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 Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Diamond, Rios, attendance

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 16, 2012 - 6:46 PM

Three thoughts after the Twins lose 9-2 to Chicago.

1. Diamond sounds optimistic: Five of the seven hits off of Scott Diamond went for extra base hits, but the lefthander felt he competed better than in recent starts. "I felt a lot more aggressive out there," he said. "I felt I was getting back to throwing strikes. Mechanically I definitely felt a lot better. Physically I felt a lot better. But I think the big thing today was just sticking to one plan a little too much, and they made the adjustments before I did. I think that was the cause of the sixth inning.”

2.  Bad call on Rios: Diamond had a potential double play ball deflect off his foot. He also was screwed by a bad call at second in the fourth inning when they had Alex Rios picked off. Rios took off for second as Diamond threw over. Joe Mauer fired to second, and Pedro Florimon's tag got Rios before he hit the bag. But second base umpire Jordan Baker called him safe. Bad call. Then Dayan Viciedo drives Rios in with a double. " That was big," Diamond said. " We got the sign to pick over, and I was getting ready to give the good (move) anyways, and he took off so I tried to get rid of it. I thought he was out; I think a couple guys on the field did, too, but it’s not the call we got. I still have to make a better pitch against Viciedo -- on 3-2, I can’t leave that over the plate.”

3. Attendance watch: I don't think the Twins are going to reach 2.8 million fans this season. The announced crowd on Sunday was 31,722, giving them a total of 2,580,329 for the season. They need to draw 219,671 over their final six home games to reach 2.8 million - an average of 36,611. They haven't drawn at least 36,611 since July 15. It's doubtful, but they do have the Yankees coming in Sept. 24-26 before the final homestand that weekend against Detroit. Tigers fans might roll into town if Detroit is in a clinching situation.



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