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: Dozier, Pino, Gardy.

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 5, 2014 - 7:47 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 2-1 win over the Yankees:

DOZIER TAKES A BEATING: When Brian Dozier showed no reaction to Ichiro Suzuki being tagged out during a steal attempt in the second, it influenced the decision to not challenge the play. The Twins learned a lesson from the experience - but still didn't pass up a chance to needle Dozier about his reaction to the play. ````Sometimes it's the reaction of the player when he's (saying), `I'm safe,' when they are sliding into second base like Dozier has a couple times and he's (really) out by 18 yards,'' Gardenhire said. ``And I go out there and challenge and look like an idiot. You just have to go on every close play. That's the way it is set up and they can give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. We talked about it in there. That was an experience for us.'' As Dozier spoke with a reporter, catcher Kurt Suzuki walked by him and barked, ``Come on, Doz! I need every one I can get!'' Suzuki entered the game having thrown out 23 percent of would-be base stealers. And, yes, Suzuki was joking. Another element in play here: There was little time to ask for the replay. When there's an out made on a grounder, fly ball or strikeout, the ball is thrown around the field, the pitcher is usually off the mound. With a stolen base, the pitcher is usually around the rubber, he gets the ball back and is focusing on the next pitch. There was a shorter window for someone to go, `Hey, wait a minute....'

PINO  BETTER: This far from a Murderer's Row of Yankee hitters, but Twins righthander Yohan Pino held them to one run over six innings on three hits and two walks. He said his goal was to keep the ball down more, and he executed that. He still doesn't have a major league win, but Pino kept the game close until the Twins go out of their own way and found a way to win. ``I thought his ball was jumping,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``I thought he was locating right from the get-go.  He made his pitches and you could see him really focus out there. He didn't back away from those guys at all and made some very nice pitches.''

GARDY'S EJECTION: David Phelps did commit a balk on Saturday when he tried to throw Sam Fuld out at first base. And, yes, home plate umpire Marty Foster had a quick trigger. to eject Gardy. The Twins said it was the second time Phelps had balked in the game. Foster didn't like the yelling and tossed the manager, who was asking him to at least check with crew chief Joe West (who loves calling balks).


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