Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Chris Paddack had Tommy John surgery in 2016 then had an injection in the elbow in September because of a slight UCL sprain. A red flag for the Mets — but not the Twins.
Back in the day if someone stepped out of line, he was getting buzzed or hit with a pickoff throw. But new technology alleviates on-field issues.
Ben Meyers played for the U.S. team in the Beijing Olympics and is now on another national team in an international tournament in Finland.
Good luck keeping up with former Twins General Manager Terry Ryan these days. He's always on the move. And don't be surprised if you sit next to him at a ballpark somewhere.
Kirill Kaprizov single-handedly got the Wild back into the game on Tuesday night. It's too bad so few of his teammates followed suit in the 5-2 loss.
Canterbury Park fans were glued to a two-horse sprint down the stretch at Churchill Downs that included Minnesota-owned Zandon before Strike Rich spoiled the party.
When the usually classy Jared Spurgeon steps out of character and takes a cheap shot, you know something is amiss with the team that needs to be solved quickly.
"If he can stay healthy" are the words that always come with discussions of Byron Buxton's potential. But Rocco Baldelli isn't wrong: Buxton has "best"-level skills.
This series was lost in Game 3, when they blew two leads of more than 20 points, and in Game 5, when their fourth quarter lead evaporated amid bad decisions and other misadventures
As new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah prepares to make picks for the first time, he knows the NFL draft is unpredictable and that his team will face many options.
La Velle E. Neal's weekly 3-2 pitch: Five-time WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry figures she's in good hands with the Lynx as she recovers from knee surgery because of the team's connection with Mayo Clinic.
The young righthander is throwing sliders on 31.2% on his pitches — or almost twice as often as last season.
Another night of offensive ineptitude had the Target Field scoreboard flooded with scoreless innings until everything was turned inside out by an outbreak of defensive madness by the White Sox.
A quick look at Friday night's series opener.
Injury-depleted Chicago has lost three in a row coming into the battle of American League Central teams.
Salary cap issues mean the team will likely have to part ways with one of their best players. If it does, does the team hang onto a top-four defenseman or a dynamic offensive threat?
La Velle E. Neal III's weekly 3-2 pitch: The Twins have an opening for a closer, and Jhoan Duran would be a much quicker cure there than if he were groomed to be a starter.
Rocco Baldelli, Dean Evason and Chris Finch have raised the standards for their respective pro teams and has made them competitive.
The lockout left many clubs in the lurch while they waited to learn about players' health.
Pitching produced some pleasant surprises, and the big hitters in the lineup have yet to heat up.
Brent Rooker also is headed west as the Twins in addition to the Twins' former closer. Minnesota will get starting pitcher Chris Paddack and reliever Emilio Pagan.
The Twins should have a powerful enough lineup at the plate to turn heads in 2022. But there are glaring weaknesses elsewhere.
The club has several prospects in the minor leagues, but the balancing act between giving them time to develop and the immediate needs of the big-league club is a difficult one.
Byron Buxton, Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa homered as the Twins closed out Grapefruit League play.
Highly regarded Dominican flamethrower Jhoan Duran completed his high school degree because he knows nothing is a given when it comes to baseball.
Both pitchers started in rookie league in 2012, and are the rare players who have stuck together for the past decade.
Players are moving, including one of the Gophers' top pitchers, Aidan Maldonado, who came back home from Illinois.
La Velle's Sunday 3-2 Pitch: Houston drafted Carlos Correa ahead of the Twins, otherwise the Astros' new shortstop would have been their shortstop all along.
In five days, pro teams in the Twin Cities became a five-star destination. If a couple more smart moves are made, don't be surprised when championships follow.
The team's general manager saw issues with the power play and penalty kill, not enough physicality and inconsistent goaltending. So Bill Guerin started dealing.
By keeping his foot on the gas, Derek Falvey would be keeping his promise to make the Twins competitive this summer.
Sophomore Mya Hooten does her floor exercise routine to Beyonce's song "Freedom".
Derek Falvey insists the Twins plan is to contend in 2022. While the current roster doesn't meet that expectation, there's still a way for that to happen.
Putting both men's and women's selection shows on the same night broadened the spotlight on college basketball during its most important month. Then Tom Brady came along.
The timing for the women's Final Four to come to Minneapolis couldn't be better. We need to celebrate growth, to heal and to watch some excellent basketball.
It's up to you to decide which side is the insincere one. The owners jumped out to a big lead, but both sides are at fault for the events of the past couple days.
The experience here was fine, but that's not the point: We should not have been here in the first place. The International Olympic Committee needs a full reboot.
From telling stories about many of the 30 Minnesota athletes in Beijing and others, our columnist wonders how many will quality for the 2026 Games. 'Heck, let's hope I qualify again,' he adds.
After 2018 and 2021, we got spoiled with Olympics dominance and gold rushes. This time: good not great, but let's not consider our Olympians anything other than excellent.
After falling near the finish line in the semifinals racing Germany, Paula Moltzan bounced back to win her bronze medal match against Norway. But the Norwegian team won on a tiebreaker.
