The Minnesota Twins have had their ups and downs over the years and I ran across a variety of press clippings that pertained to the home-town nine and I thought that I would share them with you. Some are sad, some stupid, some funny and some historical but they are all part of Twins lore and history. Some will bring back some bad memories and other will cause you to to say, oh yes, I remember that. The clipping come from a variety of newspapers including the Boston Globe, Orlando Sentinel, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
April 12, 1985 – There will be no more spitting on the Minnesota Twins’ clubhouse floor. Nor will there be any more gum wrappers lying around or cramped dressing areas. The Twins Thursday unveiled the remodeled Metrodome clubhouse, done in the team’s colors of red, white and blue, with ash wood trim — the same color as baseball bats.”Some of these players make $800,000 a year, and they come in five or six hours before a game,” said architect David Shea, who was the principal designer for the remodeling.
June 30, 1985 (Peter Gammons – Boston Globe) – Billy Gardner got fired because (1) the Twins’ pitching fell apart, and (2) he simply is not in the mold of owner Carl Pohlad and GM Howard Fox. What can one say about a staff on which the only pitcher with an ERA under 4.20 was Frank Euefemia? Or when Ron Davis became so afraid of pitching that he hyperventilated in the bullpen and created excuses to beg out of games? Ray Miller was brought in to straighten out the pitching, and he is a man who deserves the chance. He needed to leave Baltimore, where his rapport with writers and his ambition had turned off pitchers and alienated fellow coaches.
September 20, 1985 – Baseball, as a business, is not for those with weak stomachs, says Carl Pohlad, who is completing his first full season as owner of the Minnesota Twins. Pohlad: ”I live and die every game. When I bought the team, I knew sports had more ups and downs than other businesses, and I thought I could cope. In my other enterprises, I can cope. But I have difficulty coping with a tough loss on the ball field.” Pohlad bought the Twins from long-time owner Calvin Griffith a little over a year ago. ”I used to think I was pretty good at managing stress,” the 69-year-old banking magnate told the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
July 29, 1986 – Amid rumors of his firing, Minnesota Twins Manager Ray Miller met Monday with top club officials to discuss the team’s poor performance and how to solve the problem. ”I’m not satisfied with the way the team’s been playing,” Twins President Howard Fox said in New York, where Minnesota faced the Yankees. ”I thought we’d be better than we’ve been. We’re re-evaluating the whole thing.” Fox said Twins owner Carl Pohlad has given him the authority to make any managerial change.
July 4, 1986 – Former Minnesota Twins’ farm director George Brophy, who resigned last January because of illness, will become a special assistant scout for the Houston Astros Aug. 1, he said. Brophy, 59, was struck in June 1985 by aplastic anemia, a life-threatening blood disorder. When Brophy still wasn’t back to work in January, Twins president Howard Fox asked him to take early retirement as part of a program established by owner Carl Pohlad for longtime employees. Brophy said he began to respond to a new form of treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
July 31, 1986 – Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad says he’s ”disappointed” with his struggling American League club but says he won’t comment on the future of Manager Ray Miller. Pohlad said ”we’re all disappointed” at the team’s record, which stood Wednesday morning at 43 and 57. ”I don’t like it, the fans don’t like it and neither does anybody else. We’re doing the best we can.”
September 13, 1986 – Tom Kelly, who guided the Orlando Twins to the Class AA Southern League pennant in 1981, was named manager of the Minnesota Twins on Friday for the remaining 23 games after Manager Ray Miller was fired. Kelly, 36, took over Friday night as interim manager after Minnesota President Howard Fox announced, ”It would be in the best interest of everyone concerned that the termination of Ray Miller’s position would take place at this time.””Our record games behind is exactly three games worse than it was last year at this time without a bullpen,” Miller said.
October 23, 1986 – The Minnesota Twins, who have said they hope to name a new manager by next week at the latest, have interviewed former Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs manager Jim Frey. Frey met for almost three hours Tuesday with Twins owner Carl Pohlad, said Pohlad’s son, Jim, a team director who was also in on the meeting. Jim Pohlad said the only candidates who have been recommended by Twins Vice President Andy MacPhail are Frey and Tom Kelly. Kelly, the Twins’ third-base coach for the last three years and former Orlando Twins manager, served as interim manager for the final three weeks of the 1986 season after Ray Miller was fired.
