WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Sports

Twins GM Ryan Resigns

Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan has resigned yet will stay with the team as a senior adviser.

The GM the past 13 years, Ryan said his resignation was effective Sept. 30. He will be replaced by Bill Smith.

"I felt a lot of elation when we won and sorrow when we lost," Ryan said. "Now all of a sudden the defeats are getting a little harder to take, and the wins aren't as much fun. That's not a good thing to experience as a general manager."

The Twins won the American League Central last season, but they're two games under .500 this season and out of the playoff chase.

Ryan said his decision had nothing to do with the team's record. "If we won 100 games this year or lost 100 games, this was going to happen," he said.

Smith began in the organization as the director of baseball administration in 1989, and he was promoted to assistant general manager at the same time Ryan took over for Andy MacPhail as GM in Sept. 13, 1994 -- exactly 13 years ago Thursday.

Smith's primary responsibilities have been planning for the new ballpark, overseeing the Twins' development academies in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and sharing contract negotiations with Ryan.

"He's one of the best administrators in the game. I don't know what kind of evaluator he is, but he is one solid individual, one of the best executives," a rival GM told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney about Smith. "He'll rely on his people."

The 52-year-old Ryan long has been considered one of baseball's most savvy general managers, working within a limited payroll to build a team that won four AL Central titles in five seasons.

"This is a good thing for me. My health's intact. My marriage is intact. That's a difficult thing to do in baseball," Ryan said.

A native of Wisconsin, Ryan's minor league career with the Twins was cut short by arm trouble. He was a scout for the New York Mets until he was hired as Minnesota's scouting director in 1986. Eight years later, he became general manager.

There were several dark years, and Ryan's hold on his job was tenuous until the 2001 turnaround that ended a streak of eight straight losing seasons by the club. A group of young players, most of them scouted and drafted by Ryan's department, came together that year and set the stage for a successful decade.

The Twins won a weak AL Central in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and in a suddenly deep, difficult division they made a stunning turnaround in 2006 from a 25-33 start to finish 96-66 and take their fourth Central title in the past five years.

"They should name the [new] ballpark after him," the rival GM told Olney.


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