Justin Morneau and his wife, Krista, hosted their second annual Casino Night on Sunday night at Target Field. The benefit is designed to raise money and awareness for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Their niece, Madelyn Buss, suffers from JRA.
06/16/2010 1:40 PM ET
Morneau's benefit spotlights arthritis
Niece of the Twins first baseman is affected by disease
"Madelyn was the first one that made us aware that kids get arthritis, too," Justin told MLB.com. "It means a lot to be able to help out anyone, especially people that are close to you. To raise awareness and to help other kids that are similar to our niece has been great."
The help of the Morneau family has not gone unappreciated.
"They've been unbelievable," said Liz Truax, a representative from the Arthritis Foundation. "They really care about this cause, and they really want to help. We're just so lucky they want to do a fundraiser like this. They're huge advocates and they're willing to do anything to get the word out. We're so grateful they're willing to help us."
The event raised more than $140,000.
Dempster gets thrill from hoisting Stanley Cup: Ryan Dempster grew up in Vancouver and always dreamed that one day he'd get the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. On Sunday night, thanks to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, he got that chance.
"I was extremely honored that they would even ask me to do that and humbled that they gave it to me," Dempster told MLB.com. "I know how special of an honor that is, just to even touch it. I was shaking for three innings afterward. Being a little kid in Canada, that's all I ever thought about it. They've embraced me and been so generous to me. It's brought that little kid out in me for sure."
It's a reunion for Drew brothers: There was a family reunion at Fenway Park on Tuesday night as J.D. Drew got to play against his brother Stephen and the Diamondbacks. They last played against each other in 2008.
"It's fun to see him," J.D. told the Boston Herald. "We used to play against each other quite a bit when I was in LA and he was in Arizona. It's always good to see him. I watch some of his games live. He got a chance to watch me play a lot growing up. I never got to watch him at all."
J.D. is eight years older than Stephen, so J.D. spent most of his time competing against middle brother and former Major League pitcher Tim. However, J.D. considers himself to be a mentor for Stephen.
"I was more of Stephen's do-it-this-way guy, and he listened well," J.D. said. "He's eight years younger than me, but definitely a gifted athlete, that's for sure. He has a lot of athletic ability and was around Florida State a lot. He stayed with me down there quite a bit whenever we were playing, had easy access to the field, cages. By the time he got to college [also with the Seminoles], I think he felt like he had already been through it because of me. He adapted better to pro ball."
Chris Perez learned valuable lessons from father: Chris Perez says commitment was among the values he learned from his father, Tim.
"Once you're committed to something, you're in," Chris told MLB.com. "I used to try to get out of practice all the time, because I thought it was just so boring. But once I said yes, that was it. I had to be there. And that's not just in baseball but in everything. When you commit to something, you have to not only just be there but get something out of it."
Colvin credits grandfather for success: Tyler Colvin credits his 70-year-old grandfather, Jerry, for raising him.
"He's my dad," the Cubs' outfielder told MLB.com. "And my best friend. When I talk to my uncle, he's like, 'Yeah, I talked to Dad the other day -- oh, I mean Granddad.' That's the way it is. He raised me and he raised my uncle, too. That's the way I look at him. I believe he feels that way toward me, too."
Lucroy settling in nicely behind the plate: Jonathan Lucroy has made the most of his opportunity catching for the Brewers. On Saturday he had his first three-hit game, and he is hitting better than .300 on the Brewers' current road trip.
"We'll see how Jonathan does, but I'm leaning toward giving him the brunt of the work," manager Ken Macha told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's done a fairly nice job with balls in the dirt, he's throwing pretty well, he's been doing his homework. [I had] just a few comments on pitch selection and things he should be doing, but not too bad for a rookie."
Ruben Tejada making his mark at second base: Ruben Tejada, 20, is showing that he has a future in the Major Leagues.
The prospect is currently filling in for Luis Castillo at second base for the Mets, but the club still wants him to focus on shortstop.
"That's where he'll be in the Minors," general manager Omar Minaya told the New York Post. "He'll keep working at second base, too, but he'll play shortstop. We expected him to be able to do this, and he is."
"He's been good so far," shortstop Jose Reyes said. "He knows how to play the game. I've never had a chance to really play with him before, and he knows what he's doing out there. ... He looks relaxed. Changing positions is tough. He looks like a natural second baseman."
Price makes solid first impression: Interleague Play gives fans a chance to see players in action from the other league who they might not ordinarily see. It works the same way for players. On Tuesday night the Braves were introduced to David Price and came away impressed with the Rays' young left-hander.
"When you throw 98 mph, it makes everything you do better," catcher Brian McCann told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It makes your offspeed better. You can get away with pitches that are up in the zone. That's what makes him so successful. He's able to paint at 97, and when he makes a mistake, 97 is hard to hit. I was very impressed tonight."
Coghlan on his way back to form: After winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award last year, Chris Coghlan is warming up again. In his last 13 games, Coghlan has raised his OPS 185 points.
"You find out exactly what the player has inside, if he's a gamer, if he's a bulldog or if he's got quit in him," hitting coach Jim Presley told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "With Chris Coghlan, there isn't any quit in that kid. He was hitting a .180 going into May. He had confidence in himself and his ability, and he showed that. There is no quit in that kid."
Sweeney with Mariners again: Brian Sweeney came up with the Mariners in 2003 but was traded during the offseason. Now, after several different stops, including a detour in Japan, Sweeney finds himself back in Seattle.
The Mariners, who signed Sweeney away from an Independent League team early in 2010, called him up from the Minors after he went 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 relief appearances for Triple-A Tacoma.
"I tried to go back to Japan, tried to play, but it didn't work out," Sweeney, who pitched for the Nippon Ham Fighters from 2007-09, told the Seattle Times. "I was always second or third on somebody's list. And even here in the U.S., I was second or third, or they didn't want me at all. But the Mariners had interest, sent some scouts out and kind of worked from there."
Lyon gaining an edge on the mound: Brandon Lyon makes sure he never gets complacent.
"I don't think there's any comfort ever," Lyon, the Astros' setup man, told the Houston Chronicle. "You can never feel comfortable in this game. You have to go out there with some kind of edge or some kind of attitude where anything can happen."
Lyon has not allowed a run in 21 of his last 23 appearances and has a 1.27 ERA during that time. His five wins lead the Astros.
Montero back in action after long stay on DL: Miguel Montero has been activated from the disabled list.
"Man, it was tough," Montero told the The Arizona Republic. "I wanted to be out there helping in some way, and it was terrible not being able to do anything about it.
Montero has been out since the fourth game of the season after damaging the meniscus in his knee while running to first base against Pittsburgh.
-- Red Line Editorial