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Updated: September 1st, 2013 9:19am
Justin Morneau experiencing 'a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion'

Justin Morneau experiencing 'a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion'

by Phil Mackey
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Justin Morneau is equal parts sad and thrilled about Saturday's trade that sent him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Alex Presley and a player to be named later (possibly right-handed reliever Duke Welker).

He is sad because, as he puts it, the Minnesota Twins are the only organization he has ever known. Morneau was drafted in 1999 and has been part of the big league club for a decade.

But Morneau thrilled because, let's face it, the Twins have been horrible since 2010. Morneau goes from grinding out another failed season in September to hopping on a Pirates bandwagon that is experiencing its first relevant season since 1992.

"You try to get here as quick as you can because you want to be a part of this," Morneau told the Pittsburgh media on Saturday night. ...

"A first-place team, you're always excited to become a part of that. I've been paying attention from the other league, and they play the game hard and play it right. Hopefully it'll be a long run and fun run, and I've stepped into something that's enjoyable."

Morneau added, "It was tough saying goodbye. Look on the other side of it, you're on your way to a team that is playing in front of a sold-out stadium and is playing for the playoffs and a division championship and all the other fun stuff. It's a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion that I haven't had in a while."

Believe it or not, Morneau hasn't played in a playoff game since 2006 due to a back injury in 2009 and the concussion in 2010. In his career, Morneau has played in only seven postseason games. So these next two months will be somewhat of a refreshing experience for him. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Justin Morneau