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.
DETROIT -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will skip Tuesday's All-Star Game, the team announced today, after Morneau was examined by Dr. Kenneth Podell, a head and concussion specialist who works with the Tigers, Red Wings and Lions.
Podell recommended that Morneau return home for rest. Morneau will be re-evaluated in Minnesota during the All-Star break.
Morneau, 29, who has a history of head injuries, suffered the concussion when he took a knee to the head on a take-out slide on Wednesday in Toronto. He said before Saturday's game against the Tigers that he wouldn't go to the All-Star Game if he couldn't return to play in this weekend's series.
A four-time All-Star selection, Morneau was voted in as a starter this year for the first time.
"Obviously, if I can’t play for my team, I’m not going to fly out there and run around for two days," he said.
DETROIT -- With lingering concussion symptoms, Justin Morneau is not in the lineup today. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it's doubtful Morneau will play this weekend, and Morneau said if he's not able to play this weekend, he won't be heading to the All-Star Game.
This afternoon, Morneau is scheduled to see a head and concussion specialist who works with the Tigers, Red Wings and Lions.
If Morneau can't play in the All-Star Game, the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera likely will get the start at first base. Yankees manager Joe Girardi would get to pick an AL player to fill the roster spot, with candidates including Boston's Kevin Youkilis and Chicago's Paul Konerko.
* Clay Condrey, the former Phillies reliever who has yet to pitch for the Twins this season, had another setback in his recovery from an elbow injury and will likely be shut down again, at least temporarily.
For what it's worth, the Twins actually built a little momentum after falling behind 7-0 in the second inning of Friday's 7-3 loss to the Tigers.
Justin Verlander cruised through the first three innings, but the Twins made him labor through the fourth and chased him in the sixth. Tigers manager Jim Leyland showed how much the game meant to his team, turning to a rested bullpen.
The matchup between rookie Ryan Weinhardt and Delmon Young with the bases loaded in the sixth inning was pretty important. Young has been the Twins' hottest hitter, but Leyland wanted a double play. Weinhardt is a sinkerballer, and that's exactly what he got from Young.
Still, the Twins kept pushing, and forced the Tigers to use Phil Coke, Ryan Perry (who had nothing) and finally closer Jose Valverde. Nobody was giddy about a moral victory in the clubhouse, but Michael Cuddyer said the team at least showed it wouldn't quit.
None of this is meant to cover up Francisco Liriano's performance, perhaps his career worst. That was well-chronicled last night, I'm just saying that the Twins had something to build on by night's end. Jason Kubel had two RBI singles. Alex Burnett tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings, bouncing back from a two-homer outing in Toronto one night earlier.
Now it's up to Nick Blackburn to put his recent road woes behind. He is 0-4 with a 17.73 ERA in his past four road starts away from Target Field. After watching Scott Baker and Liriano collapse the past two nights, I can't imagine how this team would stomach another one today. Stay tuned.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. J.J. Hardy, SS
9. Nick Punto, 3B
Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (7-6, 6.00 ERA)
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Brennan Boesch, LF
6. Carlos Guillen, 2B
7. Brandon Inge, 3B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Ramon Santiago, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Jeremy(4-6, 4.81 ERA)
Comerica Park. First pitch: 3:10 p.m. (Central). TV: Ch. 9 (Fox). Twins Radio Network
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