La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Ryan is in it for the long haul

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: October 5, 2012 - 4:42 PM
Terry Ryan is no longer the Twins’ interim general manager.
 
Ryan on Friday officially had the interim tag taken off his title, although his status was evident on Thursday when he let go of three coaches and one trainer.
 
“I’m all set and committed and ready to go,’’ Ryan said.
 
Ryan, appointed to the interim role on Nov. 7 of last year, will try to steer the organization back to the top of the A.L. Central after two straight last-place finishes.
 
The decision was announced on Friday during an end-of-season media session with Ryan, owner Jim Pohlad and team President Dave St. Peter. The Twins top officials addressed their thoughts as to what has led to 195 losses over the last two seasons and how they intend to turn things around.
 
This is Ryan's second stint as GM. His held the role from 1994-2007 before stepping aside because of burnout and a desire to spend more time with his family.
 
Some of Ryan's immediate tasks will be to find coaches to fill roles that became available when he told Rick Stelmaszek, Steve Liddle and Jerry White that they weren't being brought back next season. Hitting coach Joe Vavra was reassigned to coaching infielders, and bench coach Scott Ullger is now in charge of outfielders and baserunning.
 
About five days after the World Series ends, Ryan has to make a decision on righthander Scott Baker's $9.25 million option for 2013, which is expected to be turned down. The Twins will then likely attempt to negotiate a contract with Baker that has less guaranteed money and more incentives. The scenario is risky, because Baker will be a free agent if the Twins do not pick up his option.
 
Ryan’s winter will be spent scouring the landscape for pitching help, starting pitching in particular.
 
Other news and notes from the session with Ryan, Pohlad and St. Peter
 
+ Gene Glynn, Tom Brunansky and Bobby Cuellar are definitely in the running for spots on the major league staff. "They are legitimate candidates, I'll go as far as that," Ryan said.
 
+Paul Molitor is NOT a candidate for a spot on the staff. "Just not a fit," Ryan said.
 
+Ryan would like to have a Hispanic coach, pointing out that Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Florimon speak very little English.
 
+Pohlad would not provide a hard number - as usual - on what the payroll will be, but indicated he's willing to consider anything Ryan presents to him if it will improve the team.
 
+When asked when he will announce the new coaching assignments, Ryan would only say, "Soon."
 
+Assistant trainer Dave Pruemer is a candidate to replace Rick McWane as head trainer.
 
+Brian Dozier, Drew Butera, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia and Anthony Slama are among players headed to winter ball this offseason.
 

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