Saint Paul native Jim Rantz was a part of the Minnesota Twins since the beginning, starting as a pitcher with the Washington Senators and moving with the team to his home state of Minnesota. After five years as a player, he joined the staff and eventually was named the Twins’ Minor League Director of Operations, a post he held for 26 years. On Monday, Rantz announced his retirement from his position, effective at the end of the year.
According to the Pioneer Press, Rantz timed his announcement to coincide with the organizational meetings so that he could tell the Twins front office staff of his decision face to face. The 75-year-old also said that he made the decision so he could spend more time with his family. Both of those are very plausible. And, certainly, I have come across nothing different from any media outlet.
However, I don’t buy it.
At least, not completely. The announcement comes just under two weeks after the organization let go or reassigned the majority of the major league staff. And since I’ve already been candid about the questions I had following recent personnel decisions, it should be no surprise that I paused when I first got the news about Rantz retiring this year. Following the first Tweet I received about Rantz’s retirement, I had two questions:
- Did the Twins “encourage” Rantz to retire as part of the organization’s fresh start?
- Did Rantz see the moves the Twins made and either question the team’s loyalty to its staff or decide to get out before the rebuild began?
Again, these questions are purely my speculation. But with a (formerly interim) General Manager who declared that his players won’t get by “on scholarship“, it’s fair for fans to take the same approach with him. The “interim” tag came off after he spent a year as the “Interim” General Manager of a 96-loss team. Even those of us who have used past experience as evidence that the organization can right the ship and have stood by the team through thick and thin expect accountability at all levels.
Am I totally off-base? Do you agree? Have another theory? Comment/disagree/discuss/debate below! -PMinell