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: Willingham and Gardy, Willingham and Ramirez, Mauerness

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 25, 2013 - 8:05 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 3-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday.

1. BAD CALL. Everyone felt that Josh Willingham slid close enough to the bag to not be called for interference in the third inning on Saturday. Willingham was close enough to reach down and touch the bag if he thought it was necessary. But umpire Joe West called Willingham for interference and made Joe Mauer, who was on third, return to second. ``I've never had the rule explained to me like that before,'' Hammer said. ``He said I didn't make an attempt to touch the bag, but the bag was right there. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came out to argue and eventually was tossed for the second time this season and 64th in his career. Gardenhire tried to get West to look at where Willngham slid, which was near the bag. ``He said, `don't point at my dirt,' '' Gardenhire said, ``and I pointed at his dirt.''

2. WILLINGHAM AND RAMIREZ: Willingham looked like he was camped under Omar Infante's fly ball in the sixth, but Wilkin Ramirez came rushing in and made the catch. But he also ran into Willingham and got the worst of it when his jaw hit Willingham's forearm - a forearm on the body of a very burly man. ``My first thought?'' Willingham said. ``Where he'd come from.'' Ramirez laid on the ground for couple minutes as a trainer rushed out to check on him. Willingham talked to him the whole time, so he was fine. But it looked like Willingham had a bead on the ball. ``That's where we as outfielders need to do a better job,'' Hammer said. ``We have to know where each other is.''

3. MAUERNESS: Joe Mauer was booed every time he batted on Saturday, as Tigers fans were mad at him for breaking up Anibal  Sanchez's no-hitter on Friday. They were really mad after he homered in the first inning. Mauer was chatting with Tigers catcher Brayan Pena the whole day. ``After the second at-bat Pena was saying, `they shouldn't boo you after you hit a home run when they boo you.' I got a hit there, then he comes up and is like. `Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!'' It was funny. In the Tigers clubhouse, Pena spoke of how great a hitter Mauer is but cracked up reporters when he added, ``but I hope he goes 0-for-4 tomorrow.''



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