Twins. If the Twins don't offer the 13.3 million qualifying offer they do not get a compensentory draft pick and they have to compete against every team in baseball to sign Justin... IF... they want Justin.
So... What is going on? The vast difference in between point #1 of not being wanted and point #2 of signing for 13.3 Million with the Twins is Grand Canyon wide and both are possibilities.
If Justin is traded in the upcoming days... He will still become a free agent at the end of the year unless he signs with the team he is traded to. If he becomes a free agent... he can still sign with the Twins for 2014. He would be a month long rental for a contending team.
If Justin is still with the Twins on September 1... I honestly won't know what to think. We could be seeing the final days of Justin... Or the Final Month of Justin in September. Or... Justin will stay a little while longer. The First Clue is coming up this week.
The Twins play Kansas City at home tonight. James Shields throws for the Royals against Kevin Corriea for the Twins.