Columnist | Minnesota Twins

A native of Chicago, La Velle has covered the Minnesota Twins since 1998. He also covered the Kansas City Royals for the Kansas City Star from 1995 through 1997. A graduate of the University of Illinois - Chicago, La Velle is a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.


Neal: Bombas long gone, Twins will rely on defense and pitching to win

Rocco Baldelli's remade Twins have a chance to do some damage in the American League this summer — if they can stay healthy.


Neal: Always the coach, Waseca's Hammond fights cancer with humor

There is healing in laughter, and Hammond is laughing while healing. He's been at Waseca since 1978 and has coached a variety of sports. "It's humor that gets me through this," he says.


Neal: Coach returns, but knows things not back to normal after reading racial slur

Boys basketball coach David Flom was sincere and remorseful as he sat in the stands at Eden Prairie and talked before Tuesday's game. But he'd made a mistake and had to be held accountable.


Neal: Vikings should cut ties with Thielen, Cook, three other players

The Vikings have a mess on their hands. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has some tough salary-cap work to do to lock up Justin Jefferson to a new contract and upgrade at other positions.


Neal: Ex-Gophers star Burton back in shape, in the game and in school

After a career in the NBA and in Europe, Willie Burton is pursuing a doctorate degree and staying involved in community initiatives. He's also found another way to challenge himself.


Neal: Vikings hired O'Connell to win games like Sunday's

Winning a Super Bowl with the Rams last season made Kevin O'Connell an intriguing head coach candidate, and the Vikings made their choice. The first-time coach gets another crack at the postseason starting Sunday.


Neal: Winners in Correa deal? Twins, their players, Correa. Who loses?

Carlos Correa is back with the Twins. As crazy as it sounds, it is even crazier to write — all the more because when he signed last year, we all knew he was gone at the end of the season.


Neal: One game, two happy teams: Vikings, Bears get what they wanted

The Vikings polished off the Bears with ease and incurred no significant injuries in their regular-season finale. Chicago came away with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.


Neal: The smallest Viking keeps making big plays

Cut by the Bears before the season, Duke Shelley returns to Chicago as a key member of the Vikings defense.


Picks to inspire in '23: A comeback, an ace and title dreams

Find inspiration in Minnesota sports in 2023: this winter, on the Gophers men's hockey team; this summer, from Joe Ryan; and later, by Paige Bueckers.