The sun still rose in the east this morning just as it always has but the difference is that Terry Ryan is no longer the Twins GM. Lots of Twins fans are happy that Ryan is gone and many are sad and disappointed. I am never happy to see someone lose their job, especially a job they love.
But life moves on, and almost 48 hours after the announcement I think I would like to jot down some thoughts and questions that come to mind.
My over-riding thought about the situation is that I now have a different opinion of owner Jim Pohlad. I had originally thought that he was a hands off owner and that he would let his brain-trust run the Minnesota Twins organization. Now it appears to me that is not the case, in true Pohlad fashion he is taking charge and showing everyone that he who holds the gold makes the rules. There is nothing wrong with that, just don’t try to blow smoke up my skirt saying that you let the experts run the show. What I don’t understand about this announcement is why Pohlad would tell Ryan that his contract would not be renewed after the season ended? Why tell your GM in June that his services are no longer required but that he can run the team for the rest of the season if he wishes to do so? I guess that the team just did not want to announce a “firing”, they would have preferred simply not renewing his contract. Another thing, why would Pohlad say that the only stipulation for a new GM is that Paul Molitor will manage in 2017? Only Jim Pohlad and Dave St. Peter know for sure.
If Molitor manages this team in 2017 I will be shocked because I see him walking away after this season. What big league manager wants to be a lame duck manager and what GM wants the manager forced upon him? Molitors’ track record isn’t exactly a thing of beauty and I see nothing in his management skills that stands out so I have no issue with a new manager.
I think that Ryan leaving will usher a new era of Twins baseball into Minnesota, maybe it will be better, maybe it won’t, only time will tell. I think that for some time now the Minnesota Twins organization has been basically a “country club.” An old school business run the way businesses have been run in the past where as you have a job for life unless you screw up big time and results didn’t make that much difference. The team got a new stadium in 2010 and lots of new money but the organization still ran the team like it had in the past. As the team spiraled down, down, down for a number of years the organization leadership refused to adopt new ways and new ideas. The Twins still believed in the “Twins way” but refused to update the “Twins way” and then asked what the hell happened.
With a couple of weeks before the trade deadline the team finds itself in the hands of interim GM Rob Antony and I feel bad for him because I can see no way short of a miracle change in the teams play that he gets the gig without the interim label. The new GM will likely make dramatic changes to the organization and that could mean that former Twins organization staples such as Tom Kelly, Wayne Krivsky, Mike Radcliff, and Deron Johnson and others will be put out to pasture. How Deron Johnson has kept his job this long has baffled me for years.
The one person that remains a constant in this Twins organization is President Dave St. Peter. St. Peter joined the organization in 1990 and worked his way up the organization and in November of 2002 became the fourth president in team history. There is no one in the Twins organization that has Jim Pohlad’s ear like Dave St. Peter does. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, during his tenure as team president the team is 1,091-1,110. Most people perceive him as the business guy but I believe he has far more influence in the Twins organization than that. Native North Dakotan Dave St. Peter is a master politician and these skills have served him well. I consider Dave St. Peter kind of a “teflon man”, nothing bad seems to stick to him.
All we can wait and see what happens next, if I am in Rob Antony shoes I try to swing a big deal or two to improve the team and see what happens, what do I have to lose? My future in Minnesota is basically do what I have been if the new guy likes me and if he doesn’t I am history anyway. Why not try to make an impression and see what happens? Good luck Mr, Antony cause you really need it.