Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Last year's run to the Western Conference final was no fluke for Minnesota United.
It was no day to play. It was a day to say, "Not here. Not again."
As soon as the flag dropped on the regular season, relief pitcher Hansel Robles - looking to rebound from a forgettable 2020 - was ready to go
Making contact and spraying the ball all over, the young Twins leadoff hitter is doing his best to emulate Twins legend Rod Carew.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has stepped toward the fire with a decision that will not be popular with many baseball fans or politicians. But the decision was a home run.
La Velle E. Neal's weekly 3-2 pitch: Three observations, and two predictions for Twin Cities sports.
Two errors and two missed plays in the field proved costly in Thursday's season-opening loss.
Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco have not been at their best lately. The challenge for 2021 is for them to recapture their form, health and consistency.
The World Series champion might not come out of the American League Central this season, but no one will beat the division for managerial star power.
Yankees, Dodgers look like the best in class in their respective leagues.
Neal's 3-2 Pitch: Big Ten rules against playing nonconference teams hurting Gophers baseball, softball
Three observations and two predictions every weekend.
Hiring a young assistant coach with local ties, as opposed to impact name, is a reflection of the state of Gophers men's hoops. The U is asking a lot from Ben Johnson.
La Velle E. Neal's weekly 3-2 pitch: It looks like this is the wrong year to push for Jose Berrios or Kenta Maeda to meet the definition of a true ace.
Jalen Suggs' family will be in attendance, although his father has a lot of driving ahead of him.
Rookie Kirill Kaprizov is getting most of the attention in the Wild's hot streak. But there's much more to like about the Wild.
A Big Ten men's basketball team last won the NCAA tournament in 2000. Of the nine conference teams that made this year's field, four have the qualities to be the next.
It was entertaining to hear Nelson Cruz cheer for himself during pregame introductions last season, but let's not ever have to go through that again.
There are 18 spring training games remaining and plenty of time for Alex Kirilloff to earn his spot. Let it play out.
Nick Gordon is still young, and he's providing important reminders: count your blessings on your health, and keep drafting shortstops.
Mike Radcliff, the Twins vice president in charge of player personnel, is a comeback story in progress.
Nearly 30 teams across the NHL and NBA are allowing a small number of fans into arenas. Why not in Minnesota?
Berrios is now at the age and the experience level in his career where he will either become a top-tier starting pitcher or merely a good one.
In his debut piece as a Star Tribune sports columnist, La Velle E. Neal III interviewed his closest, most personal friend.
Can key players Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson stay healthy and make a bigger impact in 2021? But that's not the only issue facing the Twins as spring training heats up this week.
New Twins pitcher J.A. Happ is asymptomatic, and he has the equipment to keep working out on his own.
Jose Berrios indicated that he has been having discussions with his agents about his future and hopes something can be worked out with the Twins.
The players, including pitchers Tyler Duffey and J.A. Happ, were missing because of weather delays, visa problems and COVID-related issues.
Kenta Maeda threw 22 pitches during a bullpen session in Fort Myers on Thursday, marking an on-time start to spring training that many fans would have bet against.
Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor were among those offering tributes to Brian Dozier when he announced his retirement Thursday at age 33.
As pitchers and catchers officially report to Hammond Stadium on Thursday, no one is asking questions about the Twins catching situation.
Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on Thursday as spring training begins. The full squad has its first workout next week.
The Saints will play in the 20-team Triple-A East Division as part of a total reorganization and shrinking of baseball's minor leagues.
The Twins will play only five other teams during spring training with the first game set for Feb. 28 against the Red Sox.
Veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz is returning to lead the Bomba Squad with a one-year, $13 million deal. But he'll be swatting at a different make-up of baseballs.
Keon Broxton has played with five major league teams and hit 20 homers for the Brewers in 2017. Andrew Albers, who had two stints with the Twins, is also back after three seasons in Japan.
Alex Colome had an 0.81 ERA and 12 saves for the White Sox in 2020 and had 47 saves for Tampa Bay in 2017. The Twins are still looking for more bullpen help.
Hammond Stadium will be at 28 percent capacity, with approval from MLB and Lee County.
After two strong seasons in Minnesota, 40-year-old Nelson Cruz won't get the two-year contract he wanted after hitting 57 home runs in two seasons with the Twins.
Jorge Polanco will move to second, and Luis Arraez will take over Marwin Gonzalez's utility role as the Twins pick up a Gold Glove-winning shortstop.
Righthander Jake Odorizzi, as well as DH Nelson Cruz, remain on the Twins' radar, manager Rocco Baldelli said.
