Twins pitching coach Neil Allen has returned to the team, just under 2 months after a leave of absence due to a DWI arrest.
“They could have very easily told me to take a hike. They could have thrown me to the curb, and they didn’t. They probably saved my life with everything they just did. For that, I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” an emotional-sounding Neill Allen told the team during a pre-game meeting, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer-Press.
Allen was pulled over for driving drunk on May 26. The coach, who played for a number of teams back in the 80s including the Mets, Yankees, and White Sox, admitted that he has suffered from alcoholism in the past, referring to it as a disease that’s “always going to be with me.” At one point, Allen was able to achieve 20 years of sobriety.
Upon being pulled over, Allen entered a 5-week rehab program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, returning to the Twins in time for a series against the Texas Rangers.
The sports organization, meanwhile, has strongly backed Allen through what has surely been a tough time. “He made a mistake — and a huge mistake — so we did the right thing. We got him help. He needed help as a human being,” remarked Twins GM Terry Ryan in the Twin Cities Pioneer-Press report (Note: Ryan was recently relieved of his GM duties due to the team’s record).
Allen, meanwhile, will face his first court date over the DWI charge on Wednesday, July 27. The MLB is not expected to take any disciplinary action after the coach’s recent reinstatement. Allen has coached with the Twins since the 2014 season.