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.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: Bench depth, Plouffe's defense, Willingham's defense

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 7, 2012 - 11:25 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Rangers.

1. Too bad they sent out Chris Parmelee this week: The Twins' rotation is a mess, and it trickles down to their bullpen. I'm not blaming them for sending Parmelee down when they called up Samuel Deduno, but I bet Gardy would have loved to send Parmelee up to pinch hit when Joe Nathan faced the bottom of the order in the ninth inning.

2. Brooks Plouffe. He did have a throwing error. But I think Saturday was his best ever day at third base. He made three plays that made me nod in approval. It's good for the Twins that he looks like he's comfortable there.

3. Willingham's defense: He's here to mash. Repeat. He's here to mash.

Bonus note: Tonight's loss to Texas evens the all-time series at 249-249. But Twins media relations maven Dustin Morse  pointed out that the Twins have outscored the Rangers 2,226-2,224 in the series. Now that I have delivered that semi-useless information, I'll show myself out, thank you.

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