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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Infield Fly Rule, Butera, Weekend in Seattle

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 24, 2013 - 9:22 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 1-0 loss to the Angels on Wednesday

1. BAD NON-CALL: The first reaction in the pressbox was, ``Where's the call?'' Everyone thought that an infield fly rule should have been called on Morneau's pop up. Crew Chief Ted Barrett said Frieri wasn't camping under the ball. I disagree. I think he had the play all the way, knew it and let the ball drop. The way the Twins got after Frieri on Tuesday, the ensuing double play - created by the non-call - was huge. The Twins were steamed after the game. Smart play by Frieri, though.

2. DREW BUTERA: Can't believe the outcry over Butera being called up. First of all, the Twins don't have just two outfielders. Ryan Doumit and Chris Herrmann can both play the outfield. It isn't Mickey Rivers and Paul Blair out there, but they can play. And when you have a catcher in the field and another behind home plate (or one at DH) a third catcher provides protection. And, the Twins appear to be teaching a lesson to the one outfielder I want to see, Oswaldo Arcia.  Let Butera come up for his three days until Joe Mauer returns from baby daddy leave.

3. PACK A LUNCH: The Twins like the way they are playing right now. They are getting solid starting pitching. The defense has been very good. They've scored a few runs. But the next two games could put them back in their pre-All Star Game funk. They face Hisashi Iwakuma on Thursday and King Felix Hernandez on Friday. They are one of the best 1-2 pitching punches in the league and the Twins have to be ready to scratch out a close win.  It doesn't help that All-Star Joe Mauer is away on paternity leave for the two big games.

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