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.

Nishioka reaches out on Facebook

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 8, 2011 - 12:59 PM

New Twins infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka is in the Fort Myers area, where he's expected to begin taking English classes and getting to know his new teammates as spring training nears

He's also interested in connecting with Twins fans - and Japanese baseball fans -  so he now has a page on Facebook.

You can check it out here -

Not sure how often he will update it but he's taking advantage if social media here as he adjusts to life in the U.S. You'll see a picture of him standing outside Target Field during his visit here last week. I was able to sit down with him or a few minutes while he was here.

Heard from colleague Patrick Reusse that Japanese media already have been spotted. Reusse, who is on vacation in Fort Myers, also said it's been 80 degrees down there.

I'll find out myself when I arrive this weekend to prepare for pitchers and catchers reporting next week.

Thoughts on Young: My "opinion" is that it's not worth going after Michael Young. Getting right-handed offensive help isn't the highest priority for this team. It's getting pitching. Things could change once the regular season begins and players sail, fail or get injured.

But if the Twins trade away any resources, it should be for either a put-you-over-the-top starter or relief help.



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