MINNEAPOLIS -- Terry Ryan was relieved of his duties as the Twins' executive vice president and general manager on Monday, with assistant GM Rob Antony replacing him on an interim basis through the end of the 2016 season. The Twins have not yet begun the search for Ryan's full-time replacement,
MINNEAPOLIS -- Terry Ryan was relieved of his duties as the Twins' executive vice president and general manager on Monday, with assistant GM Rob Antony replacing him on an interim basis through the end of the 2016 season. The Twins have not yet begun the search for Ryan's full-time replacement, but they hope to fill the position before the offseason begins.
"Since joining our organization as a player in 1972, Terry has been a dedicated, loyal and respected member of the Minnesota Twins family," Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said in announcing the dismissal. "Terry has been a gifted leader of the baseball department for over 18 seasons. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to our game, our team and the Upper Midwest baseball community.
"The decision to part ways with Terry was difficult, painful and not obvious. We are extremely grateful and very thankful to Terry, his wife Karilyn and their family for being a part of the Minnesota Twins."
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Pohlad informed Ryan a month ago that he planned to pursue new leadership for the 2017 season. After taking the time to think about the transition, Ryan told team management in a meeting on Friday that he wanted to step aside immediately instead of waiting until the end of the season.
"He said, 'OK, if you've decided to make the change, let's get on with it,'" Pohlad said. "That led to this -- in our view -- accelerated process that resulted in the announcement today."
Although Ryan was given the option to remain in his post through 2016, team president Dave St. Peter believes Ryan chose to step aside in order to give the Twins a chance to begin their search process in earnest in a timely manner.
"[Ryan] is very familiar with the baseball calendar, and I can assure you he was never going to put us in the position to not have the best chance to have the best candidates," St. Peter said. "I'm not saying it's the reason, but one of the reasons he chose to step aside when he did is to give us the chance to get that process going."
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According to St. Peter, Antony was unaware of the move until he was informed late during Sunday's game. St. Peter and Pohlad also met with Twins manager Paul Molitor after the game.
Ryan was named to the position in November 2011 after spending the previous four seasons as a special assistant to the general manager. He was previously named Minnesota's fourth GM in September 1994, and he held that position until stepping down following the 2007 season. The Twins finished in first place four times from 2002-06, but they lost four of five playoff series during that time.
This year's Twins are 33-58 and 21 games out of first place in the American League Central entering play Monday.
Pohlad said that Ryan isn't being singled out for the Twins' prolonged struggles this season, but that the team's recent issues have made it clear that the organization needs to change its approach. Pohlad felt that the best way to achieve this was by pursuing a change in leadership.
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"I think [Ryan is] disappointed that the results of the last few years are not what he wanted, for sure," Pohlad said. "He feels like he lost our confidence. I don't want to speak on his behalf, but that's my inference. He was very professional, and he pledged full cooperation. We don't know yet what Terry's future will be, and we don't know what his future will be with our organization."
"While disappointed we were unable to bring Minnesota a third world championship, I leave the GM post with immense pride in being part of the Twins organization for the better part of three decades," Ryan said.
"I'm grateful for the leadership opportunities provided by the Pohlad family; the collaboration and talents of my colleagues in the front office; the hard work and dedication of our manager, coaches and clubhouse personnel; the commitment and professionalism of our players; the passion and attention to detail of our Minor League staff and scouts; and most importantly, the incredible support of our fans.
"It's been an honor to be part of the Twins organization, and I wish everyone nothing but the best going forward."
Ryan began his Twins career in 1972 after Minnesota selected him in the 35th round of that year's Draft, and he pitched in the Twins' Minor League system for four seasons before an arm injury ended his playing career.
Ryan was named the Twins' scouting director in 1986, and he was also the vice president of player personnel before becoming GM. He was the Mets' Midwest scouting supervisor for six years prior.
According to Pohlad, Ryan plans to take some time away from the Twins before coming to a decision about his future. Pohlad and St. Peter believe strongly in Ryan's scouting ability, and they hope that the organization can retain Ryan in such a capacity moving forward.
"Terry is a scout at heart," St. Peter said. "I still believe to this day there's nobody in our organization that has a better eye for talent than Terry Ryan."
Antony is in his 29th season in the Twins organization and his ninth as assistant GM after being named to that post in September 2007. The title of vice president was added in December 2013.
Antony was originally hired to be assistant director of media relations in 1988 after graduating from the University of Minnesota. In June 1991, he was promoted to director of media relations and held that post until December 1995, when he was promoted to director of baseball operations.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.