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.

Twins-Sox: Twins squander scoring chance in first inning

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 9, 2010 - 10:01 PM

Greetings from the South Side. The exists.

Unlike other people who blog at our paper, apparently, I paid attention the day in journalism class when we were told not to lead with the weather. That doesn't count earthquakes.I wanted more from Joe C. on the earthquake. Instead, I got notes about In-N-Out burgers. And how great the weather was.

In what is becoming an annual event here, a former White Sox-turned-Twin held a press conference his first time back. Jim Thome sat in the same place on the bench that Joe Crede did a year ago and spoke about who Chicago will always have a place in his heart.  We're expecting a video tribute sometime during the game tonight - even if Thome isn't in the lineup.

One Chicago reporter asked Thome if he's had to learn to bunt. That, of course, in reference to the Twins' scrappy ways. We'll see what impression the Twins leave on the Sox this weekend. If they keep hitting homers, I don't think Ozzie Guillen will be calling them piranhas anymore.

It's kind of strange watching these two teams warm up, The White Sox want to run and bunt more, which the Twins were known for in past seasons (accurate or not). The Twins now slug like the White Sox used to.

+Orlando Hudson is back in the lineup after banging his head while legging out a double on Thursday. No update on Howie Kendrick's knee.

+Mauer is out of the lineup. Drew Butera is batting ninth,and his father, Sal, isn't here to watch it (probably had scouting duties). Steve Stone, in one of several questions he fired at Gardy before the game, asked if Butera runs faster, ``than his old man.'' ``Oh yeah,''' Gardenhire said.

+J.J. Hardy is batting third in the order, since Mauer is resting. Gardenhire didn't want to move Justin Morneau and everyone else up in the order, and he likes the balance with Hardy between the swtich-hitting Hudson and Morneau. He thought about batting Cuddyer third, but he likes having Cuddyer between Morneau and Kubel, especially if teams are thinking about using lefty relievers late in games.

+The Twins landed in Chicago around 6:30 am today and arrived at the team hotel within an hour. Going to bed while the Chicago rush hour was in full steam freaked out the manager. ``I'm getting home, and the joggers are out,'' said Gardenhire, who was not happy about playing a night game then taking a redeye to Chicago.


Twins (3-1)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. J.J. Hardy, SS
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Brendan Harris, 3B
9. Drew Butera, C

LHP Francisco Liriano (5-13, 5.80 last season)

White Sox (1-2)

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
3. Carlos Quentin, RF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Andruw Jones, DH
6. Alex Rios, CF
7. Omar Vizquel, 3B
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Donny Lucy, C

LHP John Danks (13-11,3.77 last season)

First pitch 7:10



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