La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

It sounded like baseball

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 29, 2010 - 3:02 PM

Just got back from the Twins' annual pre-season luncheon - and saw some signs that spring training is not that far away.

Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan all threw for a few minutes in the indoor facility behind the Twins dugout. Twins bullpen catcher Nate Dammann caught each of the sessions. Actual baseball activity. Wow.

Somehow, Carl Pavano threw at Hamline. Don't know why,

I'm sure Joe C. has mentioned that Nick Punto needs wrist surgery but should be ready for action by the time the full squad meets for its first workout. Can't wait to read the responses to that one.

Indications are that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn't mind bringing Wilson Ramos up north to start the season if Jose Morales hasn't recovered from his wrist surgery. Opening Day is a long way away and a lot of things can happen. But it shows you what the manager thinks of one of the Twins' top prospects. What does that say about Butera.

Took another  tour of Target Field today. The pressbox is going to look pretty cool. The scoreboard was fully operational, too, which added to the atmosphere.

And I want to thank everyone who attended last night's Diamond Awards banquet. We sold 515 tickets, which was up from 450 last season. We're now dreaming of getting 600 fans to come next year as we try to turn this into a massive event!





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