Former Twin Morneau talks hockey, Minnesota loyalty

DENVER - A former Minnesota Twin made a cameo appearance on the jumbo-tron prior to Thursday night's game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Colorado Rockies' first baseman Justin Morneau, a self-proclaimed hockey fanatic, said that he was asked to tape a pep talk for Avalanche fans prior to the seedings being released. Still, it came as a bit of shock for Wild supporters in attendance on Thursday.

"I didn't know they were playing the Wild in the first round," Morneau said. "When we recorded that it was before when they were playing Chicago or somebody else."

Morneau said he was able to warn Wild players about the video prior to the game.

"It was just trying to fire up the hometown fans. I know where my loyalty stands in this series," Morneau said.

When pushed a little further, he jokingly said he would root for "whoever's leaving me tickets."

Morneau also reflected on the start of the baseball season. While he has found a new home in Denver, that doesn't mean he has forgotten about teammates and coaches he left behind.

"I have been keeping my eye on (the Twins), seeing how they are doing," he said.

He said he has talked to his good friend Joe Mauer as well as hitting coach Tom Brunansky and manager Ron Gardenhire already this spring.

"I spent a long time (in Minnesota)," Morneau said. "Got a lot of good friends there. I obviously miss them, but I am having some fun here, too."

Through Thursday's games, Morneau was batting .346 with two home runs and four doubles.

He's not the only former Twins player suiting up for the Rockies. Michael Cuddyer and Latroy Hawkins are also on the team. The Rockies hosted the Phillies on Friday, so former Twins outfield Ben Revere was also in the ballpark.


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