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Continued: Shakeup like this might only work for the Twins

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 17, 2007 - 12:24 AM

"Just because there is so much continuity," Towers said. "People just like working there so much. They're not trying to jump over each other. They're comfortable with one another. They like one another. I think that's why you see very few people -- scouts or anyone -- leave the organization."

Baltimore Orioles President Andy MacPhail said the Twins' new alignment reminds him of the way the team was structured when he was GM and his top talent evaluators were Bob Gebhard and Ryan.

"There is such a variety of responsibilities that are required of a general manager today that there is no candidate who possesses all of the talents," MacPhail said. "You have to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and those that are weaknesses, you have to surround yourself with people who can do them better."

When it comes to trades and the free-agent market, Smith can rely on Ryan, Radcliff and the team's other respected scouts. On contract negotiations, Antony moves to the foreground, and Ryan can wash his hands of them.

Ryan said player agents won't miss him one bit. But veteran agent Alan Meersand disagrees.

"I respect Terry as much as any GM in the game," he said. "He's a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. And Bill's a carbon copy of Terry, so the Twins aren't in any kind of trouble."

Smith might be well-liked, but he could wind up looking like the bad guy if the Twins can't keep Hunter, Santana and the others. In general, Meersand doesn't expect the financial strategy to change.

"It's not like Terry's a cheapskate; he's not," Meersand said. "There's an old saying that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In this case, the tree is Carl Pohlad. Terry's an apple. Bill's an apple. Mike Radcliff's an apple, too. They're all on the same page."

Lack of support hits Santana again

Pitcher gets off to slow start, but hitters never get started. Story on C7

Tigers 4

Twins 3

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