Friday night, after the Twins lost to the Jays, 13-3, Justin Morneau sounded as feisty and optimistic as I've heard him since he suffered that concussion last July 7.

Asked how he felt, he ripped the Toronto fans who kept throwing giveaway towels onto the field. ``We had a towel-fest out there today,'' he said. ``Hopefully it won't be towel giveaway day anymore.''

Morneau also said the turf, which was reinstalled on Thursday following a motocross event, was choppy. ``It was rough, I'll say that much,'' he said. ``But you make any comment about anything bad, it sounds like you’re making an excuse. We got beat, but hopefully the surface settles down by tomorrow. There’s not really much I can say. It was the same for both teams.''

Asked how his head felt, Morneau said, ``That was kind of embarrassing. Other than that (the result), now we're at the point where, in spring training, it was about how I felt. And now it just matters whether we win or lose.''

Morneau received an ovation during the National Anthems. ``That was nice, looking up during the anthem when they're playing the song, seeing me up there,'' he said. ``I kind of got chills during the anthem. That was a nice moment. It would have been nicer to finish the day with a win.''

Morneau said he expects to be in the lineup on Saturday, and that he felt good at the plate, even after a day that included a 2 p.m. workout, batting practice and nine innings on the field. ``We’ll come in and see how we feel in the morning,'' he said. ``To get through that long of a game and that long of a day and all the extra stuff, that was a real long day. I feel good now, so hopefully I’ll go home, get some good sleep and come in and have a regular day tomorrow and gradually think about it less and less as we go.''

He also praised the teammates who hit in his batting practice group for wearing helmets, as a show of support for Morneau. Morneau wears a helmet during batting practice as a precaution.

``That was more just them trying to make me not stick out like a sore thumb,'' he said. ``It's nice to see them do that for me. It's good.''

Morneau finished 0-for-4 with a liner to center and a drive almost to the warning track in right.

 

 

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Upcoming: I'm on the whole road trip, Toronto and New York, then covering the home opener. I'll be tweeting regularly @Souhanstrib, and filing regular posts to my Souhan on Sports blog at startribune.com.

Sunday, I'll co-host Sunday Morning Sports Talk on 1500espn, from the press box in Toronto. The show starts at 10 a.m., following the Gardenhire Show at 9:30.

 

 

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