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.

Gardenhire misses game to attend funeral

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 11, 2014 - 5:10 PM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has left team to travel to the Akron, Ohio area to attend the funeral of Mike Hirschbeck, the son of MLB umpire John Hirschbeck.

Terry Steinbach will manage the team Friday and will do so again on Saturday in Gardenhire's absence.

Mike Hirschbeck's association with the Twins goes back more than 20 years. Diagnosed with a rare brain disease - adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD - he underwent a bone-marrow transplant in at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in 1992. Then manager Tom Kelly visited him in the hospital at the time. Mike also got to know Gardenhire and the rest of the coaching staff.

His father is one of more well-liked umpires in the league. Based in Sarasota during spring training, Mike Hirschbeck would come over to Ed Smith Stadium and be the Twins' batboy when they came to town to play the Reds, before they moved to Arizona, and later the Orioles. Mike last was the Twins' batboy in 2013.

The Twins are sending flowers to the funeral and the coaching staff is making a donation to the Hirschbeck's foundation.

Jason Bartlett, recovering from a left ankle sprain, ran the bases before the game and said everything went, "Great!" The Twins now must determine when to send him out on a minor league rehab assignment. Once he goes, Bartlett is expected to get plently of at bats.

Josh Willingham is still day-to-day with a bruised left wrist, but Steinbach said if he still can't play in the next few days the club will have to consider a DL stint for him.

The Twins will try to snap a three-game losing streak tonight, as well as a nine-game skid at home, going back to last season.

The two leading hitters in the league are in the park tonight, Kansas City's Sal Perez (.458) and the Twins' Jason Kubel (.448).

Brian Dozier enters the game tied for the AL lead with nine runs.

Mike Pelfrey is one of three AL pitchers to have given up a league-high four home runs.

Royals (4-4)

Norichika Aoki, RF
Omar Infante, 2B
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Alex Gordon, LF
Salvador Perez, C
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Alcides Escobar, SS

Pitching: Brue Chen, LHP

Twins (3-6)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Chris Colabello, RF
Jason Kubel, LF
Josmil Pinto, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS

Kyle Gibson, RHP


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 91 4th Qtr 1:01
Dallas 100
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 1 3rd Prd 5:42
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 2nd Prd
San Jose 2
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 63 2nd Half 1:05
Alabama State 61
Oklahoma 60 2nd Half 3:34
Iowa State 69
Grambling St 62 2nd Half 0:01
Miss Valley St 64
Boston College 60 2nd Half 1:21
Virginia Tech 54
Jackson State 39 2nd Half 15:43
Ark-Pine Bluff 42
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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