There was nothing earth-shattering in the letter, which was also accompanied by the press release the Twins sent out Monday announcing the move. St. Peter thanked Smith for his service and said "going forward, we intend to have additional discussions with Bill about an ongoing role aimed at maximizing his many talents for this organization." He also said of Ryan: "We have significant work ahead, but feel that Terry's track record, leadership skills, knowledge of our system and relationship skills across MLB give us the best possible chance to win."
Like we said, pretty simple stuff. But it did strike us as interesting that the Twins would send out a letter about something that isn't entirely good publicity. However they frame it, the firing of Smith acknowledges a failure. We decided to follow up with St. Peter via e-mail today, asking if there is a greater emphasis on transparency and sharing information with fans -- good or bad -- after last year's 99-loss, lack-of-accountability season.
In a pair of (lightning fast) e-mail responses, here is what St. Peter wrote to us: "The letter you received is similar to other correspondence we have sent over the years. This type of letter is typically sent in conjunction with major organizational changes, player transactions or MLB news. ... Keep in mind this is the first time in club history we have dismissed a GM. To your follow up question, I don't believe there has been any change in our communication strategy or level of transparency. My belief is that we have always worked to be accessible, honest and direct."
Since we've only been getting season tickets since 2009, we suppose there really haven't been many "negative" letters to send in previous offseasons. Perhaps that's why we were so struck by this one. Was anyone else similarly surprised to receive the letter or to know it was sent?