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La Velle E. Neal III

Reporter | Minnesota Twins
phone: 612.674.4888
La Velle E. Neal III has covered Major League Baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, 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 Dan Barreiro during the season.
Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Dozier is Twins' most valuable chip at winter meetings today

Dozier is Twins' most valuable chip at winter meetings today

Derek Falvey, the Twins' chief baseball officer, made it clear Sunday that he's not actively shopping former All-Star Brian Dozier, who is coming off a 42-homer, 99-RBI season. But they are listening to inquiries.
New boss Derek Falvey looks to make an imprint with Twins

New boss Derek Falvey looks to make an imprint with Twins

The new baseball chief's personality and career have been defined by a relentless drive that could set a new tone for the Twins.
Former Twins media relations director Tom Mee dies at 88

Former Twins media relations director Tom Mee dies at 88

Tom Mee began working with the Twins from the time of their arrival in 1961.
James Rowson takes on challenge with youngsters as Twins hitting coach

James Rowson takes on challenge with youngsters as Twins hitting coach

The new Twins hitting coach caught Derek Falvey's attention a few years ago.

Rowson named Twins hitting coach; Bill Smith leaving organization

The Twins have hired former Yankees minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson as their new hitting coach, according to a report by the New York Post.
Optimism to out the door: Terry Ryan on being fired

Optimism to out the door: Terry Ryan on being fired

Former Twins general manager Terry Ryan spoke Thursday about his firing for the first time. "For both parties, maybe it was the right time to make a switch and a change and go our separate ways."
New Twins catcher Castro sees similarities between Twins, Astros

New Twins catcher Castro sees similarities between Twins, Astros

Jason Castro lost a lot of games early in his career with the Astros. He's also seen the team rebound to make the playoffs and been an All-Star.
Twins call on past to brighten future

Twins call on past to brighten future

The club Monday announced that former Twins Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and Michael Cuddyer have joined the organization as special assistants to baseball operations.
Former Twins Hawkins, Hunter and Cuddyer likely to become special assistants

Former Twins Hawkins, Hunter and Cuddyer likely to become special assistants

The new front office team of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine pledged to expand the club's statistical analysis department to get the Twins caught up…
Twins makeover begins by signing catcher Castro to three-year deal

Twins makeover begins by signing catcher Castro to three-year deal

Jason Castro is considered a strong defensive catcher, although he has struggled with the bat since being named to the American League All-Star team in 2013.
Making moves: Falvey's new Twins leadership team gets to work

Making moves: Falvey's new Twins leadership team gets to work

Figuring out what to do about options at several positions is at the top of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine's to-do list. Also, a decision on members of the coaching staff should come quickly.
Twins name Levine general manager; Falvey meets media Monday

Twins name Levine general manager; Falvey meets media Monday

The 44-year-old Levine has been an assistant GM for Texas since October of 2005; he worked in the Colorado organization the previous six seasons.
Derek Falvey officially named Twins' chief baseball officer

Derek Falvey officially named Twins' chief baseball officer

New baseball chief arrives with youth, plaudits — and a keen pitching sense.
From intern to in charge: Falvey, 33, will be Twins' new baseball boss

From intern to in charge: Falvey, 33, will be Twins' new baseball boss

Those who know Derek Falvey say he embraces statistical analysis, but also understands that there is room for old-school approaches to talent evaluation.
Twins players mourn Jose Fernandez's death

Twins players mourn Jose Fernandez's death

The Twins held a moment of silence before game, as a few fans gasped in surprise when Fernandez's death was announced.
Twins lose home finale, and 100th game of the season

Twins lose home finale, and 100th game of the season

The Twins lost 4-3 to Seattle on Sunday to fall to 56-100 on the season, just the second time in club history they have lost 100 games
Sano promises to lose weight, work harder, be better prepared for 2017

Sano promises to lose weight, work harder, be better prepared for 2017

Teammates, from spring training into the regular season, have had to stay on Miguel Sano about getting in his workouts. He's vowing that will change.
Twins coaching staff in limbo as final games approach

Twins coaching staff in limbo as final games approach

Manager Paul Molitor and his Twins coaching staff will be evaluated by the yet-to-be-hired new front-office leader. The team is headed toward 100 losses this season.
Twins-Tigers postponed; split doubleheader set for Thursday

Twins-Tigers postponed; split doubleheader set for Thursday

Wednesday night's Twins-Tigers game at Target Field was called in the bottom of third inning because of heavy rain.
Swept again: Twins fall 40 games below .500 in loss to Mets