The end of the USA men's curling team's run at the 2022 Olympics means no more viewing Matt Hamilton's marvelous mane of brown hair.
From curling to hockey and back for more curling, our columnist's Thursday in Beijing started early in the morning and didn't end until after midnight.
Watching the pace, flair and grit in the Olympic tournament — and all that led up to it — makes me wonder how much more the game could grow with a stable women's pro league.
Great Britain ended Team USA's hopes to repeat as the curling gold-medal winner with an 8-4 victory over John Shuster's team in the semifinals.
The United States fell behind early and failed to take advantage of several opportunities for a successful comeback.
Team USA led Slovakia until there were 43.7 seconds left in regulation in their quarterfinal matchup. Then, after a scoreless overtime and one goal against them in a shootout, the Americans faced the sudden numbness of being out of the Olympic tournament.
The shot was off by only a few inches. But it heightened the drama about whether Team Shuster can advance to the knockout round and defend the curling gold medal it won at the 2018 Olympics.
The Gophers have kept winning while Matt Knies, Brock Faber and Ben Meyers, who have accounted for a sizable chunk of the U's offense, are in Beijing.
Team USA and Canada — the two teams all other countries emulate in women's hockey — prepare to reignite one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
The team's 15 college players draw the spotlight, but thirtysomethings Brian O'Neill, Steven Kampfer, Andy Miele and Aaron Ness are making their mark.
The United States didn't show the same offensive firepower as Canada did in its semifinal victory. But the USA women controlled the pace throughout in beating Finland 4-1.
In the semifinals on Monday, the Americans will face a Finland team they beat 5-2 in the their first game of the Olympics tournament.
In three games, the USA men's hockey team routed a team it was expected to rout, punched its biggest rival in the mouth and held off the silver medalist from four years ago.
Skip John Shuster and the Americans lost 10-5 to Canada on Sunday dropping them to 2-3 in Olympic competition in Beijing. But clawing back is nothing new for the Americans.
Team USA finished fifth in the event four years ago. Jessie Diggins of Afton was the only returnee from the team. She still has two more Olympic races to go.
Less then one minute into Thursday's 8-0 win over China, Team USA got a glimpse of the physical play it might well face throughout the Olympics.
Team USA appeared one play from being one of the biggest upsets victims in women's Olympic hockey history before Lee Stecklein of Roseville, a former Gophers star, stepped up in the 4-1 win.
The matches were the second and third of 10 for the teams before the top four teams qualify for the knockout round — and Chisholm's John Shuster, despite some frustration during the Sweden match, struck a mellow tone afterward.
Lindsey Jacobellis won the first gold medal for the USA in Beijing, besting the field in snowboard cross. One of Minnesota's curlers was especially thrilled about her triumph.
Mikaela Shiffrin sat in the snow for about 20 minutes, in anguish after her second botched run at the Olympics. Later, during interviews, it was clear she was struggling with her failings.
The Prior Lake skier is being celebrated by family and friends in Minnesota and Massachusetts.
Skiing in her first Olympics, Paula Moltzan's finish Wednesday was the highest by an American.
With 15 college players, the American team has been quickly assembled for a tournament with a lot of unfamiliar names.
Despite being outshot 53-27, the Canadians did more with their opportunities to top the United States in the final matchup of the preliminary round. But bigger games loom.
Paula Moltzan's giant slalom run was years in the making — and she deserved to savor every second after taking a circuitous route to China.
On Monday, La Velle E. Neal III covered a skiing event for the first time in his 33 years as a sportswriter. It just happened to be during the Olympics.
After an 8-0 rout of Switzerland, the Americans are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 18-2. Up next: a game against Canada, the only other serious gold medal threat.
Chris Plys of Duluth and his partner Vicky Persinger have dropped to 3-4 and need a strong finish in round-robin play to reach the semifinals.
China's human rights record hovers like a dark cloud over these Games. The Olympians are the light and it's time to be entertained by the world's best athletes.
Team USA was happy to arrived in Beijing healthy. That lasted 9 minutes and 22 seconds before star forward Brianna Decker went down with an injury that will end the Olympics for her.
Just before covering his first-ever Olympics event, columnist La Velle E. Neal III was identified as a "close contact" of someone who tested positive for COVID. Here's what happened — and what happens now.
The U.S. women had a 52-12 advantage in shots and held Finland scoreless until the third period. But the victory was marred by an injury to Brianna Decker, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period.
The journey towards more gold begins on Thursday against Finland in a preliminary-round game that starts at 7:10 a.m. (Twin Cities time). Nine players with Minnesota ties are on the team.
The mom-and-pop, beer-in-hand days are over. Team USA's 2018 gold medal was a start, and expansion and growth followed. Now, pressure to perform is here again.
Minnesotans rocked the 2018 Winter Olympics, bringing home a gold-medal haul. Last summer, Suni and Gable stole their shows. I can't wait to watch Minnesota's next big Olympic moment.