May 19, 1988 (Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel) – The way I understand it, the Minnesota Twins will honor Orlando with their presence each spring only if the city gives them some choice property, presumably a chunk with a lakefront view. The Twins want freebie land to develop for economic opportunities outside of baseball, and if they don’t get it they’ll leave for Fort Myers in 1990.To the Twins, I say so long, goodbye and don’t let the door hit you in your pinstriped behinds. Baseball fans, calm yourselves. City fathers want the Twins to stay.
November 1, 1988 (Tim Povtak, Orlando Sentinel) – The ”privatization” of Tinker Field, which would give the Minnesota Twins almost total control of the baseball complex, is key to an arrangement that has brought Orlando and the major-league team close to signing a 10-year contract for spring training.Twins owner Carl Pohlad and much of his administrative staff met for an hour with city officials Monday in Mayor Bill Frederick’s office, discussing major points in the agreement.The Twins, who have one more year on their contract, and the city have been negotiating for more than a year.
January 10, 1989 – The Minnesota Twins will continue making Orlando their spring training base, at least for the next 10 years, if the professional baseball team agrees to a settlement offered Monday by the Orlando City Council.The council offered to pay $3 million over the next three years for the Twins to build new major and minor-league clubhouses, batting tunnels and a grandstand at Tinker Field. The city also relinquished its rights to concession and parking revenues associated with Tinker Field and agreed to provide 6,000 square feet in office space for team officials at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
January 26, 1989 (Larry Guest, Orlando Sentinel) – Spring baseball long has been a time of charm and grace, a respite of innocence when reality gave way to fantasy. It was six weeks of green grass and a warming sun, a genteel preamble of wind sprints and good will before the hard competition and grim business of the regular season took over.It was a ritual for the romantics, a flashback to the simpler times.Never has the passing of that poppycock been made more crystal clear than by the hard capitalists in charge of today’s Minnesota Twins.
February 3, 1989 – Minnesota Twins General Manager Andy MacPhail says the Twins should not be portrayed as ”Northern carpetbaggers” in their negotiations with the city of Orlando. MacPhail says the Twins simply are keeping up with the business of modern baseball.Orlando has been the spring-training home of the Twins for 53 years, but that relationship is in jeopardy. The Twins want the city, which is asking for a 10-year commitment, to upgrade facilities at Tinker Field to accommodate both their minor and major-league players.
October 8, 1991 – He says his job is tougher because he works in one of the smallest baseball cities, but Vice President/General Manager Andy MacPhail has excelled, and Monday he was given a new 3-year contract that will carry through the 1994 season.The contract is the first MacPhail has had with the Twins, having worked the past six years on 1-year agreements.”I’m very grateful to owner Carl Pohlad,” MacPhail said. ”There is no one I would rather work for than Carl Pohlad or nowhere that I would rather live and work than where I am.’MacPhail, 38, said the difference between making decisions in Minnesota rather than in New York or Los Angeles is that ”we have to balance everything in terms of affordability”.
October 16, 1995 – Thelma Griffith Haynes, the former co-owner and executive of the Minnesota Twins baseball club, died Sunday, Oct. 15. She was 82. Haynes of Lexington Parkway, Orlando, who co-owned the team with her brother, Calvin Griffith of Melbourne, sold it to Carl Pohlad in 1984. Her father, Clark Griffith Sr., founded the Washington Senators in the early 1920s. The family moved the ball club to Minnesota in 1961. Orlando was the team’s spring training site from the 1930s until 1990. Born in Montreal, Canada, she moved to Central Florida in 1982.
May 28, 1997 – Angered that the Minnesota Legislature took no action on their stadium proposal during this year’s regular session, the Minnesota Twins reiterated Tuesday that they will ask for permission to sell or move the team.The club hopes to get that approval at the June 10-12 owners meetings in Philadelphia and immediately would begin taking offers. ”We set out to get an answer from the people of Minnesota. We were told that answer was to be given through the Legislature,” said Bob Pohlad, son of Twins owner Carl Pohlad.