Swept again: Twins fall 40 games below .500 in loss to Mets

The Mets held off the Twins 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in Queens. Now the Twins head home for their final six games of the season at Target Field.
Twins fear it's a season-ending broken thumb for Rosario

Twins fear it's a season-ending broken thumb for Rosario

Eddie Rosario said after Saturday's game that he didn't believe his thumb was broken because he could move it a little without too much pain. But the Twins know that doesn't mean there isn't a break.
Granderson's two HRs spoil Buxton's heroics as Twins fall to Mets in 12

Granderson's two HRs spoil Buxton's heroics as Twins fall to Mets in 12

The veteran Mets outfielder hit the tying homer in the 11th and the winning homer an inning later.
Sano gets good report after MRI on back

Sano gets good report after MRI on back

The third baseman's exam in the Twin Cities came back relatively clean.
More contenders emerge for Twins' top job

More contenders emerge for Twins' top job

The Twins will interview Rays executive Chaim Bloom and are interested in Mets executive John Ricco.
St. Peter chides 'misinformation' as Twins update baseball boss search

St. Peter chides 'misinformation' as Twins update baseball boss search

Twins President Dave St. Peter said the hire to replace GM Terry Ryan could be made by the end of regular season.
Santiago finally finds post-trade success as Twins beat Tigers

Santiago finally finds post-trade success as Twins beat Tigers

Hector Santiago has improved after some rough starts since being dealt to Twins, and Thursday helped the team to a four-game series split in Detroit.
Twins pitching blows another lead; Dozier homers in 9-6 loss

Twins pitching blows another lead; Dozier homers in 9-6 loss

Brian Dozier's 41st home run of the season helped the Twins to a 5-2 lead but Detroit muscled its way to a 9-6 victory.
Cubs executive Jason McLeod is on Twins' radar

Cubs executive Jason McLeod is on Twins' radar

The Twins have contacted the Chicago Cubs for permission to speak with executive Jason McLeod about taking over their baseball department.
Gibson cruises as Twins end 11-game road losing streak

Gibson cruises as Twins end 11-game road losing streak

The righthander threw eight strong innings, allowing only one run on five hits, and his teammates supplied seven runs in the first four innings.
J.J. Picollo interviews for Twins baseball director job, sources say

J.J. Picollo interviews for Twins baseball director job, sources say

In addition to the Royals vice president and assistant general manager, the team also reached out to ex-Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.
Dozier hits 40th homer, but Twins fall to Tigers

Dozier hits 40th homer, but Twins fall to Tigers

He's only the second Twin to reach the mark, but he did so in another loss.
Duffey inconsistent as Twins lose to Cleveland 5-4

Duffey inconsistent as Twins lose to Cleveland 5-4

Tyler Duffey struck out six Friday night but also gave up a slew of loud hits in the Twins' 5-4 loss to the Indians.
Persistence pays off for Twins rookie Beresford

Persistence pays off for Twins rookie Beresford

More than a decade after signing with Twins, James Beresford finally gets his taste of big leagues.
Ninth-inning meltdown overshadows another Dozier home run

Ninth-inning meltdown overshadows another Dozier home run

Going into the ninth inning, the Twins and Royals were tied at 3. That was before Kansas City scored seven runs against four relief pitchers.
Twins hold off White Sox, end losing streak at 13 games

Twins hold off White Sox, end losing streak at 13 games

The Twins ended their losing streak one game shy of a team record, with an upper-deck home run by Byron Buxton helping them build an early lead.
Buxton homers in return to Twins

Buxton homers in return to Twins

In his first game back from Class AAA, Byron Buxton launched a three-run homer off White Sox lefthander Carlos Quintana to give the Twins a four-run lead.
Nagging quads slow Mauer again; hopes to return Friday

Nagging quads slow Mauer again; hopes to return Friday

Joe Mauer scored from first on a Trevor Plouffe double on Aug. 16 and has been in and out of the lineup since. He missed his fourth game in nine Thursday.
Berrios, Duffey demoted after Twins fall 29 games below .500

Berrios, Duffey demoted after Twins fall 29 games below .500

Rookie Jose Berrios had the Twins down 6-0 after three innings but stayed in the game to get work and preserve the Twins bullpen.
Is there a place to set the pace of a baseball game?

Is there a place to set the pace of a baseball game?

