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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Trading Morneau, Jim Pohlad and Joe Mauer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 19, 2013 - 11:54 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 3-2 win over Cleveland on Friday:

1. TRADING MORNEAU: Morneau should have some trade value before the deadline, and the Twins seem comfortable waiting to see how the market shakes outs. Injuries could increase the number of suitors. I think if there's a decent deal out there, make. Morneau twice has reached out to the Twins about a contract, only to be turned down. He would like to stay here, which gives the Twins a chance of signing him during the offseasson. That can be dangerous because it takes just one team to come up with a whopper of an offer and the Twins are having a jump ball between Chris Parmelee and Trevor Plouffe for the first base job next season. Morneau has a home in the Scottsdale, Ariz., area and might not mind playing out west. I asked Twins owner Jim Pohlad about Morneau's situation before the game. ``I love Justin Monreau, so would I feel great about him being traded? No.,'' Pohlad said. ``But we have to do whatever it takes to win. We keep saying that and the results don't show that, but we want to win.'' FYI: Scouts from Atlanta and Boston were at Friday's game. Both teams need bullpen help, and the Red Sox need a closer now that Andrew Bailey is out.

2. MORE FROM POHLAD: He said it's up to Terry Ryan to start the ball rolling on any managerial change, and he used the word. ``love,'' to describe his affection for Gardy. I don't think anything would happen until the end of the season, but I'm starting to think nothing is going to happen. Ryan has said the organization has done a poor job of supplying Gardy with talent. And Pohlad would not lay the blame squarely on Gardy either. ``I think there's a lot of work that needs to be done to turn it aorund,'' Pohlad said. ``A lot of indiviudal players that are on the team have to do a lot of work and we have to do a lot of work as an organization.''

3. CRAZY EIGHTH: Yes, we thought Gardy should have had Plouffe bunt the runners over in the eighth inning. But Gardy said he put Plouffe in the No. 2 spot on Friday to drive in runs off of Scott Kazmir. And Plouffe did come through with a two-run single in the sixth. So he gave Plouffe another shot and it led to a double play.  ``I second-guessed myself too when I saw that,'' Gardy said. But now the questions swing over to Cleveland. With Joe Mauer batting, why didn't the Indians go with lefthander Rich Hill? And why didn't Joe Smith try to get Mauer to chase something outside the strikezone when he got ahead in the count?  A series of curious decisions worked out in the Twins' favor.
 

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