Twins first baseman Justin Morneau suffered a concussion on a slide into second base up in Toronto this past season and never returned to the playing field.
He could barely even work out because of headaches related to the concussion and wound up missing a total of 78 regular season games and then the ALCS.
Things have improved.
According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Morneau began doing cardio exercises this week and should resume baseball-related activities soon.
“The road to recovery is going well,” Morneau wrote in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. “I started working out again this week, and I am feeling pretty good. It has been a long and frustrating road, but feels good to be able to function normally on a day-to-day basis. The first couple of workouts have gone well, and I am sure I will be more than over-anxious to get spring training and the season started once February rolls around.”
Morneau hit .345/.437/.618 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 81 games this year before going down.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.