MINNEAPOLIS -- For Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, it's not enough for him to be playing in late September for the first time since 2008 after dealing with several season-ending injuries over the years.
Morneau wants to be more productive and isn't happy with Minnesota's place in the standings. But Morneau, who was given the day off against the Yankees on Wednesday, is hoping it'll springboard into next season, as he's already played in more than 130 games for the first time since '09.
"I'm not just happy to be out there," Morneau said. "I guess you can look for a silver lining, but it's hard to be satisfied with our team in last place. But being out there is a start, and hopefully next year, we'll be playing for something."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it's been nice being able to write Morneau's name in the lineup every day, and that it's hard to convince the slugger to take a day off. But Gardenhire was able to do that successfully on Wednesday, as Morneau entered play as a career .140 hitter against CC Sabathia, and the Twins have their final off-day of the season on Thursday.
"Even when I've tried to talk to him and tell him he needs a day here, he'll argue his way back into the lineup," Gardenhire said. "But I didn't give him the choice today. I wanted to give him back-to-back days, especially against Sabathia."