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.

Pregame: Twins looking to win a series in Toronto

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 7, 2013 - 11:40 AM


Today was a day for talking about the past.

Justin Morneau sent Michael Cuddyer a text message yesterday to congratulate him for making the N.L. All Star team. Cuddy has been rolling for the Rockies, setting the club record for the longest hitting streak. Not a shabby feat for a franchise that had Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Andres Galarraga and other hitters.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked about seven former Twins players named to All-Star rosters. ``It shows that we had some pretty good teams,'' he said.

Oh, to get back to those days.

You think about those early Gardenhire-era teams, they didn't have a prospect that's getting the hype like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton are right now. But those teams dominated the A.L. Central. It's great to develop stars, it's jsut as important to build teams. That brings us to this year's Twins team.

There's a whole lot of development going on right now. Young players learning how to be consistent, to not get too down or assume they have things figured out. The Twins are going to take their lumps this month because the schedule is tough. I like their chances next month with seven games against the Royals, six against the White Sox and three against Houston. Then whatever they can get out of Cleveland and Detroit.

Oswaldo Arcia is not in the starting lineup today after getting hit on the right hand with a pitch. He said he's good to go and Gardy said Arcia is available off the bench today.

Went over and said hello to R.A. Dickey today. He's loving Toronto and hoping the next three months will be better than the first three for the Blue Jays. I never understood why the Twins let Dickey go. They knew he was still developing his knuckler and seemed to be on board with giving him time to develop. Dickey said he knew his time was up when he wasn't called up in September of 2009. He said he had pitched decently against the Yankees and felt he could have been an option in the postseason that year. But Dickey moved on and enjoyed success with the Mets before joining the Blue Jays.

Twins go for the series win today before heading to Tampa.

Home run predictions: Morneau and Hicks.

Saw a fan with a Frank Menechino shirt on today. Wow.

Twins (37-47)

1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, 1B
3. Ryan Doumit, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Clete Thomas, LF
8. Aaron Hicks, CF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP

Toronto (42-45)

1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Jose Bautista, RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
4. Adam Lind, DH
5. Mark DeRosa, 3B
6. Rajai Davis, LF
7. Colby Rasmus, CF
8. J.P. Arrencibia, C
9. Maicer Izturis, 2B

Pitching: Todd Redmond, RHP


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 51 3rd Qtr 10:00
LA Clippers 52
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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