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 postgame: Arcia, Sano, Nolasco

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 2, 2014 - 7:10 PM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has decided that nice guys finish last - or nice guys lose 291 games over a three-year period.

Gardenhire on Sunday watched Oswaldo Arica get buzzed twice by Rays pitcher Adam Liberatore then blast a solo homer to left during the Twins' 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. There are no indications that Arcia and Liberatore have a history, but it did  bring up memories of a couple moments last year that Arcia was pitched tough.

If Arcia is giving off bad body language and is getting pitched up and in because of it, Gardenhire is not going to blame Arcia. Especially if he responds the way he did on Sunday.

``If you don't like people buzzing your tower then, there you have it,'' Gardenhire said. ``You have to hit it in the seats. That's what I told him on the bench. Two bow ties, and (Liberatore) had to go get a new baseball.''

Gardenhire doesn't sound concerned if he has players who walk that fine line - or even cross it.

``You need a little bit of that,'' Gardenhire said. ``How are you Mr, Gardenhire. How are you, sir? You know what? Kiss my (rear) let's go kick somebody's (rear).''

The Twins should have a lot of that attitude in storage after the last three seasons. Someone needs to pay,


As expected,  Miguel Sano on Sunday left for the Dominican Republic to visit friends and family before he returns to the USA to have Tommy John surgery in a couple of weeks.

The exact date is not known yet, as the Twins are checking to see when Sano can be scheduled to be operated on by well-respected surgeon Dr. David Altchek in New York. Twins assistant General Manager Rob Antony on Sunday confirmed that Altchek is the doctor they are trying to schedule the surgery with.

While it's likely that Sano's season is over, Antony isn't ruling anything out, including playing as a designated hitter late in the season. A stint in the Arizona Fall League in addition to winter ball are possibilites too.

``We're not going to rule anything out,'' Antony said. ``We won't rule out DH-ing at the end of the season if he was up for it. At the time, if there is any rsk of that irritating or slowing the process then we wont do that.

We'll have to see how he progesses, that is kind of the goal.

``The biggest thing is haing him ready for spring training next year.''


New Twin Ricky Nolasco threw two shutout innings while giving up two doubles.

Six of his seven pitches in the first inning were strikes, but a few of them were struck well. Nolasco got out of the second when Jose Molina lined into an inning ending-double play.

It's hard to judge early spring outings. Pitchers usually work on spotting their fastballs early. Hitters look for that and try to attack.

Nolasco said he already has a good feel for his pitches, and he's just in the process of building arm strength.

``It was good to get a little adrenaline going and and get into a game atmosphere,'' he said.


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
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