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.

Zumaya has a torn UCL, and it could be the final straw for him

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 26, 2012 - 1:47 PM

Reliever Joel Zumaya has a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament and will miss the entire 2012 season.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan said on Sunday that Zumaya will take a couple days off to ponder his future - not with the Twins, but with baseball in general. He's now had injuries up and down his right arm since breaking into the majors in 2006 and is very frustrated.

``I talked to him a little bit,'' Ryan said. ``He’s going to come in here in the next day or so. I’m not exactly sure what his approach, what he wants to do and so forth, I didn’t think that was the right time for me to discuss his future. But we all know those things are lengthy, and the rehab and the therapy and so forth is all of a year.

`` So I’ll wait to talk to him in the next day or so when he comes back to give you guys an idea of exactly what he thinks, where he’s at.''

To make sure, someone asked Ryan if he was talking about surgery versus rehab.

``No,'' Ryan said. ``I don’t think it’s even that. I think it’s more whether or not he wants to continue the battle.

Zumaya would need to have Tommy John surgery to repair the ligament. The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year contract worth $850,000 with $900,000 more in incentives. But only $400,000 was guaranteed because Zumaya, because of shoulder and wrist injuries, hasn't pitched more than 38.2 innings in any season since 2006.

It was a low-risk, high-reward move. People who already are criticizing the Twins for this are off base. It was a chance to grab one of the most powerful arms in baseball history and it didn't work out. Losing $400,000 is nothing.

``Six, seven days into camp isn't exactly the scenario you want to look at,'' Ryan said. ``Let's say it happened three or four weeks later. That wouldn't be good either. If it happens, period, it isn't good. But I'll take the chance on occasion. Any general manager who has been in this chair for any length of time takes a chance on something, And if you don't take chances, you're probably in the wrong business.

``I'm much more conservative that a lot of general managers, I think that's safe to say. But I thought this was worth a chance after we did the MRIs and had our people look at him down in Houston. It's ironic he tore this ligament because that was one of the areas that he was healthy at.

``But when you have something break, then sometimes other things go too. That's the chance you're taking and that's the chance we took, I took. I'll take full responsibility for the decision. It just didn't work. It's as simple as that.''

 The Twins will not look outside the organization for bullpen help. They still have 32 pitchers in camp, and Ryan challenged them all Sunday to step up and take the innings they hoped to give Zumaya.


Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 90 4th Qtr 1:35
Detroit 95
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 69 4th Qtr 12:00
Memphis 62
Brooklyn 77 4th Qtr 10:25
Houston 76
Miami 82 4th Qtr 11:03
New Orleans 76
Minnesota 71 4th Qtr 10:25
Chicago 75
Utah 42 2nd Qtr 4:49
Denver 28
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 3rd Prd 6:34
Tampa Bay 3
Colorado 1 2nd Prd 5:32
Dallas 2
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 53 2nd Half 1:44
Akron 65
Dartmouth 71 2nd Half 3:53
Columbia 57
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 64 2nd Half 2:41
Bradley 60
Drake 50 2nd Half 4:19
Wichita State 71
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 49 2nd Half 1:54
Loyola-Chicago 63
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 32 2nd Half 12:18
(10) Arizona State 20
Providence 39 2nd Half 10:49
Villanova 48


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