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.
The obvious story tonight will be the Twins attempting to avoid 100 losses in their season finale, but it also could be the final night in a Minnesota uniform for Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan and Matt Capps.
Cuddyer, Kubel and Capps are pending free agents. The Twins hold a $12.5 million option for Nathan, but they can exercise a $2 million buyout.
Kubel has a sore left foot and probably won’t play. But it’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception the others get tonight. There have been some emotional tributes over the years, like when Paul O’Neill went to the plate for the final time at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series, with The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” blaring over the speakers.
It takes a savvy crowd to pull it off, but when Cuddyer comes up for his final at-bat, or if Nathan gets a save chance, it would be cool to see a memorable Minnesota tribute.
Note: The Royals have named Rick Knapp their new minor-league pitching coordinator. Knapp was the Twins’ minor-league pitching coordinator from 1997-2008 and left to become the Tigers pitching coach. The Tigers fired him in July, and he made inquiries about returning to the Twins before joining the Royals.
Update: Denard Span said he feels a little shaken up today after jarring himself on that collision into the center field wall Tuesday. He's not in the lineup tonight, but he said he's taking a lot of positive away from his last few games, and so are the Twins.
1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
2. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, RF
8. Mitch Maier, LF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Starting pitcher: LH Bruce Chen (12-8, 3.98 ERA)
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, DH
7. Brian Dinkelman, 2B
8. Joe Benson, LF
9. Drew Butera, C
Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.48 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
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