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' Hicks decides to give up switch hitting

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 26, 2014 - 11:34 AM

Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks has decided to give up switch hitting and will bat righthanded only, a decision, he says, that will help the team.

Hicks informed manager Ron Gardenhire of the decision this morning, telling him he has no confidence batting lefthanded.

``Now I'm batting righthanded,'' Hicks said. ``It's only one side I have to work on. It's going to be easier worrying about one side.''

Hicks is batting .187 this season - .263 rigththanded and .145 lefthanded. For his career, he's .227 as a righthanded hitter and .179 as a lefthanded hitter.

Hicks said the decision was all his and he received no prodding from the club. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sounded surprised when he informed the media this morning.

It had to be a hard decision for Hicks, who hit from both sides of the plate since he was a youngster. The Twins did kick around the idea of Hicks dropping his left-handed swing a couple times when he was struggling in the minors but decided to let it play out. Well, it has played out, and Hicks is now a right-handed hitter.

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