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Continued: Twins: Seattle, where it all began for Morneau in '06

What happened? Morneau embraced repetition -- some teammates say it's also a little superstition -- as he figured out a daily routine that persists. He gets to the park around 1:45 p.m., eats a sandwich and has a yogurt. He gets loose, does some early batting cage work, grabs a drink and then joins the team for pregame work.

He also likes his macaroni and cheese and sometimes has teammate Nick Punto whip up a mix of a Slurpee and Mountain Dew. Except for the Slurpee Dews, the routine doesn't change.

Outfielder Michael Cuddyer even said Morneau says the same thing to him on the top steps of the dugout before each game.

"He says, 'Let's see what kind of energy we've got tonight,' " Cuddyer said. "I just want him to mix it up and say something like, 'How about we see what kind of energy we have tonight.' "

Morneau took a low point in Seattle and made it into a jumping-off point. The only thing Morneau might change this trip in is how long he sees his buddies. His ticket list this week is in the 30s.

"I'm not going to get pulled around in 100 different directions." he said.

Gardenhire believes Morneau has come a long way since the talk.

"I think the big thing with young players is to first realize that you're not as focused as you should be," Gardenhire said, "And I think, honestly, once he realized what needed to be done to be successful, he ran with it. He just took off and ran with it."

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

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