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: Colabello, Kubel, Hicks, Mauer, Tonkin

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 19, 2014 - 7:16 PM

Here are three thoughts following a bad loss at Kauffman Stadium

1. THIS WON'T BE THE FIRST TIME....: .....we have a game with shaky outfield play because it is not a team strength. Aaron Hicks can run it down in center. but remember that the projected corner outfielders were Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia, but they are out with wrist injuries. Jason Kubel and Chris Colabello are Option B. Kubel can throw some but doesn't have the range he used to, especially before tearing his knee up before the 2005 season. Colabello is more suited for first base. And I will take this time to make this simple, declarative statement: JOE MAUER'S ATHLETIC ABILITY IS BEING WASTED AT FIRST BASE.

2. WHO'S GOT GAME?: Hicks came roaring in from center field in the fifth inning to make a leaping grab of Mike Moustakas' drive to the wall - although it looked like Colabello was about to make a play for the ball. With the crowd roaring, communication was impossible until they got close to each other. ``You can't hear anything,'' Colabello said. ``My focus was to try to get underneath the baseball. By the time I got under it, we were about three feet away from each other. That's when he jumped and tried to let me know he was there.'' Hicks caught the ball, collided with Colabello and both players fell down. ``Hicks dunked on Colabello,'' Gardy said, noting how high off the ground Hicks was when he caught the ball. Colabello agreed. ``I guess I was posterized,'' he said.

3. TONKIN GETTING THE HANG OF IT: Reliever Michael Tonkin pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, getting two strikeouts. He's getting the hang of mixing his pitches. The Twins will have an interesting decision when they decide which reliever goes down when they are ready to return to a 12-man pitching staff.


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