With MLB games dragging again, Commissioner Rob Manfred pushes for a clock to speed pitchers along.
Santana's effort not enough as Royals sweep Twins

Santana's effort not enough as Royals sweep Twins

After a sharp outing goes for naught for the Twins, their manager says, "Our mental toughness needs to improve.''
Light aims to make better first impression with Twins

Light aims to make better first impression with Twins

Light made his debut April 26 when he was with the Red Sox but gave up two runs in one inning to the Braves. He was sent back to Class AAA Pawtucket but was summoned again a couple of months later. He made a relief appearance July 2 — when the Red Sox lost 21-2 to the Angels. He gave up five earned runs over 1 ⅔ innings.
Long delays, like Friday's Twins-Royals game, becoming more common

Long delays, like Friday's Twins-Royals game, becoming more common

There seems to be a growing aversion to playing doubleheaders because of the havoc they can create on a pitching staff.
Twins fall to Royals in 11 innings after lengthy delays

Twins fall to Royals in 11 innings after lengthy delays

Friday night's game turned into Saturday morning after it went into extra innings following a three-hour delay.
Twins ask Berrios to pick up the pace on the mound

Twins ask Berrios to pick up the pace on the mound

In an attempt to address some mechanical issues and improve his command, Twins pitching coach Neil Allen is ordering Jose Berrios to pick up the tempo
After three perfect innings, Duffey falls apart in loss to Royals

After three perfect innings, Duffey falls apart in loss to Royals

Twins starter Tyler Duffey retired the first 10 Royals batters but was gone from the game by the end of the fourth inning.
Gibson's complete game at Atlanta continues Twins' road dominance

Gibson's complete game at Atlanta continues Twins' road dominance

A sweep at Atlanta put the team's road record at 16-8 since the end of June.
Vargas makes most of limited opportunities with Twins

Vargas makes most of limited opportunities with Twins

Playing time has been scarce of late for big switch-hitting Kenny's Vargas. "It's part of the process," the 26-year-old said.
Mauer homers in win, says he's figured out what was wrong with swing

Mauer homers in win, says he's figured out what was wrong with swing

Is it the glasses? The rest? Nope. Joe Mauer has fixed his swing this month after noticing a flaw on video - and his numbers are rising, including a .516 on-base percentage this month.
Santana continues run of strong outings, Twins top Atlanta

Santana continues run of strong outings, Twins top Atlanta

Twins righthander Ervin Santana pitched seven shutout innings Tuesday against his old team in a 4-2 victory for the Twins.
Twins' search for new general manager could spill past season

Twins' search for new general manager could spill past season

"If you're going to consider candidates who are working for other teams, there's a process you must go through that is aimed toward being respectful," Twins president Dave St. Peter said.
Gibson can't stop slide as Twins fall to Royals

Gibson can't stop slide as Twins fall to Royals

Kyle Gibson wasn't able to end their losing streak.
Travel trouble leaves Twins shorthanded for Game 2

Travel trouble leaves Twins shorthanded for Game 2

Indications are the Twins intended to call up Pat Light, who was acquired from Boston for Fernando Abad, for Thursday's doubleheader. But Light's flight from Syracuse was canceled and he would not have arrived in time.
Double disaster for Twins as Houston scores 25 runs in sweep

Double disaster for Twins as Houston scores 25 runs in sweep

Both Twins starters were knocked out early and two pitchers are scheduled for MRIs today after reporting elbow and shoulder problems. Game 1 ended up with shortstop Eduardo Escobar on the mound.
Santiago gives up lead, loses in Target Field debut for Twins

Santiago gives up lead, loses in Target Field debut for Twins

Hector Santiago fell to 10-6 and is 0-2 in his two starts with the Twins after winning all six of his July starts while with the Angels.
Twins reliever Pressly handling increased workload

Twins reliever Pressly handling increased workload

Twins manager Paul Molitor has tried to avoid using Ryan Pressly in consecutive games, but he has used him that way four times over the past month.
Plouffe returns to Twins, knowing his everyday role is gone

Plouffe returns to Twins, knowing his everyday role is gone

Now fully healthy, Trevor Plouffe is ready to return to third base and be the everyday force that he wants to be. But that's not likely to happen.
Center field misadventures by Gomez lead to 3-1 Twins victory

Center field misadventures by Gomez lead to 3-1 Twins victory

An error and a horribly misjudged fly ball on consecutive plays by the former Twins center fielder led to all of Minnesota's runs on Monday night.
Twins engaging in lots of trade talk as deadline nears

