Student’s future unknown as Twins await decision

by Maggie Hessel-Mial

Bryan Donaldson has woken each day for the last two years knowing he has a good job as community affairs assistant with the Minnesota Twins.

Come December, Donaldson can expect a permanent job with the Twins when he finishes his public relations degree at the University.

That is, unless the Twins are cut out of Major League Baseball.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to decide soon which teams will be dropped. The Twins are one of a handful of teams that might be cut from the league.

Donaldson, along with approximately 70 other non-player Twins employees might soon be out of a job in what some consider a slowing economy.

“I think we’d all like to know, good or bad, what’s going to happen,” Donaldson said. “But it’s up to the commissioner now.”

To encourage employees to stay with the team as they wait to find out which team is contracted, the Twins have developed a pay-to-stay program.

“If the team is contracted, whoever is still here on the day of contraction will receive three months pay exclusive from their severance package,” said Twins spokesman Brad Ruiter.

Donaldson said he continues to get up each day and go to the Metrodome for work.

“There’s still work that needs to be done,” he said. “I guess I’ll just keep doing it until someone tells me otherwise.”

Twins employees are not the only people anxiously awaiting word on whether the team will remain in Major League Baseball.

Many University students and community members say they’re concerned about what will happen to Minnesota’s version of America’s pastime.

Lindsay Buck, a College of Liberal Arts sophomore, has fond childhood memories of going to Twins games with her family.

“I remember growing up to Kerby Puckett and Kent Hrbek. They were my heroes,” Buck said. “Kids that age should have someone to look up to.”

Lisa Betzer, a College of Biological Sciences sophomore, agreed.

“It is an experience I want my kids to have, when I have kids,” Betzer said.

Carla D’Agostino, a CLA student, recently moved to Minnesota from Colorado. While she said she doesn’t know a lot about the issue, she said she would be disappointed if the team is cut.

“It’s so much a part of the local culture,” D’Agostino said. “As someone new to the area I would have liked to go to a game in the spring.”

Other students said they were not as attached to team.

Institute of Technology freshman David Batcheller said his interest in baseball faded after the MLB players strike of 1994-95.

“I think it’s sad how professional sports, especially baseball, has turned more into a business than a game,” Batcheller said. “What’s happening now with the Twins exemplifies how terrible it’s become.”

Until more news comes about the future of the team, Donaldson and the rest of the Twins employees said they are still getting their work done.

Donaldson said he is going to stay with the Twins until the end and isn’t actively looking for a job yet.

“There are people I know who know I may look for a job at some point,” he said. “But I’m not doing anything yet.”

For now, it’s just a waiting game.

“Some days are up; some days are down,” Donaldson said. “I can’t worry about what I can’t change.”

Maggie Hessel-Mial welcomes comments at [email protected]