The Minnesota Twins have fired general manager Bill Smith and brought back Terry Ryan to replace Smith on an interim basis, the club announced today. The timing of this decision couldn't have came at a worse time, with signings and trades already taking place, so there must be something more to the story here. We'll update this post as the news comes in.
In a release statement, owner Jim Pohlad said the organization would speak to Bill Smith "about an ongoing role within the organization."
Links after the jump.
Bill Smith Fired As Twins GM, Replaced By Terry Ryan On Interim Basis - Twinkie Town
"Twins fans had not been happy with several of Smith's moves, chief among them the decision to trade shortstop J.J. Hardy to Baltimore following an injury-plagued 2010 season, despite not having a major league-ready shortstop to replace him. Smith also was pilloried for trading up-and-coming young catcher Wilson Ramos to Washington for reliever Matt Capps in the summer of 2010, despite Capps being a middling reliever and closer and Ramos being the insurance policy for Joe Mauer. Both of those moves went on to backfire spectacularly, as the Twins were treated to the comedy batting stylings of Drew Butera and the incompetent fielding of Trevor Plouffe and Tsuyoshi Nishioka for much of 2011."
Terry Ryan to replace Bill Smith - Bollinger Beat
"The Twins won two American League Central Division titles (2009-10) under Smith and narrowly missed another chance at the postseason when they lost in a dramatic Game 163 to the White Sox in ’08. But the club never won a postseason game during his tenure, and lost 99 games last season."
Twins Fire GM Bill Smith, Bring Back Terry Ryan As Interim GM - Baseball Nation (Neyer)
"It's hard to blame Smith for the injuries that practically wiped out Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, the franchise's biggest stars. And it's probably too early to tell if Smith has overseen productive amateur drafts and international signings. But after a season like this, someone's usually going to take a fall and apparently Ron Gardenhire's not going anywhere."