Twins engaging in lots of trade talk as deadline nears

Righthander Ervin Santana, catcher Kurt Suzuki and relievers Brandon Kintzler and Fernando Abad have been the Twins mentioned most in trade rumblings.
Dozier's two homers help Twins hold off White Sox

Dozier's two homers help Twins hold off White Sox

Usually a second baseman, the veteran served as DH and delivered two homers.
Twins bullpen collapses, Morneau homers; White Sox win in 10

Twins bullpen collapses, Morneau homers; White Sox win in 10

Eduardo Escobar's three-run homer in the eighth gave the Twins a 5-4 lead and charged up the crowd. But he was a hero for only a few minutes.
Twins notes: Molitor seeks right fit for Polanco

Twins notes: Molitor seeks right fit for Polanco

Jorge Polanco was called up from Class AAA Rochester on Thursday when Eduardo Nunez was traded to San Francisco
Bottom battle ends with Twins getting swept by Atlanta

Bottom battle ends with Twins getting swept by Atlanta

Atlanta sprayed line drives all over Target Field on Wednesday night, knocking out Tyler Duffey early before holding on to beat the Twins 9-7
Future MVP Mauer still recalls World Series snub

Future MVP Mauer still recalls World Series snub

Game 7 of the 1991 World Series led to a night that Joe Mauer, 8 years old at the time, will never forget.
Suzuki eyes Tuesday return after stitches on the chin

Suzuki eyes Tuesday return after stitches on the chin

Catcher Kurt Suzuki did not start in Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Red Sox because of the cut he suffered on his chin the night before. But he hoped to return to the lineup Tuesday, when the Twins open a six-game homestand.
Another Sano error, Boston's homers too much for Twins to overcome

Another Sano error, Boston's homers too much for Twins to overcome

Miguel Sano's 10th error in his last 15 games at third base was followed by a three-run homer, the second allowed Sunday by Twins starter Tommy Milone.
Five-run seventh sends Twins to wild victory over Red Sox

Five-run seventh sends Twins to wild victory over Red Sox

In a franchise-record 4 hours, 11 minute game the Twins banged out 19 hits and got a big pick-me-up from a replay challenge.
Limit on number of relievers? Molitor calls it 'a little funny'

Limit on number of relievers? Molitor calls it 'a little funny'

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred reacted positively when a fan suggested reducing the number of relief pitchers used in an inning or game.
Gibson's strong outing holds up as Twins top Boston 2-1

Gibson's strong outing holds up as Twins top Boston 2-1

Behind Kyle Gibson's eight innings of two-hit baseball, the Twins shook off a blowout loss on Thursday by beating the Red Sox on Friday night.
Ortiz tees off on Twins in 13-2 Red Sox victory

Ortiz tees off on Twins in 13-2 Red Sox victory

The David Ortiz farewell tour continued to be a success with his 527th career home run Thursday night. Big Papi went 3-for-5 with four RBI to add to his gaudy career numbers against his former team.
Buxton's slump postpones his Fenway Park debut

Buxton's slump postpones his Fenway Park debut

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton practiced on fielding baseballs off the Green Monster, but putting those skills to work will have to wait.
Antony, Molitor compare notes as trade deadline approaches

Antony, Molitor compare notes as trade deadline approaches

Rob Antony and Paul Molitor have had several conversations as the Aug. 1 nonwaiver trade deadline approaches. Antony has spoken with several teams about potential trades.
Early, late home runs back Santana in Twins victory over Detroit

Early, late home runs back Santana in Twins victory over Detroit

Joe Mauer opened the scoring with a home run in the first inning and Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario added homers in the ninth to aid Ervin Santana's seven solid innings.
Milone's hot start gives Twins first victory of season over Detroit

Milone's hot start gives Twins first victory of season over Detroit

Twins pitcher Tommy Milone took a one-hitter into the eighth inning before weakening in the ninth. But he still won his third straight start.
Nolasco's effort wasted as Twins fall to Tigers

Nolasco's effort wasted as Twins fall to Tigers

Justin Upton's solo homer off Ricky Nolasco in the second inning resulted in the game's only run.
Bittersweet opportunity for Twins' Antony

Bittersweet opportunity for Twins' Antony

The interim GM has climbed up the Twins' ranks since being hired as a media intern in 1988.
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