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.

Twins camp update: Correia, collisions, instant replay, Pinto, prospects

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 24, 2014 - 3:16 PM

Righthander Kevin Correia was scratched from his scheduled batting practice session on Monday because of a stiff neck.

``He said he could have pitched,' '' Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said, ``but why risk it?''

Is there a cause for concern? The Twins are confident that Correia's neck problem is very minor, to the point that he's already scheduled to pitch on Thursday during an intrasquad game at the Lee County Sports Complex. Correia was 9-13 with a 4.18 ERA in 31 starts with the Twins last season.

Righthander Phil Hughes is also scheduled to pitch in the intrasquad game on Thursday, with the rest of the pitching lineup to consist of young arms.


Major League Baseball on Monday announced the addition of experimental rule 7.13 on home plate collisions. Umpires will have the authority to declare a baserunner out if he went out of his way to make contact with whoever is covering home plate. A runner can also be called safe if the person covering home plate goes out of his way to block home plate.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire remains concerned about how the rule will be implemented.

``We need more information on it,'' he said. ``I need pictures. I need to see plays they’re talking about. What they want our catchers to do. What we want our baserunners to do. We need video of it to give to our players instead of saying this is what we’re going do and make a call on it.''


The managers also were updated on plans to expand instant replay this season. Basically, the league is going to use spring training as one big test period, then make adjustments. The Twins will be front and center because 16 of their spring training games, 14 at home, will be televised. That means they will have replay capabilities.

So Gardy can practice his challenges.

``It helps our situation out but not other teams,'' Gardenhire said. ``But it’ll help us because we’ll have a form of review. But it’s not going to be as detailed as it’ll be this summer at Target. They’ll have an elaborate system with the camera overhead that shows everything and all kinds of angles. I don’t’ think we’ll have it down here. It’s a start. We just have to get a better feel for it and how we’re going to approach these challenges.

``It’s like I told them I don’t want to go out there and challenge every play. I would like to walk out and ask other umpires if they saw what I saw. Like that a ball hit the ground without having to use a challenge. What if I don’t have any challenges left. I want conversation with umpires too. I don’t want them to just say do you want to challenge when I walk out there. So there’s tweaking but we’re working in the right direction to get the game right.”

Gardenhire will have a walkie-talkie hookup with Sean Harlin, the Twins' director of major league video.


Catcher Josmil Pinto swung a bat and caught in the bullpen on Monday and said he hoped to be 90 percent tommorrow. He's slowly recovering from his back injury, but it's doubtful he will be available for the first few spring training games.


A national writer asked Gardenhire what skills does he posses to help young players develop. It came on the heels of a discussion about Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.

``I think if you give me the best players then I’ll be a good manager,'' he said with a chuckle. ``We all know that. I’ve heard it 1,000 times. I don’t mind taking the blame for being a crappy team. That’s OK. But good players sure make you look a lot better. Developing players is about getting them on the right path. I know they always say, The Twins Way. The Twins Way is basically about respecting the game of baseball, working your tail off when you’re between the lines and letting the talent flow and letting them be their selves. I’ve heard a lot of different versions of it but more than anything else we’re about paying attention to the details of the game and working our butts off at it and try to outwork other teams.

`` I don’t know about all these pitchers who don’t strike people out and get groundballs. I’ll take a guy who throws 98 all day if he can get people out. And I’ll take a guy who hits 40 homers all day long if he takes 40 home runs. I don’t care. I just want to win baseball games. But we want them to respect the game of baseball, respect their teammates and our fans. That’s the Twins Way.''

Then he was asked about dealing with players like Sano, who has shown his edge a couple times in the minors.

``I don’t mind a guy, if other teams are hooting and hollering and buzzing you, I think there’s a time and a place where if you hit one you can watch it for a little bit,'' he said. ``Because if they’re buzzing balls by your head you have to have some fight in you in this game. And you know what, he threw the bat, and I watched that play, but if I hit one that far, if I could ever hit one that far, I might do the same thing. I might.

``I’m not saying it was right. But I enjoyed watching it because there was a lot of crap being thrown his way. But he’s learned a lot from that and this is a kid who loves to play. He plays very hard and that’s just one of those instances where they were hooting at him pretty good and he gave them a, `take this.' I don’t really think too many guys are big enough to step outside the field with him. Some guys can and some guys can’t. He can.”



Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 84 4th Qtr
New Orleans 89
Indiana 79 4th Qtr 9:14
Orlando 86
LA Clippers 89 4th Qtr 11:19
Phoenix 78
Minnesota 77 4th Qtr 12:00
Atlanta 86
Detroit 48 2nd Qtr 3:28
Toronto 47
Milwaukee 48 2nd Qtr 3:51
San Antonio 40
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 17 3rd Prd 2:52
Team Foligno 11
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 53 2nd Half 11:14
NC State 53
Belmont 28 2nd Half 17:01
Tennessee St 34
Creighton 14 2nd Half
Villanova 29
Northwestern 17 1st Half 11:55
Maryland 11
Washington 7:30 PM
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 70 2nd Half 1:16
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM


question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters