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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Mauer, Presley, Ozzie

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 12, 2013 - 6:39 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 8-2 loss to Oakland:


MAUER UPDATE: Joe Mauer experienced a setback on Wednesday in his concussion recovery, as he felt bad after a workout and was sent home. Mauer returned to Target Field on Thursday and worked out during the game. ``He came in and did his workout,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``Everything was good. He left feeling good.'' Gardenhire said he spoke to the trainers and did not speak to Mauer directly. And Mauer left the ballpark before the game was over. No one should  be afraid of pulling the plug on the season if Mauer is not 100 percent in a week or so. Sure, he wants to finish the season. But full offseason of rest and conditioning might be better for him.

PRESLEY PLAY: Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run triple in the fourth on a ball that Alex Presley misplayed. The ball was hit hard, which didn't help, but it sliced to his left after he initially turned to his right. ``It's tough to recover and turn and get all the way back,'' he said. ``It was a just a disaster of a play.'' Presley has made several nice catches since joining the Twins - and comes in nicely on balls - but that was his first tough play as a Twin.

OZZIE (clap, clap), OZZIE (clap, clap): Something to get behind during the final weeks. The Twins' Oswaldo Arcia pulled into a tie for first place among AL rookies in home runs with his seventh inning blast on Thursday. Conor Gillaspie and Nick Franklin also have hit 12, and Will Myers has 11. Should be a good race for the rookie home run crown.

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