A few thoughts on Terry Ryan's dismissal as GM:
One Twins official I spoke with on Monday couldn't believe it.
For years, Terry Ryan checked in with ownership and let them know that he was coming back for another year. It was sort of an extension of the handshake agreements he had with the late Carl Pohlad.
The official wanted to know how did the tables get turned?
You can point to many reasons why Ryan is longer the Twins General Manager. I'll point to one.
When he got the starting rotation figured out, he won. When he didn't, he didn't.
He swung deals to add Joe Mays, Eric Milton and then Rick Reed to solidify the rotation. When Milton injured his knee, he used insurance money to sign Kenny Rogers. Later versions of the Twins were anchored by ace Johan Santana. Oh, and Milton was flipped for Carlos Silva, who was functional.
More recently, he just hasn't gotten production from the starting pitching moves he's made. Kevin Correia, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana did not provide stability. Trades for Alex Meyer, Trevor May and Vance Worley didn't help.
The pitching moves haven't worked out, and it has led to problems. I know I'm ignoring some of the lineups the Twins have fielded, but pitching is too important to a club's success.
From a financial standpoint, season ticket renewal forms are headed out next month. The Vikings and their new Palace are reeling in big corporate dollars. The Twins are the least attractive pro sports team in town, as far as being ready to win goes. Switching GM's shows that ownership isn't going to accept losing baseball.
According to sources, Ryan and owner Jim Pohlad had a difference of opinion on how to move forward with the team, which got the wheels turning toward Ryan's dismissal. Good baseball man. Better person. Twins players stood in the clubhouse Monday and appreciated that they always knew where they stood with Ryan, that he was a straight shooter.
But the Twins felt they needed to make a change. How big of one is yet to be seen.
Ryan's employees felt an enormous sense of loyalty to him, especially when he interviewed with the Blue Jays in 2001 and returned to the Twins despite contraction fears. If the Twins bring in someone from outside the organization, there will be plenty of changes. Not just in baseball operations but probably in the minors as well. The Twins might embarking on a path few thought they would head down - bringing someone in to re-write the playbook.
It's too bad Ryan's career will be remembered for the run of losses at the end. He is well-respected around the league. And there was so much energy when he returned to replace Bill Smith, the Twins believed they would be back in the playoffs soon. Didn't happen.
An organization can take so much losing. It eventually caught up to Ron Gardenhire and now Ryan. Ryan will land on his feet if he wants to remain in the game, he's too well-liked not too. And he shouldn't be remembered for how his career with the Twins ended. They rose from the ashes once under his watch. They just couldn't do it twice.