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.

Postgame: Pinto, Florimon, fantastic foul ball follies

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 9, 2013 - 11:32 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 6-3 win over the Angels:

PINTO POWER:  Where did this Josimil Pinto guy come from? He wasn't considered a top prospect - probably because his catching skills still need to develop. That's been evident in his seven games here as he's had some shaky moments behind the plate. But the Twins are trying to coach him up. ``He's getting a lot of good instruction on the bench about situation baseball and he's very receptive,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. Bench coach Terry Steinbach is great to have around for these moments, plus he's known Pinto from spring training trips to Fort Myers to work with catchers in spring training.

DRILLS, DRILLS AND DRILLS: Bunt practice was the drill of the day, and all of the expected bunters - the little guys - were on the field early. Pedro Florimon was one of them. ``We were out there working early today,'' Gardenhire said. ``We talked about getting the ball down and getting it out in front of the plate, where you have a better angle.'' Pedro Florimon must have paid attention to the lessons because he executed a perfect bunt single in the third inning and eventually scored the Twins' first run. ``He did everything right,'' Gardenhire said. ``He came back in and said, `That was pretty good, huh.''

FOUL BALL FLURRY:    I've never seen it before. One fan, sitting in the section in front of the pressbox, left Target Field with four - FOUR - foul balls. The first one was given to him. But he caught the next three. Fans couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. I have friends who have been to dozens of Twins games through the years and have not caught one. Dude walked out with four. Hope he went straight to the casino.

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