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.

Finally! A lineup with some thump in it....

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 11, 2011 - 8:50 AM

This is just my opinion.

Justin Morneau has spent more time away from his locker than at it this spring. Understandably, he didn't want to spend an hour a day discussing his concussion case. The times I did see him, he just didn't look very happy.

On Tuesday, he played in a B game. On Wednesday, he was as upbeat as I've seen him this spring while talking about the night before. On Thursday, he was actually hanging out in the clubhouse, smiling, talking with teammates, talking about hockey.

He looks like a different person.  It can be dangerous to read people's body language (i.e. me on Jay Cutler in the playoffs). but I'm wondering if No. 33 has cleared some sort mental hurdle and really believes he's finally licked his brain injury.

He's in the middle of a Twins lineup that is as lethal-looking as it has been all spring.

Note: The clubhouse closed earlier than normal this morning so MLB could hold its annual security meeting. So we were unable to get any reaction from Nishioka about the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. We hope to speak with him this afternoon.

Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Jason Varitek, C
7. Nate Spears, 2B
8. Drew Sutton, 1B
9. Yamacio Navarro, S

Pitching: Jon Lester. LHP

Twins

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia. 3B
7. Jason Kubel, RF
8. Steve Holm, C
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: Brian Duensing, with Jeff Manship, Matt Capps, Pat Neshek, Dusty Hughes and Yorman Bazardo on the list.

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