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.

All-Star Monday in Phoenix, where it's only 91 degrees

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 11, 2011 - 2:16 PM

 Just checking in from All-Star Monday at  the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, The managers have had their press conference,the National League All-Stars have had their media sessions and the Home Run Derby presser is going on now.

The American League All-Stars are set to begin their sessions at 2:10, but we're running behind schedule a little..

It's a busy day for reporters. Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post calls it, ``The Baseball Solstice.'' The Home Run Derby is the problem. It's a great event, but too darn long.

A lot of agents have been floating around the hotel. I took a trip down memory lane this morning when I saw Larry Reynolds (Torii Hunter's agent) speaking with Peter Greenberg (Johan Santana's agent). Those were the days...

The big issue,with me at least, is who is not here because of injuries, because they pitched on Sunday or because they stink this year..

There's no A-Rod, no Derek Jeter, no Albert Pujols, no Joe Mauer, no Justin Morneau, no C.C. Sabathia, no Justin Verlander, no Jame Shields, no Felix Hernandez, no Mariano Rivera, no Carlos Gonzalez, no Ryan Howard.

The three leaders in saves in the AL last year - Rafael Soriano, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz, are not here.

Car-Go was last year's batting champ.

It will allow for several players who are having strong seasons to take the spotlight tonight and tomorrow. But the lack of Superstar power is glaring. David Robertston just doesn't do it for me.

By the way, there might be a little Twins news today. They are trying to finalize rescheduling of the rained out game with the White Sox last month.

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