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: Albers, Celebrations, Mauer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 21, 2013 - 1:31 AM

Three thoughts following the Twins' clunker against the A's:

1. ALBERS STAYS: I thought this would be Andrew Albers' last outing of the season, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he can't afford to remove him from the rotation. Gardy just pulled Liam Hendriks from the rotation and really doesn't have many options. ``We're going to start him, limit his innings and go from there,'' Gardy said.

2. CELEBRATION WEEK?: The Twins could be on the wrong side of celebration over the next few days. Oakland lowered it's magic number to two on Friday and could clinch the AL West title as soon as Saturday. What could save the Twins is that Texas is playing at night and everyone could be long gone by the time the Rangers-Royals game is over. If the Rangers win and the A's win, then Oakland could celebrate at the Twins' expense on Sunday. Detroit's magic number is three and could clinch on Monday at Target Field. Cleveland is in the thick of the wild card race and might be in position to clinch next weekend at Target Field.

3. JOE MAUER: If Mauer isn't ready for baseball activities by Tuesday, what's the point in trying to get him to play? I know, peace of mind for everyone. But how about just letting him rest? He tried. It didn't work out. It's an unfortunate injury, and there's no shame in shutting it down.


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