Justin Morneau sees some old school Minnesota Twins in his new team, the 2014 version of the Colorado Rockies. As such, he says that he is starting to feel more comfortable with his new team as Spring Training ramps up.
Speaking with Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Morneau said the following:
All the position players aren’t here yet, but I’m starting to get familiar with the names and faces…I was at one place for so long, I knew everybody walking around the complex, their job titles and what everybody did. I’m still trying to figure all that stuff out, but the comfort level is starting to get there.”
As for the hopefulness he finds in the Rockies, which obviously includes longtime Twins teammate Michael Cuddyer, Morneau draws a comparison to his glory days with the Twins:
It’s an organization philosophy…You look around at guys that are still playing from when we won the division in ’06. Torii Hunter. Nick Punto is a great teammate. You look at Mike Redmond, who is a manager now. You look at Jesse Crain. You look around, and those guys stick around for a reason. The game has a way, unless you have exceptional, exceptional talent, of weeding out the guys that aren’t good teammates…
“…That’s something that’s important over there. They draft good character people. They do their homework. They expect you to play the game a certain way. Respect the game and respect each other. That’s a good way to do things.”
Generally speaking, people are inclined to be cynical about teams that focus on intangibles (myself included). Teams that focus too much on chemistry, leadership in the locker room, and other such concepts are the subject of ridicule and jokes. There are good reasons for that, but then I remember what those Twins teams looked like and even what the two Colorado Rockies playoff teams of the 21st century felt like.
It felt like those teams rode some sort of positive momentum that was generated by good team chemistry. Winning often creates excitement and chemistry, of course, and maybe you cannot have one without the other. Nevertheless, I am not inclined to be totally dismissive of comments like these from Morneau as the Rockies try to build a strong locker room for 2014.