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.

Short workout on Thursday

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Off the field Updated: February 24, 2011 - 8:22 AM

The Twins hit the field at 8:30 eastern to start their workout. Today is their annual charity golf tournament to raise funds for cancer care in Lee County, so they will be off the field around 11.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka will not play in the tournament, although he's supposed to be a good golfer.

Joe Nathan, Matt Capps, Kevin Slowey, Jose Mijares and Jim Hoey are among the pitchers scheduled to face hitters today.

Nathan is taking the mound at Hammond Stadium as I write this.

Justin Morneau was in the batting cage when Team Strib arrived at 7:45. I view that as a good sign. We were all wound up about how he felt after his first workout. The key will be how he feels after several days of team activities. I'm curious to see when Morneau will start to clamor to play in spring games.

But I agree with colleague Jim Souhan. We get fixated on who's going to be ready for Opening Day. It's really about getting players to the point where, once they start the season, they have a good chance to finish the season.

I want to make it clear that there are no indications that Morneau might not be ready Apr. 1. This goes for Morneau, Joe Mauer. Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano or anyone who is dealing with any physical issue.

Michael Cuddyer has released his now-annual t-shirt with his now-annual slogan. On the front, in big letters, is "WIN"

The back reads, ``Don't Be Denied"

I think Cuddy, who has been here since 2001, is tired of being denied.,


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