Found October 04, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS After two consecutive 95-plus-loss seasons, changes are being made in the Minnesota Twins organization.The team announced Thursday that bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, first base coach Jerry White, third base coach Steve Liddle and head athletic trainer Rick McWane have been let go. Additionally, hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger has been reassigned within the organization. Vavra will oversee infield instruction, while Ullger will oversee outfield instruction.Stelmaszek has been in the Twins organization since 1978, when he was hired as the manager at Wisconsin Rapids, a former minor league affiliate of Minnesota. Stelmaszek spent a total of 60 games in the majors as a player with Texas and California in 1973 and the Chicago Cubs in 1974. White was named Minnesota's first base coach prior to the 1999 season while working under then-Twins manager Tom Kelly. White was a 14th-round pick of the Montreal Expos and spent 11 seasons in the majors 10 with Montreal and in brief stints with the Cubs and Cardinals.Liddle has also served various positions in the Twins organization. For the past two seasons, he has been Minnesota's third base coach. Prior to that, he was bench coach since 2002. He was named the Twins' minor league field coordinator in 1999 after managing the Gulf Coast League Twins for two seasons.Vavra was the only new addition to manager Ron Gardenhire's staff since 2002. He joined the Twins in 2005 as the hitting coach, replacing former Twin Al Newman. Prior to coming to Minnesota, Vavra worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.During the Twins' last homestand last week, Gardenhire was asked about potential changes to his coaching staff. He has kept nearly all of the same coaches on staff since he was named manager in 2002. But after consecutive losing seasons, a possible shakeup among coaches was a reality, and Gardenhire knew it."I've been surrounded by a staff that, they're my friends, but they're workers. I think you see that. They're out there every day getting it done," Gardenhire said last week. " We'll see how everything pans out at the end here, but I have the utmost respect for my staff. I know what they can do, I know what they've done. I know what kind of people they are. As a manager, you like being surrounded by people you trust, and people that do the work, and also good baseball people, and I think I've been blessed with that."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.

Twins fire 4 coaches, head trainer in shakeup

The Minnesota Twins have fired five coaches and their head athletic trainer in the wake of a second straight last-place finish in the AL Central. The Twins announced the moves on Thursday. Longtime bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, bench coach Scott Ullger, third base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White, hitting coach Joe Vavra and head athletic trainer Rick McWane did...

Report: Nishioka to sign with Japanese team

When shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka signed with the Minnesota Twins before the 2011 season, he was hailed as both a batting champion and Gold Glove winner in Japan. After a dismal two seasons with the Twins that ended in the team granting his request for release last week, Sankei Sports in Japan is reporting that Nishioka has agreed to sign a contract with the Hanshin Tigers back in...

Twins to add drink rail to Target Field

MINNEAPOLIS It's now been three full seasons since Target Field was build in downtown Minneapolis, but the home of the Minnesota Twins will receive another change this offseason. The bleacher seats above the wall in right field will be transformed into seven rows of drink rails in sections 139, 140 and 141. The drink rails will have stools with backs, and the new sections will...

Twins must rebuild rotation nearly from scratch

Terry Ryan's challenge this winter is simply stated, and it will be difficult to execute. The Twins general manager needs to build a rotation from scratch. Minnesota used 12 pitchers to start games this season, and only one of them, rookie left-hander Scott Diamond, has earned a job for 2013. Minnesota's starters were the worst in the AL, 39-75 with a 5.40 ERA, and the...

Tsuyoshi Nishioka agrees to a deal with Hanshin Tigers

His time in Minnesota did not go as expected, Tsuyoshi Nishioka is returning to Japan to play baseball. The Twins released Nishioka last week after the infielder agreed to forfeit his $3.25 million contract for next season. The future home for Nishioka will be on the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League. Nishioka struggled at the plate and in the field with the Twins. He hit...

Some things to look forward to

The Twins will finish their season today as a disappointing mess. I had them winning more than 70 games this year, finishing second or third in the league. Yeah, well…. They did improve their record this year, despite a AAA rotation, but they were still worst in the American League. But hey, it’s not all bad! There are definitely some flaws with the team, but there are certainly...

Twins GM Terry Ryan takes interim tag off title

The latest change made by the Minnesota Twins in an offseason that will be full of them was the least surprising: general manager Terry Ryan's removal of the interim tag on his title. Ryan confirmed Friday he's ''all set and committed and ready to go'' to try to turn around the Twins, who have finished 63-99 and 66-96 the last two years after winning their...

G.M. Ryan ready for changes ahead for Twins

MINNEAPOLIS Terry Ryan felt the need to re-acclimate himself when he returned to the Minnesota Twins last year as the interim general manager and didn't feel prepared to make sweeping changes.Entering his second offseason in his return to the club he's spent the better part of the last 35 year years with, Ryan feels he has a handle on what needs to happen to turn the Twins...

Diamond looks sharp, but it's not enough

Perhaps fittingly, left-hander Scott Diamond was on the hill to start the final game of the Minnesota Twins' 2012 season Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.It was fitting for several reasons. It meant that Minnesota's most consistent starting pitcher got to toe the rubber one more time, reminding the Twins that they have at least one spot in next year's rotation...

Target Field to Add New Drinking Rail to Right Field

So far the Minnesota Twins' two-year-old stadium, Target Field, has not proven to be a major boon to the team's hitters. While the Seattle Mariners are (finally) moving in the fences at their own cavernous field, the Twins are content to stick with Target's current dimensions.  However, the team isn't standing pat, they are making improvements to the experience...

Ryan take over Twins' GM role fulltime

Terry Ryan removed the interim label from his position with the Minnesota Twins to become fulltime general manager, reported Friday. Ryan, who was named interim general manager last November, announced he would return to the team and accept the job on a fulltime basis. He was also the team's GM from 1994-2007. Bill Smith served in the role from 2008-11. "I...
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