Span returns after concussion, rumors

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 2, 2011 - 2:17 PM

Uncertainty surrounded the Twins center fielder, who drew lots of interest at the trade deadline despite health concerns.

hide

Denard Span was one of the Twins’ few reliable players the first two months of the season, but he hasn’t played since June 6 after suffering a concussion on a feet-first slide into home.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Denard Span’s concussion symptoms were gone, his rehabilitation assignment was complete and the trade rumors had quieted.

Sunday night, after his last game for Class AAA Rochester, the Twins center fielder grabbed his smartphone and poured his heart again to his 30,000 Twitter followers.

“Couldn’t of got thru it w/o y’all,” Span wrote. “I’ll never forget this!!”

Upon seeing this, Twins third baseman Danny Valencia couldn’t resist.

“Uncle on all the tweets @thisisdspan,” Valencia wrote. “Although I must say I’m happy your still with us!!!!”

Span countered: “@dannyvalencia19 if u was on that trade block u wouldve been doin the same chump lol [laugh out loud].”

An hour later, Span did a phone interview, saying he had just been through the toughest two months of his career. He will be back atop the Twins lineup Tuesday night against the Angels, knowing a lot has changed since he suffered his concussion June 3 on a slide into Royals catcher Brayan Pena.

Back then, it all seemed so simple. Span was playing well for the team that signed him as a first-round draft pick out of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High School in 2002. In the second year of a five-year, $17 million contract, he was batting .300 with a .367 on-base percentage.

Span, 27, tried playing three days later in Cleveland and realized how woozy he felt. The Twins placed him on the disabled list, and like Justin Morneau last year, Span began to wonder if the concussion symptoms would ever pass.

“I thought I would be out only for a couple weeks, and then I entered a stage where it just wasn’t progressing,” Span said. “I don’t want to say I battled with depression, but I had some low points.”
Span finally made enough progress to begin his rehab stint with Rochester. Then the trade rumors started swirling. Ben Revere had done well enough in Span’s place that the Twins considered multiple offers for Span, including the well-publicized one from the Washington Nationals for young closer Drew Storen.

As Sunday’s nonwaiver trade deadline neared, some reports said it was almost a done deal. Even if Span wanted to ignore the rumors, his Twitter followers kept reminding him, with some suggesting they would stop supporting the Twins if he were traded.

“I couldn’t help but check my phone every hour to see what the heck was going on,” Span said. “Honestly, I thought I was going to be wearing a different jersey. I thought I’d have a 'W’ on my hat.”

Span said the combination of being on the DL and the trade rumors hit him like a double whammy. Twins General Manager Bill Smith wasn’t happy seeing the reports, either, implying they must have been leaked by the Nationals.

“I don’t think he ever heard anything from this ballclub,” Smith said. “And I cannot be held accountable for a lot of the irresponsible stuff that gets out there. We had a high percentage of our players that were asked about by other clubs, and it’s our responsibility to listen.”

Span knows the rumors are bound to return this offseason, since Revere gives the Twins another option in center field.

“Even if I’m traded next year, I’ll always remember all 30,000 of my followers saying, 'Don’t trade Denard Span,’ ” he said. “It’s made me realize how much I love Minnesota.”
 

  • related content

  • Span willing to move from center ... but not eagerly

    Monday August 1, 2011

    Playing in center field for the Twins means a lot to Denard Span, but he also realizes he might help his team by playing in right or left instead.

  • Twins-Angels series preview

    Tuesday August 2, 2011

    THREE-GAME SERIES AT ANGEL STADIUMTuesday, 9:05 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPNLHP Brian Duensing (8-8, 4.35 ERA) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (6-8,...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Top 9th123456789RHE
Minnesota200201000590
Kansas City20011010 5101
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland 3 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 2
Minnesota 5 Top 9th Inning
Kansas City 5
Texas 2 Top 9th Inning
Houston 4
Oakland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
LA Angels 3
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 3 2nd Qtr 4:48
San Diego 9
Seattle 7 2nd Qtr 9:47
Oakland 28
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 4th Qtr 4:26
(18) Ole Miss 28
Tulane 28 4th Qtr 6:43
Tulsa 20
Rutgers 14 2nd Qtr 8:34
Washington St 3
Weber State 0 1st Qtr 2:54
(19) Arizona State 10
Temple 0 1st Qtr 6:44
Vanderbilt 0
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close