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.

Twins camp Day 11: Checking in with Morneau

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 29, 2012 - 8:33 AM

Justin Morneau was up front and honest when he reported to camp and said his career was in jeopardy if he continued to have symptoms. He also said he expected to have a good year.

The first statement raised eyebrows and made headlines. Morneau was asked this morning for his reaction to the reaction, and shrugged his shoulders like he usually does.

``I was asked a question, I gave an honest answer and that was it,'' he said.

``You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if the stuff continues I probably wouldn't be able to play again. It wasn't anything other than stating the obvious.

``I also said that I don't expect that to happen. I don't anticipate that to happen. That's something that's in the back, maybe five percent, of my mind. But you have to, obviously, you have to look at all the options and everything that's happened.''

Morneau looks and sound pretty good. He hit a couple balls over the fence yesterday during batting practice. The home run off of Francisco Liriano didn't tip off (pitchers in early b.p. sessions usually inform the batter what's coming), so Morneau was pleased that he was able to react to the pitch. Plus, it was Frankie throwing, so who can be sure where the ball is going this early in camp.

Morneau was told he seems more like himself this camp than he did last year.

``I think I kinda have a better idea of how I feel and what I need to do every day to try to prepare,'' he said. ``Try to take it slowly, force myself to take it slowly because stuff (last year) dragged on longer than it should have.''


The Twins will go through situational drills (bunt plays, etc.) today. Only a few pitchers are throwing live batting practice, so the lads are sensing a short day. This is the first time there has been a 11th day of camp, so I'm guessing the staff  wants them get the extra work in but not overdo it.

Today was drug testing day for members of the 40-man roster.

Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing said they are scheduled to pitch on Saturday, in the spring training opener against the Rays.




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