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.

``In this corner, wearing black and white trunks........."

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 17, 2010 - 11:53 AM

During a weekly radio show called. ``Coaches at the Cork,'' - named after a Chicagoland restraunt - White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves on Sunday offered a quick opinion about how his team should approach the AL Central-leading Twins during his appearance  on WSCR (670AM)..

```I've even thought of telling guys, `hey Thornton, smoke Mauer, see if you can start a fight.' ' Nieves said. ``We're not afraid of anybody.''

The Twins and Sox have been fierce rivals for the past several years and have had their share of moments. Torii Hunter ran over catcher Jamie Burke in Chicago, Justin Morneau had a three-homer game there. Each team has clinched a playoff berth while in the other team's ballpark, And there's Game 163 in 2008.

The Twins can seriously damage Chicago's playoff hopes with a sweep this week. Perhaps that's why Nieves is suggesting hiss team should stop at nothing this week.

If you want to discuss this and other Twins issues., I'm filling in for Common from Noon to 3 p.m. today on KFAN....in a few minutes!

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