Cory Provus succeeds John Gordon 11 Nov 11

Cory Provus succeeds John Gordon

On November 3rd, the Twins announced the replacement for their retiring broadcast veteran, John Gordon. When I heard the name of the new announcer, Cory Provus, it sounded familiar, but I had to do a little research to find out who he was.

Cory spent the past three years broadcasting Brewers games with the famed Bob Uecker. Cory beat out more than 110 other candidates for his new job in Minnesota. Asked why he’d want to leave Milwaukee, he replied, “When I was offered the job, it was a no-brainer,” He went on to say great things about Minnesota, the team, and the Twin Cities.

He was probably right about the no-brainer. Bob Uecker who was a major league catcher, a comedian appearing on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” many times, and is now the Brewers’ lead announcer, is a legend in the Milwaukee area, and Cory would be the number-two man for the next decade.

Cory has a great set of pipes; he is not flashy, but more of a straightforward traditional announcer. He talks about how his college professors told him that dead-air on radio is a bad thing. But he said he learned from Uecker that that’s not always the case. “You have 41,000 fans in the park; let them help tell the story.” The late, great Herb Carneal once told me the same thing.

At the age of 33, Cory is not only a bright young man, but seems to have the wisdom of an old-timer as he talks about baseball. He loves to learn, and admittedly takes advantage of learning from those around him, especially his elders.

Cory loves baseball, respects the history of the game, and wants to learn as much as he can about the Twins’ history. He said, “I know about Mauer and Morneau, but I want to know more about the days of Killebrew and Kaat.” However, he already knows a lot, as he showed when he started rattling off some Halsey Hall stories.

Cory is excited about working with Dan Gladden, and it sounds as if he can’t wait to hear Gladden’s stories about the Twins in the 80’s and 90’s. He doesn’t know how they will split the innings, but he is a workhorse, and wants to work every game, every inning that he can, attend every Twins community and charity event, and be part of Minnesota. Welcome, Cory Provus, and good luck!

Ryan’s Return Can Only Help the Twins!

I felt bad for Bill Smith when he lost his job as General Manager for the Twins. He’s a great guy, has many talents, and speaks Spanish fluently, but he is more of a behind-the-scenes-guy than a GM. I think that he had trouble making decisions, making moves, and evaluating talent. I don’t believe he would ever just go with a gut feeling unless that feeling was “wait and see.” It took a committee to decide on things.

Terry Ryan is a real baseball man, he knows what he wants, and he can evaluate talent with the best of them. He still must confer with his bosses before making a decision, but he has the confidence to march in and say: “This is what we need!”

Terry’s stone face sometimes gives fans the appearance that he is not friendly. He is straightforward, but nice, and treats everyone with respect. He reminds me a little of Bud Grant the way he handles his emotions.

Terry Ryan never really left the Twins when he stepped down as GM. He stayed on board as an advisor to the GM. During the 2011 season, he told me they call on him quite often for advice and evaluations, and that he was actually busier than when he was GM.

He has a great relationship with agents and players, and his presence can only help get the best guys available on the field.

As for Bill Smith: his great friend Terry Ryan has offered him another position which would utilize Bill’s talents, and hopefully keep Bill around. But Bill has a lovely wife and family, and hasn’t seen much of them as of late. He has chosen to spend some time with them, and take some long-overdue vacations before making any decisions. See, making decisions are tough for Billy.

Former Twin Kidnapped

Wilson Ramos was kidnapped from his home in Venezuela, west of Caracas. Kidnapping is a common crime in that area, as kidnappers target anyone who they feel can bring in a ransom. I have traveled there and actually hired a bodyguard, as all Americans are thought to be wealthy. As we drove past a school, I noticed razors on the fence around it. I thought it was to keep the kids in, but was told it’s to keep kidnappers out.

Ramos was our great catching prospect, whom the Twins traded to the Nationals last year for Matt Capps, when Joe Nathan was rehabbing from surgery, and the Twins needed a closer.

When Ramos was abducted, he was with his family, and was there playing winter ball. I hope and pray that by the time you read this, he will have been released, unharmed.

Story and photos by Gordy Jones, November 11, 2011