Former Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz told the Boston Globe he faults Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for him being traded to Boston.
In response, Gardenhire lauded the play of current first baseman Justin Morneau.
"We've got our first baseman now, and I don't worry about what other people say," Gardenhire said. "I know when he was here he said he wasn't going to take being a backup to this kid. I think that tells you where we're at.
"We're happy where we are right now. We like our kid. He is our future. I wish Doug well."
Mientkiewicz repeated his opinion that he was part of a special group of players who resurrected the Twins' franchise.
"Ever since he became manager, he's had a pretty damn good team, and it was because of the group I was with," Mientkiewicz said. "Even guys who aren't there anymore, like LaTroy Hawkins, when he heard I was traded, he went ballistic: 'What the hell's going on over there? They don't realize when they have winners.' "
The Twins are 24-15 with Morneau in their lineup since the All-Star break, when Mientkiewicz sat because of a sore wrist.
Morneau has produced 14 homers and 39 RBI in 184 at-bats this season; Mientkiewicz has produced six homers and 30 RBI in 337 at-bats.
Mientkiewicz told the Globe that General Manager Terry Ryan didn't want to trade him, but Gardenhire forced the deal. Which is true: Gardenhire believed Mientkiewicz was going to make himself a problem in the clubhouse.
Mientkiewicz told the Globe: "Our owner [Carl Pohlad] just found out I got traded, like a week ago. He's furious. I know that for a fact ... [Gardenhire] did me wrong."