The Minnesota Twins made a surprise announcement on Monday afternoon, deciding that Terry Ryan will be named the team's interim general manager, replacing Bill Smith. Ryan previously held the role as Twins GM from 1994-2007 before Smith took over for the past few seasons.
The Twins had an awful season last year, finishing 63-99 and in last place in the division after making the playoffs the previous two seasons. Though Ryan only has the interim tag for now, the organization sent its well wishes on Smith's future endeavors in a press release.
"No one in the Twins' organization wants to win any more than Bill," Twins Owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said. "He is unquestionably loyal, committed and talented. The Twins goal is to get better in 2012 and beyond. Bill was equally motivated to achieve that goal but we differed in the scope and approach that was required. Going forward, we intend to have additional discussions with Bill about an ongoing role within the organization. We wish Bill, Becky and the entire Smith family nothing but the best.
"We are fortunate and grateful for Terry Ryan's willingness to step in as interim general manager," Pohlad continued.
Ryan, who will reprise his role as general manager after being the Senior Advisor to the General Manager while Smith was in charge, has a positive out look going for him.
"As we move ahead, I'm looking forward to the challenge of improving this club for 2012 and beyond," Ryan said. "We have many assets in place including a strong front office, manager, coaching staff and returning core of players. We have a lot of work to do in relation to development of our roster, but I'm optimistic in our collective abilities to ensure the future on-field success of this franchise."
The Twins have quite a bit of work to do this offseason, but hopefully Ryan can get the team back its winning ways -- or at least not flirt with losing 100 games as they nearly did last season.