October 7, 1997 – Major league baseball would allow the Twins to leave Minnesota, Gov. Arne Carlson said after meeting Monday in Milwaukee with acting commissioner Bud Selig. Carlson made the comment after he and a group of legislators flew to Milwaukee to ask Selig how Twins owner Carl Pohlad’s deal to sell the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver would fare with team owners. Pohlad has said he can’t afford to lose any more money in the Metrodome, and that the team must have a baseball-only stadium with revenue from suites, club seating, and other amenities.
November 19, 1997 – The Twins moved a step closer to North Carolina when baseball appointed a five-man committee Tuesday to guide the team through the sport’s relocation rules. The Minnesota Legislature last week defeated a proposal to finance a new ballpark, and Pohlad has an agreement with North Carolina businessman Don Beaver to negotiate a sale unless stadium financing is approved by Nov. 30. Beaver has said he would apply to move the team to North Carolina following the 1998 season.
December 4, 1997 – Paul Molitor, who returned home to the Twins in 1996 and became the 21st player in history to top 3,000 hits, is expected to play elsewhere in 1998, which could be his final season. Ron Simon, Molitor’s agent, said Molitor probably will sign with Toronto or Baltimore by Monday because he is unwilling to play for the Twins in what could be a lame-duck season in Minnesota. Owner Carl Pohlad has an agreement to sell the team to a North Carolina businessman, and the team could move after ’98 unless it gets a new stadium.
July 20, 1998 – Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad plans to work out a lease that will keep his team playing at the Metrodome for the next two years, according to a published report. The Minneapolis Star Tribune cited an unnamed source close to Pohlad, who said Pohlad would work out the lease in the hope of finding a way to build a new baseball stadium.The Twins and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission are scheduled for a settlement hearing today. The commission has filed a lawsuit trying to block the Twins from exercising an escape clause that would let them out of their Metrodome lease after this season.
November 7, 2001 (Phil Rogers) – In a move almost certain to eliminate the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos, Major League Baseball owners voted Tuesday to authorize Commissioner Bud Selig to fold two teams before the 2002 season. If the plan goes through, it will mark the first time since 1899 that Major League Baseball has closed an existing franchise. “We’re plowing historic ground here,” Selig said. Selig said the teams to be dissolved were not identified specifically during a meeting of owners and that there are more than two under consideration.
November 17, 2001 – JUDGE: TWINS MUST PLAY – Baseball was barred from eliminating the Minnesota Twins next season when a judge Friday ordered the team to play its 2002 home schedule in the Metrodome. Twins owner Carl Pohlad also was ordered not to sell the team unless the new owner agrees to have the team play its 2002 home schedule in the ballpark. The decision by Hennepin County District Judge Harry Seymour Crump throws into question last week’s vote by baseball owners to eliminate two major-league teams next season.
December 23, 2001 – Alabama businessman Donald Watkins, who wants to buy the Twins, shook hands with nearly 200 avid fans Saturday at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. “The weather may be cold up here, but the reception is warm,” said Watkins, who hopes to meet with officials of the commissioner’s office on Jan. 10 to discuss a possible purchase of the team. Current owner Carl Pohlad wants out after failing to gain approval of government financing for a new ballpark.
March 31, 2002 – An enjoyable summer could follow the lousy winter. After dealing with Commissioner Bud Selig, Carl Pohlad and other embarrassments to the grand old game during the offseason, it’s the fans who needed to hit the showers. They wanted to feel clean again. Along the way, the Twins became America’s Team, gamely fighting off contraction and vowing to contend. Everyone loves the underdog, so people from all over will be pulling for the plucky Twins. Pulling for the Minnesota ball club feels good because it’s like casting a vote against big, corrupt business — as represented by the owners who tried to make the franchise disappear.
August 17, 2002 – The axe is now hovering over Cinderella’s head, ready to ruin baseball’s best story. But for what it’s worth, sports fans, the executioners feel your pain. “It’s not the players who are hurting,” Denny Hocking said. “It’s not the owners who are hurting. It’s the fans.” If fans were paid by the lip service they receive, they’d all be Alex Rodriguez. For all the supposed angst, players started the Doomsday Clock. T-minus two weeks until the ninth work stoppage since 1972.