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Colorado Rockies pursuing Justin Morneau, maybe James Loney

Justin MorneauThe Colorado Rockies are aggressively pursuing first baseman Justin Morneau, and they will likely turn to James Loney if they cannot sign the former Minnesota Twins slugger.

Troy Renck of The Denver Post says the team has been “aggressively pursuing” Morneau and that they are looking for a big bat. Renck believes the Rockies have a legitimate shot at Morneau for a few reasons. One, he says there aren’t big-market teams around to drive up the price on Morneau, who has already expressed interest in Colorado. Two, he believes Morneau could be swayed by Canadian icons Patrick Roy, who is the current Avalanche coach, and Larry Walker, a former Rockies star, if they get involved in the sales pitch.

If the Rockies are unable to sign Morneau, Renck says they are expected to go after Loney.

Loney is a free agent and coming off a good season for the Tampa Bay Rays. After three consecutive disappointing seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a poor 2012 with the Boston Red Sox, Loney had a strong year with the Rays last season. His .299 average and .778 OPS were his highest marks since 2007.

Morneau hasn’t been the same offensive force he once was since suffering a concussion in 2010. Maybe going to a more hitter-friendly environment in Colorado could help get his career back on track. He also might be suited for a platoon role — he had an .819 OPS against right-handed pitchers last year and .525 OPS against lefties.

Justin Morneau scored a run with this sick slide (GIF)

Justin Morneau scored a critical run during the Minnesota Twins-Los Angeles Angels game on Tuesday with an incredible slide into home.

The Twins first baseman singled with one out in the eighth and then tried to score from first on a double to right-center by Ryan Doumit. Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick caught the relay throw and fired to catcher Hank Conger, who stretched to catch the ball on a fly. With Conger stretched out to the first base line, Morneau decided his best option was to do a crazy hook slide to avoid the tag. He slid around an outstretched Conger, avoided the tag, and then sat up to tap home plate for the run. Home plate umpire Ted Barrett correctly called him safe on the play to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

The Angels tied up the game in the ninth on a based loaded walk, but Minnesota hit two home runs in a 7-run 10th to win 10-3.

As awesome as that slide was, it wasn’t as good as the run Tim Beckham scored last month.

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