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.

Twins-Brewers: The Memorial Day special

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 27, 2013 - 12:11 PM


Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

I pulled up at the hotel last night and found a city abuzz. Not because the Twins were in town. There's a HUGE Moose convention in town this week. I know little about Moose conventions. I'm not even sure if it's moose as in Bullwinkle or moose as in ack ack a dack, dack dack a ack.

(I know, the Flintstones bit was with the Royal Order of Buffalo and not moose, just go with me here).

It's rainy and dreary here - a perfect day for indoor baseball!

The Wilkin Ramirez saga has ended with him realizing that he needs to go on the 7-day concussion disabled list. The tipping point? Ramirez revisited his dinner last night during the plane ride from Detroit to Milwaukee.

``The doctor was right,'' Ramirez said.

Ramirez was worried he was determined to have concussion symptoms based on the fact that he could not recite the months of the year backwards. He was ready to enlist Glen Perkins, the Twins' players' rep, for help. Sounds like that plan ended up in the toilet. (rimshot!)

Perkins didn't blow off the case, he immediately checked with some folks and came back with some good background - before Wilkin got sick.

``In Wilkin's case, it wasn't just his commentary regarding the calendar or his inability to answer the "Q and A" sessions accurately, but rather a combination of the 30+ other questions he answered,'' Perkins said. ``According to the above, they are always looking for a reason or reasons to err on the side of shutting the player down. One questionable response likely won't do it, but a few different responses outside of the norm will likely put the doctor in a position to recommend a DL stint.''

Chris Hermann has joined the club, so manager Ron Gardenhire is more comfortable putting Ryan Doumit in the outfield. If Doumit needs to come out for defensive purposes, Gardy still has backup for Mauer in case he gets injured.

But the Twins limp into this series with a four-man bench, which doesn't make Gardenhire comfortable. He'd prefer to send a pitcher down and have a fifth bench player, but injuries and other issues prevent him from that.

Family reunion time today, as Josh Roenicke gets to see his uncle Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Checked in with Carlos Gomez this morning. He's more mature, still confident but not as cocky. Although he did take a little swipe at the Twins when I reminded him that he used to tell us that one day he would be a No. 3 hitter.

Gomez pointed at the lineup on the wall. For the first time this season, he's batting third. (Ryan Braun has a sore right thumb).
``Now they have to believe,'' Gomez said.

Also checked in with Justin Morneau. It was here during his rookie year that he hit a home run off the scoreboard in center that was estimated at 460 feet - and we thought that was a little short. That was Morneau's only home run here, but he likes hitting in Miller Park..

``There's a good background here and the ball carries well,'' said Morneau, a .318 hitter here.

Twins (19-28)

1. Jamey Carroll, 3B
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Aaron Hicks, CF
8. Pedro Florimon, SS
9. Kevin Correia, RHP

Brewers (19-29)

1. Norichika Aoki, RF
2. Jean Segura, SS
3. Carlos Gomez, CF
4. Yuniesky Betancourt, 3B
5. Jeff Bianchi, 2B
6. Alex Gonzalez, 1B
7. Logan Schaefer, LF
8. Martin Maldonado, C
9. Wily Peralta, RHP


 

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