There might be 15 more major league teams in need of a DH, impacting his decision about where he'll be playing in 2021.
Spring training begins (maybe) in a month, with baseball's offseason action – particularly from the Twins – fairly stagnant. Answers to questions about the bullpen, Trevor Bauer and more.
Twins Insider: The annual gathering is an espionage party that will be hard to replace.
Twins senior vice president and general manager Thad Levine has emerged as a candidate to run Philadelphia's baseball operations department, according to multiple sources.
In a rarity, the team won't have anyone headed to arbitration after finishing contracts with all players who were tendered.
Eddie Rosario fell victim to baseball's economy when the Twins did not offer him a contract for 2021, making him a free agent and likely opening up a spot for one of their top prospects in the outfield.
Tyler Duffey agreed to a one-year contract worth $2.,2 million; Eddie Rosario cleared waivers this afternoon, and the Twins have until 7 p.m. to make him an offer for 2021.
The 33-year-old lefthanded reliever, who is a native of Randolph, Minn., returned to the majors last season after a five-year absence.
Rosario is projected to make more than $10 million next season, a salary the Twins don't want to pay in baseball's hard economic times. The outfielder would become a free agent.
The St. Paul Saints will leave independent baseball to become the Class AAA team for the Twins as part of a major overhaul of the minor leagues.
With Friday's moves, the Twins have 37 players — 19 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and eight outfielders — on their 40-man roster.
Baseball is planning a dramatic overhaul that would eliminate dozens of minor-league teams and emphasize affiliates that are more geographically friendly.
Is spending money on players wise this winter? What are the rules of engagement? Buckle up, baseball fans, for a bumpy offseason.
The Twins, in conjunction with the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, announced the winners of the annual Diamond Awards on Friday morning.
Cruz has been named the winner of baseball's Marvin Miller Award, which is given by the players union for leadership on the field and in the community.
After all of it — the truncated season, battling outbreaks, rescheduling games, etc. — the best two teams in baseball will square off in the World Series.
The 27-year-old had a similar procedure last year following his All-Star season.
Part of the Twins trying to figure out how to end their 18-game postseason losing streak is to build a team that can handle both the grind of the regular season and the added stresses of the playoffs.
Twins executive Derek Falvey Falvey and manager Rocco Baldelli understand that the fan base has 'Octoberphobia' when it comes to the Twins and the playoffs.
There was passion, frustration and reflection from the Twins on a day their season came to an end.
Byron Buxton's 2020 season began with him out of the lineup because of a mid-foot sprain and interrupted by a left shoulder strain. It didn't end very well, either.
The Twins have dropped 17 consecutive postseason games, giving them the longest playoff losing streak in major North American sports history. The one happened because of failures in all aspects of the game.
The Twins began the season wondering when Byron Buxton would be healthy enough to play. Those health concerns continued, but he'll be in today's lineup.
Jake Cave put on the "Rally Robe" twice Wednesday thanks to the third multihomer game of his career, and he made a diving catch of a Victor Reyes liner in the sixth.
Because of injuries, the Twins have put their first-choice lineup on the field in only two of 57 games this season.
First, Cleveland rallied past the first-place White Sox with a 10th-inning walk off home run. Then, Max Kepler smashed the Twins into a 3-3 and then blooped a single for the 5-4 victory.
Luis Arraez was playing in an intrasquad game at the Twins' alternative training site in St. Paul when he sprained his ankle during a rundown.
The Twins have released their 40-man roster for the postseason, which consists of the current 28-man roster plus a 12-man taxi squad.
As the Twins prepare for next week's playoffs, there will be tough choices for the 28-man roster and even tougher conversations with some pitchers who will want the ball.
Two more home runs from Byron Buxton weren't enough on an afternoon marked by Josh Donaldson's ejected as he crossed home plate after hitting a homer.
After a two-homer outing on Thursday, Buxton has seven home runs in the past nine games.
Righthander Randy Dobnak, who has given up nine earned runs over his past two outings and has an 8.27 ERA over his past four, was optioned to the Twins' alternate training camp in St. Paul.
Jake Odorizzi got the start Wednesday in the Twins' 5-1 win over the White Sox, and pitched effectively. But his start was reduced to 3⅔ innings because of a fingernail problem on his pitching hand.
For a second straight night, the Twins were outclassed by a White Sox team that is 22-5 over its past 27 games and leads them by three games in the division.
The new playoff structure places more of a premium on setting up for postseason success.