A few leftover issues from Bill Smith's firing and Terry Ryan's return as general manager on Monday:
*If Smith returns to the Twins, his initial task could be to oversee the remodeling of the spring training complex in Fort Myers. He was hands-on for that project when it was being built to open in 1991.
The Twins are getting $20-25 million from Lee County for improvements to be used on Hammond Stadium and the minor league complex. That's because the county is completing construction of a new stadium and minor league facility for the Red Sox, and the Twins' lease called for a facility competitive with any other in which Lee County was involved.
The Red Sox stadium will be much more expensive - larger, modern and spectacular by spring training standards. It will open this spring, a few miles down Daniels Parkway from the Twins' complex.
The Twins are not worked up about the 10s of millions the county is spending for the Red Sox. They like the look and feel of Hammond Stadium, as a spring training-style ballpark.
What they want to do is spend a share of the county's new money on infrastructure at the stadium, and the rest of it to continue the improvements across the parking lot at the minor league complex.
*Bob Pohlad spent much of his time in Seattle in recent years, taking care of the family's interest in Pepsi Cola. Now that the Pohlads have sold that interest, he and his wife are back in the Twin Cities.
"We still have a home in Seattle and spend time there, but I'm not there for business anymore,'' Bob said at Monday's news conference.
There has been behind-the-scenes speculation that Bob is taking more interest in the Twins - and that he was very upset by what he saw from the $118 million investment in big-league players that the Twins made last summer.
Did he have anything to do with the decision to fire Smith?
"No, Jim is in charge of the Twins for the family,'' Bob said Monday, after the end of the news conference.
Bob's son Joe has been working for the Twins for several years. He has spent time in lower-level jobs in the business and baseball operations. He's a sharp kid and is said to be speaking out more in family conversations on the Twins.
When you see or hear references to the Pohlads as owners of the Twins, think Jim first, but Bob and now Joe are in on the discussions. Carl's third son, Bill, is a movie producer and not likely to have strong opinions on the ballclub.
*I called Bill Smith's office at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. I was in need of some clarification on a rule covering player movement. Bill answered the phone.
It has been amazing the hours at which you could catch Bill in his office. I took a flier and called his number on New Year's Day. He answered.
On Saturday, we started talking about the players the Twins have in the Arizona Fall League - mainly, center fielder Aaron Hicks, shortstop Brian Dozier, catcher Chris Herrmann and pitcher Cole DeVries.
"Most teams don't send a player from Class A,'' Smith said. "In fact, there's a rule that only one of your players can be out of A ball. We sent Hicks, and like most A-ball players in that league, it was a tough for him at first.
"Since the first 10 days or so, Aaron really has played well. Terry [Ryan] was down there last month. You know Terry; he doesn't go overboard talking up players. But when he came back ... I wouldn't say raving about Hicks, but Terry was very positive about Aaron.
"We're hoping that Aaron's ready to open the season at Class AA, and go from there.''
This was Saturday afternoon. Bill still sounded like the GM. Forty-eight hours later, the Twins released the statement that he was gone and Ryan was back in charge of the baseball operation.
*Why the $100 million payroll, rather than the $118 M the Twins wound up spending last season?
Yes, they are making much more money per game at Target Field than the Metrodome, but there are some factors that don't make the new ballpark completely a cash cow:
1-The original plan called for the Pohlads to spend $130 million as their share of the ballpark. That wound up at $190-200 million, when you consider a $15 million contribution to land acquisition, cost overruns and improvements made in the facility in 2011.
2-The Twins had been recepients of revenue sharing since Commissioner Bud Selig was able to get that started in the '90s. They received more than $20 million annually for a few years in the Metrodome.
They were also recepients of revenue sharing in 2010, since the formula is based on income from the previous season. The Twins were contributors for the first time this year, and they will be again in 2012, and for the forseeable future.
Team president Dave St. Peter said in a radio interview last week that the difference between being a recipient and a contributor is $30 million, maybe more.
3-The Twins were responsible for very few of the bills in the operation of the Metrodome. They are paying all the bills at Target Field. That's an estimated expense of $15 million.
So, it's not all gravy at Target Field, even if it does cost 7 bucks for a beer.