Often times, Cory Provus has had the best seat in the house at a baseball game.
For the past three seasons, Provus has been the radio play-by-play man for the Milwaukee Brewers, working alongside legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker.
“There are so many Bob Uecker stories that I’ll never be able to tell,” Provus joked. “Especially in public places like this.”
This offseason, Provus, 33, was approached by the Minnesota Twins to replace retiring John Gordon as the play-by-play man for the team. Provus loved his time in Milwaukee, but felt it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
Provus, who was with Tom Kelly, Terry Ryan, Liam Hendriks and Brian Dozier at the annual Twins Caravan in Winona on Wednesday, said the ball started rolling back in June.
“I knew John Gordon was retiring and I knew John and Bob Uecker were terrific friends,” Provus said. “When we came to Minneapolis for a series in June, we had John in for an interview to talk about his experiences and as soon as the interview wrapped up, I asked him casually about the job.
“It kind of went back and forth through August and picked up steam once the regular season ended. The day after the Brewers lost in Game 6 of the NLCS to the Cardinals, my phone blew up and the Twins wanted me to come in for an interview. About 10 days later, I had the job.”
Provus, who was viewed in Milwaukee as Uecker’s possible heir apparent, spent time with the Chicago Cubs, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and his alma mater Syracuse before joining the Brewers.
Provus said he has learned a lot over his short time in the business and said he learned a lot from Uecker.
“What I learned from Bob is that baseball is fun,” Provus said. “There’s a lot of passion and money invested into it, but at the same time it’s a game and you have to have fun.”
BACK IN THE SADDLE: An unexpected visitor to the Twins Caravan was Twins general manager Terry Ryan. Ryan, who served as the team’s GM from 1994 to 2007, took over in December after the team fired Bill Smith after four seasons and a 63-99 finish last season.
After serving as a scout and advisor for the Twins for the past four seasons, Ryan, who built four American League Central Division winners in the past, is ready to build another consistent winner.
“I stepped aside because I was gone a lot and missed my children like everyone in baseball does,” Ryan said. “A lot has changed. The Metrodome to Target Field has been huge and the biggest difference is the dollars. We’re up to a $100 million payroll now but players are players and the game itself is still the same.”
READY TO GO: Pitcher Liam Hendriks and infielder Brian Dozier have a lot to learn when it comes to playing baseball at the Major League level, but Hendriks and Dozier appear to have the talent to make it. On Jan. 20, Baseball America named its top 10 prospects for each organization and Hendriks and Dozier were both on it for Minnesota.
Hendriks and Dozier have a combined four games of big-league experience between them, with all of it coming from Hendriks, who had a 6.17 ERA in four September starts for the Twins.
In the minor leagues between Class AA New Britain and Class AAA Rochester, Hendriks had a 12-6 record with a 3.36 ERA and was named as Minnesota’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Dozier turned some heads last season in the minors, combining to hit .320 between New Britain and Class A Fort Myers. He continued with a strong showing the Arizona Fall League.
The transition to the majors may be tough, but Hendriks and Dozier are ready.
“You have to go out there and do the same things that helped get you there in the minors,” Hendriks said. “You have to go up there, do as well as you can and work hard.”