The world of baseball and its media usually do not get rocked as much as it did today, July 18, 2016. Today, the Minnesota Twins announced that long-time General Manager Terry Ryan had been relieved of his duties and replaced by Rob Antony. The Twins originally hired Ryan on September 13, 1994 and held the position until 2007, when he stepped down and became a Special Assistant to Bill Smith. After a 99-loss season, the Twins fired Smith and Ryan was named Executive Vice President and General Manager again on November 7, 2011. With his dismissal, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman is now the longest-tenured in the league, being hired in 1998 to replace Bob Watson.
Terry Ryan’s second tenure with the Twins has been one of extremely poor results. It has also been highlighted by the destruction of Ron Gardenhire’s playoff teams, with stalwarts such as Ben Revere, Denard Span, Justin Morneau, and Josh Willingham. There has also been issues with the contracts handed out by the Ryan administration: Ricky Nolasco to a 4 year/$49 million contract, Phil Hughes to a 3 year/$24 million contract and Ervin Santana to a 4 year/$54 million contract. Nolasco has been ineffective, Hughes has been injured and ineffective and Santana was quickly suspended for the use of stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. There is also the problem with failed trades, and while its too early, giving away Aaron Hicks for Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy has failed to improve the Twins.
That said, a young core is developing on the Twins, headlined by Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier. The “captain” in name only, Joe Mauer, is still on the team as the seasoned veteran, along with shortstop Eduardo Nunez, and Ryan deserves credit for setting up for the future. However, there are clear flaws in the way this team has been performing and one could argue the 2015 season (83-79) was just a blip on the radar of overperforming to baseball cards. The 2016 team has been a nightmare (33-58; 17.5 games back of the second Wild Card), with the Twins being the worst team in the American League. Similar to the firing of long-time Twins manager Ron Gardenhire after the 2014 season, the firing of Terry Ryan might be the best for the long-term, even though the bombshell of his firing will hurt a lot right now.
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