Twins pitching coach Neil Allen was arrested this morning in Minneapolis for DWI. The Twins have suspended him indefinitely and named Eric Rasmussen, the Twins' minor league pitching coordinator, as interim pitching coach. The team also released the following statement:
I joked earlier today that one positive about the 2016 Twins season is that it could not possibly get worse. I was wrong.
Look, I know we joke a lot around here about rally beers and the Twins driving us to drink, but this is not a joke. Neil Allen has a long and well known history of battling alcoholism.
During his playing career in the '80s, Allen's heavy drinking came up frequently. He was known to spend entire nights out drinking after games, never even going back to his hotel room before returning to the ballpark. Once while with the Mets in 1983, Allen went missing for days before asking the team for help with his alcohol problem. The Mets took it as an excuse to get out of work and had doctors tell him he was not an alcholic.
Allen told reporters about frequently "puking and shaking and having the dry heaves in the bullpen" after his all-nighters, and drinking beer before games just to stop the shakes. Once, when Allen actually returned to the hotel after being out, teammate Rickey Henderson confronted him and the two got in a shouting match over his habits. Rickey later called Allen out in the media for drinking too much.
The Chicago Tribune wrote about Allen trying to get sober in 1990:
That period of sobriety didn't last long, however. Allen told the Star Tribune last year about his desperately ill father begging him to stop drinking again in 1994. "My two brothers were also home to be with Dad," Neil said. "There was a six-pack of Falstaff in the refrigerator. We sat at the kitchen table, drank two beers apiece, and I haven’t had a drink since."
Maybe that was true then, but we know it's not true now.
The Twins are absolutely right for suspending Neil Allen indefinitely. This is not just a bad mistake, this is a serious problem. Allen needs to get help, and everyone here at Twinkie Town is rooting for him.