Souhan: Ryan sees himself, manager in same boat

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2013 - 2:30 PM

Yes, Ron Gardenhire's future could depend on how the Twins perform this season, but the same can be said for the GM.

hide

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, left, and general manager Terry Ryan talk before an exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Hammond Stadium, Friday, March 4, 2005, in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Photo: Robert F. Bukaty, Dml - Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

On Sunday, the local baseball franchise held what it hopes will be its last TwinsFest in the Metrodome. You could find a team picture from 2006 with only two current regulars in the frame. By next season, there could be only two players on the Twins roster who played a big-league game in the Dome.

The organizational chart has undergone similar upheaval in the past couple of years. The team has changed general managers, several coaches, the farm director, the minor league staff and the training staff, while making the many alterations that should be expected on a losing team's 40-man roster.

The losing and turnover have led to much speculation about the future of manager Ron Gardenhire. He's entering the last year of his contract. He's seen friends on his coaching staff dismissed or reassigned. He's spoken this winter about being accountable for the team's performance. He's the most visible decision-maker for a franchise that feels pressure to encourage fans to spend copious money at Target Field.

Few big-league managers survive three consecutive losing seasons, and Gardenhire is unlikely to win a division title with this year's roster, which is dependent on young pitching.

Sunday, I asked General Manager Terry Ryan what Gardenhire must do to keep his job. Ryan's answer indicated that Gardenhire may not be in as much jeopardy as people think.

"I don't think people should be too concerned about Ron's future and his status," Ryan said. "I didn't think it was right that any of us start talking about contract extensions after two years of losing 90-plus games. I thought that was the wrong message to send. We've got to be accountable.

"As long as things go according to plan here ... obviously, even if we struggle to some extent, you look at control of the clubhouse, injuries that we should not have to worry about, the professional approach that we all treasure, those are the types of things that I'm looking at more than wins and losses.

"It's no different for me. I'm in the same boat. We're joined at the hip."

Ryan said that he, as well as Gardenhire, is in the last year of his contract. In part, that's because Ryan began his second stint as the team's general manager as a self-described interim employee. During his first stint, he often worked on handshake deals, and since coming back he has not committed to staying on the job long-term.

"We're both on one-year deals here," Ryan said. "I don't think it's any different, his situation and mine. I can't put our ownership in a situation where we're the main decision-makers here and we continue to lose 90 games. That's not right."

Ryan has hired only one major league manager: Gardenhire. For all of the changes Ryan has made in the organization, he has yet to blame Gardenhire publicly for any of the team's failings. If the 2013 team shows promise and plays with professionalism, Ryan might keep Gardenhire around regardless of the final record.

"The circumstances matter," Ryan said. "If we have five, six, seven of our core-type players go down, and it's just, 'OK, they have a broken hamate, what are you going to do?' Are you going to blame Ron Gardenhire? No. That's what I'm talking about."

Whatever optimism the franchise leaders offer in terms of this year's team, there is an understanding throughout the organization that better years are ahead. Through the draft and trades, Ryan has acquired quality young arms, and he has an impressive group of position players rising through the farm system.

Asked if Gardenhire can keep his job if this year's team shows promise, Ryan said, "I would say that's the secret to anyone's future. He's got a job to do and so do I. I would say that he's in about as good of standing as any man that's been around here in a long time."

Ryan could fire Gardenhire this season. Sunday, he seemed to be hinting that he won't. One reading of Ryan's comments is this: Either he and Gardenhire will turn the Twins around together over the next couple of years, or they'll leave the organization joined at the hip.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Detroit «2003100028160
Minnesota0000130206100
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Ryan(2-0) L:C.Fien(5-6) S:J.Soria (18)
HR: DET- T.Hunter (16), M.Cabrera (23) MIN- O.Arcia (18)

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close