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Furious 5 Interview: Justin Morneau


The Player:
1B Justin Morneau
Furious 5 Interview Date: 2/1/03, University of Minnesota Gophers football locker room at the Metrodome
Length of Interview:
5 minutes
Number of Questions asked: 25 You have a championship ring with New Britain from 2001, and you'll soon get a ring for winning a title with Edmonton last season. In Rochester, we've had the worst record in Triple-A the past two years - so our fans are looking forward to seeing some players who have some rings. How do the Twins instill winning in their minor league system?

Justin Morneau: it all starts with the way they develop the players, working on each individual player getting better, and then that has helped us all to translate into a winning team. The biggest thing isn't winning, it's development. The closeness of it starts in rookie ball with the development programs they have in place down there. The organization focuses a lot on the fundamentals, defense is stressed pretty high on the list. It all translates in getting sound, winning teams on the field each year. This year you were called up to Edmonton for the playoffs after a fine season in New Britain. After a rough start in game one of the finals, you broke out with a 4-for-5 game in game three. Making your debut at any level in a championship series is not the usual had an especially challenging first taste of Triple-A. How did the 4-hit game make you feel?

JM: It definitely helped me for the next couple games of the finals. The year before when I was called up to Double-A near the end of the season, I wasn't sure I belonged there. After I played there all year last season I had a little more confidence, and felt that I belonged. I knew that I didn't have to put a lot of pressure on myself in that Edmonton lineup....they had me hitting seventh, there wasn't too much expected on me right away. They wanted me to contribute, that's why they called me up - but it wasn't to be the main guy in the lineup. I was hitting fourth in New Britain all year long. A little psychological test here, I'm going to show you two sports cards, let me know which one does more for you - there's this side(Justin is shown his 2002 Bowman card) .....or this side (he's shown a Ray Bourque Boston Bruins card).

JM: (laughs) The Bourque side definitely. I'm going to mention a couple of Boston Bruins hockey names to you ...Gerry Cheevers...Don Cherry...familiar with those names?

JM: Absolutely. Did you know they both played minor league hockey in Rochester?

JM: No, but it's great to know that - I like the Canucks, but the Bruins are my favorite team. Canadian radio has laws requiring a certain amount of Canadian Content; that is, songs by Canadian artists. So we'll get into a little CanCon right now - how many loonies (Canadian dollar coins) do you have in your pocket right now?

JM: None. I took them out of my pocket and they're on the nightstand at the hotel. Who would win in a street fight, Barenaked Ladies or Rush?

JM: I'd have to go with Barenaked Ladies. If Quebec voted to form their own country, would you go along with their decision?

JM: No. Have you ever attended the Calgary Stampede?

JM: No. How do Canadians feel about sharing Tim Hortons Doughnuts with us Americans?

JM: (laughs) I would think you'd be happy about getting Tim Hortons Doughnuts. Are you aware Tim Hortons just opened some locations in Rochester?

JM: (excited enthusiasm) Oh, really??? Who are some of your favorite Canadian bands?

JM: Matthew Good Band, Our Lady Peace, Tragically Hip. switching away from CanCon now, how about some Justin Morneau personal preferences...TV shows first. Tough Enough or Fear Factor?

JM: Tough Enough. Leno or Letterman?

JM: Letterman. VH1 Behind The Music or E! True Hollywood Story?

JM: Behind The Music. On the Osbournes, what the heck is Ozzy saying?

JM: I don't think anybody knows. Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern?

JM: Howard Stern. What CD is in your CD player right now?

JM: Umm, let me think....hmmm... drove to the airport, I was listening to.....Our Lady Peace. J-Lo or Shania Twain?

JM: Shania Twain. Eminem: musical visionary, or played out wanksta?

JM: Musical visionary. How many items of FUBU clothing do you own?

JM: None. Do you own a laptop and if so, how many email accounts do you have?

JM: I have a laptop, and just one e-mail account. Eyeblack or sunglasses?

JM: Both, just depends on the day. Favorite pregame meal?

JM: Chicken Alfredo. Our fans sent in some letters with questions for you this particular one out loud if you would.

JM: (Justin reads).... "I wanted to know if Justin or Michael watch SpongeBob SquarePants and if so, who is their favorite character?" Yes I do watch that show, we watched it all the time in the (New Britain) clubhouse. SpongeBob is my favorite character. Can you read the rest of the letter please?

JM: (looks at letter, reads, laughs and shakes head) "...signed, little Danny Lynd. I will be 45 years old in July. I want to be a cowboy when I grow up." Okay. That question was NOT indicative of the high sophistication level of the average Wings fan in Rochester.

JM: Thanks for clearing that up.