With the Twins’ 12-34 record, the Twins’ front office never thought this season would start like this. The whole make-up of the team has failed; hitting has been bad lately, fielding has been mediocre, and the starting pitching needs some work. And now, the Twins are on to a replacement pitching coach. Where will this lead to?
Early Thursday morning, May 26, pitching coach Neil Allen was driving near HCMC in downtown Minneapolis when state troopers pulled him over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. After being questioned by the troopers, Allen refused a breathalyzer test and was taken into jail. After spending over 6 hours behind bars, Allen was released. As a result of the arrest, the Twins indefinitely suspended Allen with pay.
Allen has had a history with alcohol. When he was a player in the 1980s, Allen struggled with drinking. He drank so much, Allen was admitted into a clinic in 1989 for a month. His teammates worried about him when he started drinking heavily. However, Allen informed the Star Tribune in 2015 that he has not drunk alcohol since 1994. Sadly, it seems as if Allen is going down a dark road again.
As a result, the Twins promoted Minor League Pitching Coordinator Eric Rasmussen to the Twins pitching coach for the time being. Rasmussen has spent the last 26 years in the Twins organization, being a pitching coach for three Minor League teams until he became the Coordinator in 2009. The Twins say Rasmussen is only temporary, presuming Allen will attain his duties once he gets his bad habits fixed and serves his penalty. It will be interesting to see how Twins’ pitchers respond to Rasmussen though!
One must wonder if Allen’s DWI situation is prolonged, will the Twins make a permanent change at that coaching spot? Although it is unclear what the Twins’ policy is regarding arrests, the pitching has not been performing well lately and maybe a new voice is all they need. Or will the Twins give Allen a second shot just like the Wild did with assistant coach Darryl Sydor, when he was arrested for driving drunk in 2015? We will certainly see!
Written by: Michael L. Sack