Kelly forced to talk about himself

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 8, 2012 - 9:20 PM
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Former Twins Manager Tom Kelly talked to his former players, family and fans during Saturday's pre-game ceremony.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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The Twins will retire Tom Kelly's No. 10 in a pregame ceremony Saturday, knowing the man who managed them to two World Series titles isn't exactly fond of talking about himself.

"He was never about that," longtime Twins bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek said. "It was always about the players and everybody out there [on the field]. People come to see the players."

Kelly, 62, expects his speech to last four or five minutes, and he'll have nearly 100 friends and family members there to see him, along with several players who are flying in just for the event, including Tom Brunansky, Randy Bush, Brad Radke, Jeff Reardon, Kevin Tapani, Rick Aguilera and Frank Viola.

This will be the eighth number retired by the Twins, joining No. 3 (Harmon Killebrew), No. 6 (Tony Oliva), No. 14 (Kent Hrbek), No. 28 (Bert Blyleven), Rod Carew (29) and No. 34 (Kirby Puckett) and No. 42 (which is retired throughout baseball, honoring Jackie Robinson).

"I'm sure that it's going to be very emotional for [Kelly]," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "As I told him -- and, I probably shouldn't have even said a word -- this is a big deal. When somebody retires your number, it's huge and well-deserved, so it'll be entertaining. Once he gets up on the stage, he'll handle it. He always has."

Pavano open to returning

General Manager Terry Ryan has said the Twins are open to re-signing Carl Pavano this offseason, and he hasn't closed any doors as he recovers from a season-ending shoulder injury.

"Of course I'm open to it," Pavano said. "It takes two to tango, but I think they know me, they understand me, they know what I'm about. There are great people in this organization, and I've enjoyed my time here, there's no doubt about it."

After going 17-11 in 2010, Pavano tested the free-agent market and returned to the Twins with a two-year, $16.5 million deal. He tossed 222 innings last year, but over the length of the contract, he went 11-18 with a 4.67 ERA.

Plouffe's power outage

Between May 16 and July 3, Trevor Plouffe smashed 18 home runs in a span of 39 games. But he has hit a dry spell since, with only one homer in his past 37 games following another homerless game Friday.

"Right now he's fouling off the pitches he should be whacking," Gardenhire said. "And he'll be the first to tell you, he's missing his pitch right now. When you're on a roll, you're squaring that ball up and it goes flying up there in the seats. But when you start pressing a little bit, trying to do too much, you start fouling them straight back."

Etc.

• Denard Span (strained shoulder) said he hopes to take batting practice with the team Saturday. The center fielder is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday but said it will depend on how the shoulder responds.

• Matt Capps (sore rotator cuff) is close to throwing off a mound again and said he still hopes to pitch in at least one game before season's end "just for my peace of mind going into the offseason, knowing that it's completely behind me."

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  • Former Twins Manager Tom Kelly laughed with Twins bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek after Kelly tossed him a ceremonial pitch during the pre-game ceremony to retire Kelly's No. 10.

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