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Twins' Logan Morrison sees no point in playing in sub-freezing temperatures

Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (L) and first baseman Logan Morrison (R) prepare for cold weather as snow flurries fall before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 4, 2018. Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH — New Twins designated hitter/first baseman Logan Morrison sparked a bit of a controversy back in the snowbound Twin Cities on Wednesday, April 4, when he posted a video of a snowy intersection on his Instagram account.

"New rule," Morrison captioned his post. "You build a stadium, it has to come with a roof. This is fun for no one, including fans. It's 2018, people want to be comfortable while watching and playing games."

Thursday's forecast in downtown Minneapolis called for a high of 34 with a 50 percent chance of snow.

Asked about the social-media backlash a few hours later in the visiting clubhouse at PNC Park, Morrison smiled on the eve of his first Twins home game.

"They didn't like that," he said. "I was just more or less saying it would probably be more comfortable for everyone if we had roofs. I don't think anyone wants to freeze and watch a baseball game either."

Upon signing with the Twins in late February, Morrison was asked about playing in cold weather after spending the bulk of his nine-year career in home stadiums with roofs in Miami, Seattle and Tampa Bay. He joked that at least his feet would be warm at Target Field, where a system of heated pipes below the playing surface keeps the grass frost-free.

Off to a 0-for-11 start with two walks and a hit-by-pitch, Morrison couldn't readily recall the coldest conditions he's played in.

"I really haven't played in that much cold," he said. "Maybe Philly early in the season, back in the day. It might have been 35 (degrees) and raining."

Morrison, who started at first base in place of Joe Mauer for Wednesday's interleague matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates, doesn't believe major league games should ever be played sub-freezing temperatures.

"I just think, if you ask anyone, you don't want to coach in it, you don't want to pitch in it, you don't want to hit in it, you don't want to field in it, you don't want to watch it," he said.

Retrofitting cold-weather baseball stadiums, including Target Field, with some form of retractable roof is something he supports.

"I'm not a numbers guy," he said, "but I just feel like if you put up the initial cost up front, you'll get more in return for that. Then you don't have to worry about (weather), especially in Minnesota. When you have South Dakota, North Dakota, all those people, they don't want to drive in, right? They don't want to drive in and then get rained out or snowed out, whatever it might be."

With wind gusts up to 40 mph forecast for Wednesday night, Morrison was accepting suggestions from teammates for protecting himself against the elements.

"They told me some Vaseline tricks and Warm Skin-type stuff," he said. "You're not going to stay warm, you're just going to be not as cold. We'll figure it out. It's something you've got to deal with, so you deal with it."

Kinley still waiting

Twins Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley entered Wednesday still looking to make his big-league debut after making the jump from Double-A in the Miami Marlins organization.

Kinley, 27, has thrown off the bullpen mound, but no more than 10 pitches on a given day in case he is needed in that night's game.

"I don't know if it's going to be necessity or logic or what components will dictate his first outing," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "At some point you're going to have to figure out a way to do it, that's for sure."

Briefly

Pirates rookie third baseman Colin Moran is the nephew of former big leaguer B.J. Surhoff, a Milwaukee Brewers teammate of Molitor's from 1987-92. Moran's first-inning grand slam proved the difference in a 5-4 Twins loss on Monday.

Former Twins relief prospect Nick Burdi, lost to the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft in December, threw his first bullpen this week following Tommy John surgery last May. Burdi must be carried on the active big-league roster for at least 90 days or offered back to the Twins for $50,000.