One question surrounding the Twins in recent years has been what the succession plan was for life without billionaire owner Carl Pohlad.
The plan, actually, has been in action for awhile.
Jim Pohlad, Twins CEO and one of Carl's three sons, has had a hand in decisions for years -- especially during the past couple years when his father became increasingly unable to carry out the day-to-day ownership responsibilities.
When big decisions must be made -- multiyear contracts for Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer last year, for instance -- Jim will get together with brothers Bill and Bob, both members of the executive board, before proceeding.
Because this structure has been in place, Jerry Bell, CEO of Twins Sports, Inc., said fans shouldn't worry about the stability of the ownership group. The sons have their father's management style, and Jim likely will blend into the background as much as Carl Pohlad did during his 23-year run as Twins owner.
"[Jim] is never going to be looking for a microphone, believe me," Bell said. "Jim provides a lot of leadership and has a lot of ideas, but he never goes to the media with them. That's always kept internal."
One of Jim Pohlad's first big decisions came after the 1998 season, when the Twins stripped the roster of veterans and played at least 18 rookies in 1999 and 2000.
"Jim really drove that decision to go young and start over," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "I think it really laid the groundwork for our [current] success that was the first indication that Jim was going to be more active."
Clark Griffith, son of former owner Calvin Griffith -- the only other owner in Twins history -- called the Twins' situation "one of the most stable ownerships in baseball."
Clark Griffith stayed in contact with Carl Pohlad in recent years and knows his family fairly well.
"They are baseball fans, and they will do a very good job," Griffith said. "Jim Pohlad and I played on the same softball team last year, and he's a pretty good player. He knows the game and likes it."
Griffith drew an interesting parallel between his father's and Pohlad's tenure as owners when asked if Pohlad's legacy would be tainted by the perception that he didn't spend enough money on players.
"I think he spent money very wisely for players," Griffith said. "I also find it remarkable that in Minnesota, since 1961, we have had arguably the poorest owner in the business [Calvin Griffith] and the wealthiest owner [Carl Pohlad] in the business and both operated the same way.''
Former Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek developed a close relationship with Carl Pohlad through the years and remembers when Pohlad would bring his banker friends into the clubhouse and ask him, bashfully, if he would shake hands with them.
"He was one of those guys I thought would live forever," Hrbek said. "I felt pretty close to him so this has been a tough day."
And while Pohlad was known for his incessant pursuit of business deals, he also cared for his Twins employees.
"Every time I saw him, Mr. Pohlad would say, 'Is there anything I can do for you? Do you need anything?' " former Twins manager Tom Kelly said. "I wish I would've had something to say, but you know me ... I don't need anything.
"There was the time, though, when my Dad was sick before he passed away. And Mr. Pohlad gave us his private plane to go to Florida and bring my Dad back to New Jersey. That was a big thing to me ... a kindness from Carl that I'll always remember."