Minnesota Twins “Relieve GM Terry Ryan of His Duties”

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Nov 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan shakes hands with manager Paul Molitor and chief executive officer Jim Pohlad at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan shakes hands with manager Paul Molitor and chief executive officer Jim Pohlad at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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In a Shocking Move, Minnesota Twins Fire Terry Ryan Today

In a press release, the Minnesota Twins informed the press that the “Minnesota Twins General Manager Terry Ryan has been relieved of his duties.”

Assistant GM, Rob Antony, will assume the general manager’s duties on an interim basis.

Wow. Just let that settle in for a minute.

Yes, the Twins have been historically bad this season, but the Twins are not the team known for making in-season moves, especially as Earth-shaking as this.

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Most had assumed that they would allow their long-time employee, and friend, to “retire” at the end of this season. Ryan has been under the employ of the Twins since 1972. A long-time scout with the Twins, he was at one time the Scouting Director for Minnesota under Andy MacPhail.

During his first run as General Manager, Ryan seemed to get the best of most deals. His most famous Rule 5 deal was a trade for future Cy Young winner, Johan Santana.

Ryan was also responsible for the legendary trade of A.J. Pierzynski and cash for closer Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser.

Of course, his “best” trade was trading Dave Hollins to Seattle for David Ortiz. Unfortunately, his release by the Twins a few seasons later – and subsequent Hall of Fame career with Boston – also hung heavy over the Twins’ front office.

Here’s the press release by the Twins on Twitter today:

Speculation now begins on whether owner Jim Pohlad had asked Ryan about his future and stepping down, or if this was to “shake things up” and deflect criticism away from manager Paul Molitor.

Either way, this isn’t the “Twins Way” of conducting business. Even baseball insiders are shocked.

In the past 30 years, the Minnesota Twins have employed only three GM’s: Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan, and Bill Smith. Ryan re-assumed the mantle after stepping aside for four seasons during Smith’s time on the job from 2008-2011.

The biggest questions regarding the Twins’ immediate future revolve around the July 31st trading deadline. Perhaps Pohlad and Ryan disagreed over who should and should not be traded.

Either way, Antony will be put to the test right out of the gate as his fellow GM’s will try to take advantage of his position.

In any event, hopefully the Minnesota Twins will usher in the new era beginning this month. Something they should have done after their second long losing streak that doomed 2016.

Play the young players. Get them their innings and at-bats now.

Find new homes for veterans like Ricky Nolasco, Eduardo Nunez, and Trevor Plouffe, thereby opening the doors for players such as Jose Berrios, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano.

By not having them in the lineup at the major league level, you are only pushing back the learning curve further into next year and the year after.

Maybe this is what owner Jim Pohlad wanted.

Next: Is Trading Plouffe Wise?

As reserved as the Minnesota Twins are, we may never get all the answers as to why Ryan was fired. But this is definitely Step One.

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