His taste buds haven’t come all the way back and he looks a tad more slender, but Twins General Manager Terry Ryan is back in Florida for spring training after missing most of camp last year.
“A year ago, I was probably on my back,’ ” Ryan said, “so I’m much happier.”
Except for a brief visit in late March, Ryan missed spring training as he recovered from squamous cell carcinoma on his neck. The rest of the of the baseball department had to pick up the slack as Ryan spent the first two months of the season undergoing radiation treatments following that February surgery.
“Number one, no one wanted to go into his office,” said Rob Antony, the Twins assistant general manager. “So that sat empty with our 40-man rosters in there.”
The club had to hold the fort until Ryan was ready to take back at least some of his duties. Antony had to make decisions until then. And try not to do anything radical.
“My mentality was to not screw anything up and hand him back the team in good shape,” he said.
Ryan eventually was able to take on a chunk of his duties. His taste buds still haven’t totally recovered after more than a year, but he has been told by doctors that he should eventually get them back.
On Tuesday, Ryan looked like his old self while sitting in his office in a newly renovated stadium. The entire third floor was redone, so Ryan’s office now looks out over Hammond Stadium.
“This is nice here,” Ryan said. “The facility, the weather, the ongoings in baseball. I’m sure there isn’t a better time of year for baseball people than the first 10 days of spring training because everything is optimistic, most everybody is healthy, there’s an appetite for the game. And coming from Minnesota to Florida is not that all bad of duty.”