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.
Joe Mauer's season is over.
The upper respiratory infection that he came down with in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago never got better. He began to cough. He was sent to the Mayo Clinic to be checked out.
``Despite medication his symptoms have not resolved,'' Twins trainer Rick McWane said. ``In Kansas City, he started to complain of a persistent cough. Yesterday, he was sent to the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with mild pneumonia and the reccomendation is medications and rest for two weeks.''
Guess what? There's only a week-and-a-half left in the regular season. That means Mauer probably has played his final game of the season for the Twins.
And what a season it has been, Bilateral leg weakness. Illness. Trips to the Mayo Clinic. Sore body parts. Speculation about his toughness. St. Paul's own has filled up the injury report all season.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire spoke with Mauer earlier today, and said the catcher is, ``pretty upset,'' about the new developments. It's not known when he'll appear at the ballpark.
``He wants to be out there,''Gardenhire said. ``He wants to be out there with the guys.''
Oh, and Danny Valencua has been scratched from the lineup because of the flu. Luke Hughes has been shifted from second to third and Brian Dinkelman will start at second.