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 pre-game: Gardy, Morneau, turf...payback?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 19, 2013 - 6:00 PM


The Twins were on the field at 3 p.m. for a lengthy workout that included every drill imaginable. From there, they went straight into batting practice and were off the field an hour earlier than usual.

``Every seems to have come back doing O.K.,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``It's nice to be back on the field. You get away for a while and you're like. `I can do this for awhile,' and hopefully I don't get forced to.''

Gardy spent the break up north without televisions, so he didn't watch the All-Star Game.

He returns to the task of steering the ship away from 90 losses. The Twins won a three-game series at New York - the first time Gardy has won one in New York - before the All-Star break. Now the challenge is to get off to a roaring start to the post-break schedule.

``Everyone is here for a reason,'' Gardy said. You hear it and you can't do anything about it. It is what it is, people are going to say what they want. And there are trade talks always at this time of year. That's part of the game and you deal with it the best you possibly can.''

Morneau met with reporters and said he's not worrying about being traded and there's nothing he can do about reports about his departure. He did remind us that he has a limited no-trade clause in his contract. There are six teams he can't be dealt to (he didn't say which teams those were).

I spoke to a Twins official today who reminded me that the seller's market usually doesn't heat up until the final three or four days before the July 31 deadline. So things should be interesting with the Twins and Morneau in about a week.

The field looks great. Larry DiVito and his staff re-sodded deep center field (where the stage was for the Kenny Chesney) concert) and the areas where the first and third base umpires stand (where speaker stands were). They area they replaced was half as much as a year ago. The Indians worked out late yesterday afternoon on it with no problems.

Watch out for retaliation on catcher Yan Gomes, who stepped on home plate without the ball as Ryan Doumit tried to scramble back and score during a June 23 game in Cleveland. Doumit had missed the plate while trying to score. And the Twins weren't pleased with Gomez stepping on the plate without the ball, which is a no-no. Doumit twisted his ankle on the play.

 

Indians (51-44)

1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Nick Swisher, 1B
5. Michael Brantley, LF
6. Carlos Santana, DH
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
8. Yan Gomes, C
9. Drew Stubbs, RF

Pitching: Scott Kazmir, LHP


Twins (39-53)

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

Pitching: Mike Pelfrey, RHP


 

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