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.
In 1998, when Mike Redmond was a 27-year-old catcher at Class AA, the Florida Marlins talked to him about becoming a minor-league coach. He told them to hold that thought. He wasn't ready to give up his dream of playing in the big leagues.
Redmond wound up spending 13 seasons in the majors, including five with the Twins, but Monday he made it official, telling the Star Tribune he's retiring as a player.
"I pretty much knew going into the season that this was going to be it," said Redmond, who batted .206 in 22 games with Cleveland before getting released in July. "When I left Minnesota, I wanted to play one more year and see. But it's OK. I fulfilled every goal I had as a player."
Redmond, 39, returned home to Spokane, Wash., and has been coaching sons Ryan and Michael in flag football.
"I'm having a blast just being a dad," Redmond said.
Long viewed as a potential big league manager, Redmond said he's ready to pursue another job in baseball, whether it's managing, coaching, instructing, scouting or in a front office.
On Monday, he could reflect on an improbable career that included 764 games, 649 hits, 13 home runs and 243 RBI.
Redmond, who went undrafted out of Gonzaga University, finished as a .287 career hitter. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003. He signed with the Twins in 2005 and batted .297 in five seasons as Joe Mauer's backup, making two trips to the postseason.
"Without a doubt my favorite years were the five years I spent in Minnesota," Redmond said. "The fans were tremendous. They made me feel so welcome and appreciated me so much. I'm grateful to them for everything they did for me."
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