Over the course of the last couple of days the Twins blog-o-sphere has exploded with content covering the recent firing of Bill Smith and the subsequent promotion of Terry Ryan into the job he handed over to Smith four years ago. Like many Twins fans across the state and across the nation, I was less than optimistic at Smith’s ability to make any moves happen this season. While I don’t know if Ryan can come in and turn the team around in a season, his 13 years of experience gives a bit of a rose colored tint to the future of the organization we all know and love. Join me after the jump to follow my journey through Monday afternoon’s excitement and all the blogs that helped piece things together.
Monday afternoon I was catching up on what was going on in some of the other Twins blogs, and when I got to Seth Stoh’s blog I found a short post stating that Smith was out and Ryan was back. I immediately thought this was some sort of joke, and had to go check my facts. I went to the Twins MLB.com site and found a post from Rhett Bollinger, the Twins MLB.com beat writer, that confirmed what I had seen on Seth’s page. (Seth put up another article Tuesday morning to expand on the news from the previous day)
For the next couple hours I spent time talking with other Twins bloggers and fans on Twitter discussing what the move would mean for the organization, and what exactly “philosophical differences” meant. We could find no hard answers, but while we were waiting, the Twins held a press conference and answered some questions, and raised many more. The press conference ended with a question that Ryan responded to by saying he expects the payroll to be down to around 100 million for 2012. Seth Stoh’s Tuesday morning post linked above, and over at TwinsTrivia.com I found another informative piece that also talked about the effects of the lowered payroll on the team.
Since I don’t live in Minnesota, I didn’t have access to the news conference or any of the talk that I’m sure was dominating the Twins Radio network. Luckily the Twins blogger community was there to save me. As I’m a big nerd and love podcasts, the Gleeman and Geek podcast (@gleemanandgeek) podcast that came out late last night was a big deal for me. Aaron Gleeman and John Bonnes discussed the firing of Smith and what Ryan can do for the organization, as well as a whole slew of other things over a couple of beers. Both Gleeman and Bonnes each have their own blogs which I’m sure most Twins fans are already familiar with. Gleeman writes at AaronGleeman.com where you can also find a nice entry about the Smith/Ryan excitement. John Bonnes is widely known to the Twins community as the Twins Geek. As their podcast and the beer drinking progress, the hilarity level increases.
In addition to the news of the payroll, Ryan also said the Twins training staff will need to be looked at closely, Rhett Bollinger discusses the topic here.
Easily my favorite post from Monday came from Kristen Browk (@kbrobaseball) over at K-Bro’s baseball blog where she informs the world that “Paul Molitor will be still doing what he did” but that “What Paul Molitor has to do with any of this is unclear.”
If you want to compare the era’s of Ryan and Smith while holding the reins of the Twins, take a look here to see the Ryan Files, and then head over to Over The Baggy for a recap of the events that ocured with Smith at the helm.
While it’s unclear exactly how long Ryan will remain the GM, all indications are that the “interim” tag is unnecessary. Ryan said he may take the job for a year, maybe for a decade. I’m a little more hopeful going into the 2012 season. The 100mil payroll causes some concern, but Ryan built a pretty good Twins team last time around (his highest payrol 71mil) without breaking the bank, and the Rays show us every year that you don’t need hoards of money to win baseball games. Whatever happens the writers here at Pucket’s Pond will cover the stories as they unfold.