Morneau Could Learn From Koskie In His Recovery

Even on a day off, the Minnesota Twins continue to boost their lead in the AL Central division race.

Justin Morneau
Justin Morneau

The second-place Chicago White Sox lost to Detroit on Thursday, increasing the Twins’ lead in the division to six games heading into the start of tonight’s series against Cleveland.

The Twins continue to do all of this despite not having first baseman and former AL MVP Justin Morneau in the lineup. He’s been out for the last two months with post-concussion symptoms after a collision at second base with Toronto Blue Jays infielder John McDonald in early July.

Morneau is still optimistic he will be back this season, but the organization doesn’t want to rush him, nor should he be rushed.

Morneau could learn from the recovery of Corey Koskie, who was at Target Field on Sunday to take part in the Legends Game. Koskie looked as fit as he did during his playing days, seemingly out of place considering most of the former Twins participating had … er … put on a few pounds.

Koskie played seven of his nine big leagues seasons with the Twins, but his career was cut short in 2006 when, with the Milwaukee Brewers, he suffered a concussion after falling while chasing a foul ball. Koskie acknowledged after a comeback attempt that he might have pushed himself too hard in recovery, tried to come back too soon.

It was a sad way to see his career end, having played his final game in the majors at age 33. I always considered him to be the most underrated of Twins during his time in Minnesota. Fans’ eyes got fixated on the reflexes of first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, or the “Spiderman” snares of center fielder Torii Hunter, or the smile always on the face of right fielder Jacque Jones.

But Koskie is the best third baseman the Twins have had in the post-Gary Gaetti era. On a 2001 team that memorably shook its losing ways and, after eight miserable seasons, nearly made the playoffs, Koskie provided great defense at the hot corner. And at the plate, he hit .276 with 26 homers, 103 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. How’s that for a season? And he was pretty productive beyond that season as well.

Everyone knows the Twins need Morneau. And a part of Morneau really needs to be on the field again. But as long as symptoms remain, and as long as he continues to have some “bad days” mixed in with his good ones, he needs to be a spectator. It’s for the sake of his future quality of life. Plus, the Twins have a lot invested in him beyond this season. Another brilliant career can’t be cut short because of a concussion.

And a few links for you at the noon hour:

6 Responses

  1. Nate

    Hayden, I read something in the Star Trib a while back about Morneau being in contact with Koskie to get advice regarding his concussion and learning from him about his recovery. So I think what you were discussing here has actually been happening. They were teammates at one time and the Twins org stays in contact with Koskie.

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