Ron Coomer, the former Twins infielder and Fox Sports North analyst, is convinced the Twins’ new leadership structure is "very similar" to the 2016 world champion Chicago Cubs.
Coomer returned to the FSN set as a guest during Tuesday night’s Wild game to catch up with his old baseball broadcast partner Anthony LaPanta and relive the experience of calling the Cubs championship run and discuss the future of the Twins.
The Illinois native, who also played one season with the Cubs, has spent the past three years as the color analyst for the Chicago Cubs Radio Network and this fall witnessed the franchise win its first World Series since 1908.
“Oh my. … [I] end up getting the chance to go home and do the broadcast of the team where I grew up going to and then playing [for], and then to be there for the World Series and winning it – unbelievable,” Coomer said on air.
“Our ballpark was absolutely rocking. We had 200,000 to 300,000 people out front of Wrigley Field when the game got over. It was just an incredible time to be a Cub fan.”
Coomer also had a front-row seat for the championship parade.
“I walked to the edge of the stage in Grant Park where we did the ceremony … and it looked like it had to be a mile-and-a-half long and about a mile wide of just people. It was absolutely incredible and something you’ll never forget,” Coomer said. “We hadn’t done this in the hundred years so everybody showed up for this one.”
Coomer raved about working with the Cubs’ well-rounded leadership and believes the Twins new brain trust has similar qualities.
“It was a rough season for the Twins. But I really like what they’ve done,” Coomer said. “I’ll always be a Terry Ryan guy. … He brought me to Minnesota and gave me a chance to be a big-league ballplayer. … But this new group, I’ve heard nothing but good things.
“They’re very similar to the group we have in Chicago, the way they look at things. So it will be interesting. You have the great baseball guys in [manager] Paul Molitor and then you’ve got some of the young vibrant and interesting ways of looking at the game with the two new guys [chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine]. … I hope things work out for the Twins.”
Coomer, who is close friends and former teammates with Molitor, said the Twins manager was optimistic about the team after last season's spring training.
“The injuries, the pitching issues, they had the young players getting off to [a slow start],” Coomer said. “In spring training, they got off to an incredible start. I remember talking to Pauly and the optimism was pretty good going into the season. … [The young players] need to get off to a good start or else things can really spiral in the wrong direction and I think that’s what happened.”