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.

Delayed Twins postgame thoughts: 1,000 wins, Fryer, Rookies in drag

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Rookies Updated: September 19, 2013 - 10:06 AM

Well, I was supposed to wake up in San Francisco this morning but storms in Chicago last night delayed my flight three hours. My connecting flight was at MSP, remarkably. So when I did arrive there, it was after midnight. So I went home, slept a few hours, returned to the airport and caught a re-booked flight to SFO.

After a nap (it's been a long season) I now present the postgame blog from 36,005 feet and 505 mph.. For some reason, I could not post this from Midway airport in Chicago.

By the way, you should have been there when a flash flood warning went off on every smartphone at the airport. It was a scene from iRobot as everyone froze then reached for their phones.

Three quick thoughts following the Twins' win over the White Sox

1. QUEST FOR 1,000: If the Twins had lost today (yesterday), I was going to predict that Ron Gardenhire finishes the season stuck on 999 career wins. Today's (yesterday's) win was important in his quest for that milestone All the Twins have to do now is win one game in each of their next three series for him to reach that milestone. Goodness, this has become a grind. I was told that Gardy was extremely happy after the game. Can't blame him for looking forward to No. 1,000.

2. FRYER IMPRESSES: The first pitch Scott Diamond threw on Wednesday was called a strike - and dropped by catcher Eric Fryer. `Probably nerves,'' Gardy said. Fryer dropped a couple more pitches but still earned praise for how he handled Diamond and the other Twins pitchers. He drove in a run too. Don't forget catchers like Fryer. They stick around and eventually land in the right situation. It happened with Eli Whiteside, who was in Twins camp one year but eventually landed a backup job with the Giants and caught Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter in 2009.

3. ROOKIE HAZING: Oswaldo Arcia wore a tight black dress with stockings and a black wig. Josmil Pinto wore a pink wig that matched his dress. Chris Herrmann got off easy. He had to wear an old wrestling singlet. It was annual rookie hazing. Since there are 17 rookies - plus one rookie bullpen catcher - there were a lot of strange outfits in the clubhouse after the victory over the White Sox. I'm sure the persons behind the outfits purchased as many plus sizes as possible, but it just didn't look....right. I'm going to re-tell a hazing story. Several years ago, a certain rookie had to wear a dress on hazing day. He then spent most of the next season in the minors. He was called up for September and had to go through the hazing ritual again. I went up to him and said. ``Man, tough break you had to do this two straight years,'' He replied, ``that's O.K. La Velle. I do this for my wife all the time.'' And with that, I'll be on my way.....


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