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.

All-Star Game: Workout Day, Home Run Challenge

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 15, 2013 - 4:04 PM

Greetings from The Big Apple, where All-Star workout day and the annual Home Run Derby will take place. It also is Twins Alumni week, as Grant Balfour has been added to the roster. That makes seven former Twins in the All-Star Game....or is it eight....or 15. Anyway, there are many here - and that's not counting Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins.


The Futures Game on Sunday drew 39,000 to CitiField - well, the ticket now is part of the bundle for the week. They were treated to some good baseball. A lot of power arms, as one kid hit 99 miles an hour. I sat next to Twins GM Terry Ryan for one inning and watched high-priced signee Michael Ynoa hit 96 without any signs of command.

I thought I could shoot the breeze about his team during the game, but Ryan had all his charts and a stopwatch out, breaking down every player. Ryan whispered, ``Uh-oh,'' as soon as Matt Davidson connected with his two-run home run in the fourth. When Christian Yelich dug in at the plate, Ryan commented, ``This kid is a pretty good hitter.'' I try to remember these moments after the year I went to the Arizona Fall League and Ryan uttered seven kind words about Curtis Granderson before he became a star.

I was impressed with how Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton handled the media throng after the Futures Games. Both didn't do much at the plate but they showed good plate discipline and got into hitters counts on a day in which the first 96 mile an hour fastball thrown had most hitters hacking at the first thing they saw.

I shouldn't be surprised about Sano. He's had movie cameras following him around for years, once for the filming of Pelotero. Now, `The Miguel Sano story,' is in the making. But Sano's English continues to improve, and you can begin to see some of his personality. He's a good kid who likes to laugh.

Buxton was very quiet when we met him in spring training but he seemed to be at ease Sunday when he talked about his first visit to the The Big Apple.

``I walked for 30 minutes, then went to FanFest,'' he said. ``We went to the hotel and then walked for like three more hours. I know I walked at least 10 pounds off.''

He got near the Empire State Building but didn't go in: ``Oh no, I'm scared of heights,'' he said while shaking his head. ``I don't do heights.''

Who knows? It's not out of the question that both players will be in Twins uniforms as some point next years. It's not a rebuilding program until Sano and Buxton show up.


There are around 30 members of the Twins organization here, following Mets officials around to get an idea of what will be in store for them next year when the event will be held at Target Field. I looked up a few times on Sunday and saw John Avenson, Twins vice president in charge of technology, getting a feel for internet demands and other challenges.

Look for the Twins to begin making announcements about the 2014 game in the coming weeks.


The annual All-Star Gala took place Sunday night - which I didn't attend. It used to be a bunch of, media, team and league officials and a few of the All-Stars. It has exploded in recent years as rightsholders show up with entitled kids, buddies and business partners. Scribes used to get an invitation in their media packet. Not this year. You had to be near someone who was handing them out. They ran out, and a bunch of scribes were left out.

That's not the issue, however. This year's Gala was held on an AIRCRAFT CARRIER with food stations touting the best New York has to offer. Was told the food was...O.K.

At breakfast this morning, I sat with a handful of writers and said, ``I have no idea where Minneapolis will hold next year's Gala.''

One of my west-coast based writing buddies said: ``We were talking about that last night. We're worried that we will be taken to the Mall of America.''

Ugh. I hope we can come up with something better than that.....



Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 10 1st Half 4:48
UC Santa Barbara 25
Baylor 39 2nd Half 15:50
Memphis 37
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53


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