Tag:Bill Smith
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 6:12 pm

Twins fire Smith; Ryan back as interim GM

Terry RyanBy C. Trent Rosecrans

What's old is new again, as the Twins have fired general manager Bill Smith and named former GM Terry Ryan the interim GM.

Smith, who took over for Ryan in 2007, will be offered another job in the organization, owner Jim Pohlad said in a statement released by the team.

"No one in the Twins' organization wants to win any more than Bill," Pohlad said in the release. "He is unquestionably loyal, committed and talented. The Twins goal is to get better in 2012 and beyond. Bill was equally motivated to achieve that goal but we differed in the scope and approach that was required."

Smith has worked for the Twins since 1986. In four seasons as the team's GM, the team went 332-318 with two AL Central titles. He was the man behind the trade of Johan Santana and J.J. Hardy and also signed Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer to lengthy contract extensions. He also sent Wilson Ramos to Washington for Jon Rauch at the trade deadline 2010, which has come under fire as Mauer's injury concerns have increased.

Ryan, 58, was the team's general manager form 1994-2007.

"As we move ahead, I’m looking forward to the challenge of improving this club for 2012 and beyond," Ryan said in the statement. "We have many assets in place including a strong front office, manager, coaching staff and returning core of players. We have a lot of work to do in relation to development of our roster, but I’m optimistic in our collective abilities to ensure the future on-field success of this franchise."

Ryan, according to the release, "will be responsible for succession planning within the baseball department with the intent to identify future leadership candidates."

"The Pohlad family asked me to come in and take over for Bill as interim GM, is that for one year or ten years, I don't know," Ryan said during the team's news conference with Ryan and president Dave St. Peter at Target Field on Monday.

Ryan also announced that former Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky would also re-join the Twins organization as a "professional scout and assistant to the general manager" -- or "interim" general manager. Krivsky left the Twins to take over the Reds in 2006 before being replaced by Walt Jocketty in 2008. Since then he has worked for the Orioles and Mets.

The Twins payroll was around $113 million last season and Ryan said the team would likely be somehwere around $100 million in 2012. 

Miller: Twins shock baseball world in firing GM Smith 

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:13 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 11:15 pm

Hunter may retire after 2012; blasts Twins' Smith


By Evan Brunell

Torii Hunter, right fielder for the Angels, is considering retiring after the 2012 season, he tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Hunter would prefer to retire an Angel but would also consider Minnesota.

''I am going to retire an Angel," Hunter said. ''Next year is my last year, and I'm going to retire an Angel. I'm going to evaluate it this offseason. That's when I'll know. It's 60-40, to the positive, that I'll keep playing."

Earlier this season, Hunter was mired in a bad slump after injuring his quad. That contributed to his .250/.321/.396 in the first half. Since the break, Hunter is slashing .281/.353/.474, which has caused him to reconsider the stance, although the possibility remains very much in play.

''I feel good now, but I was hurt the first two months, and I was just evaluating everything, like, man, I can't move," he said. ''And then it just went away, and now I feel good, so now I'm on the positive side again. 'You don't want to see your skills diminish. You don't want to linger.

"'So if I sign an extension, they'll get first dibs. I want to retire an Angel. If I can't, then why not Minnesota?"

Hunter went on to address his contract situation with Minnesota, saying he feels like it is in a similar position currently with Michael Cuddyer. Hunter, who signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the Angels, said he would have accepted a four- or five-year deal, while Smith would only offer three. Smith has offered Cuddyer a contract extension for two years, which he could double in free agency.

And then Hunter's guns came out, delivering harsh words for GM Bill Smith:

Hunter said the Twins made an offer to him ''just to show people that I turned it down, to make me look bad. Same thing here. Cuddyer is going to make less, as a free agent? I told him before, 'They'll make an offer and people will say, 'You turned down the money, you could have stayed, you're money-hungry.' "

Hunter described Smith as cold.

''He had no heart, no compassion, no nothing," Hunter said. ''Because he wasn't the one who brought me in. [Former GM] Terry Ryan brought me in. Terry Ryan was my dad, my guy. When Bill Smith took over and we had a conversation, I wasn't feeling it. There was no chemistry, nothing between us. It was like I had never played with the Twins."

Noting that the Angels traded for Mark Teixeira during a pennant race in 2008, Hunter said: ''Sometimes I think they have that small mind over there, in that organization. I just feel they never went and got that big piece. Shannon Stewart worked out just fine for us [in 2003], he helped us out a lot, but getting Teixeira, that's big."

Well, if Hunter thought Minnesota was an option if he didn't stay in Los Angeles, I don't think it's one anymore.

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Posted on: October 26, 2010 12:45 am

Monreau improving, says friend

Willie Mitchell Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is expected to be 100 percent by spring training, Twins general manager Bill Smith told Le Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune .

The Star Tribune 's hockey writer, Michael Russo, spoke to Willie Mitchell, a Los Angeles Kings defenseman and good friend of Morneau, about the Twins first baseman. Mitchell, pictured, had his 2009-10 season cut short with a concussion, so in addition to being Morneau's friend, he also has a unique view on Morneau's situation.

"Justin's starting to feel better because he doesn't have all the pressure and stresses," Mitchell said.

Justin Morneau Morneau didn't play after suffering a concussion on July 7 when he was hit in the head by the knee of Toronto's John McDonald at second base. Morneau worked out at Target Field the last week of the season, but wasn't going to play in the postseason regardless.

"He's a really, really passionate guy and he loves the game of baseball, and his experience was almost identical to mine," Mitchell said. "He has his injury, starts to feel a little better, wants to start doing stuff and wants to help out the team because he cares. It was the best time of the year, the stretch run, the playoffs, he tries and he couldn't do it."

Mitchell said he thinks Morneau will be able to recover better now that the season is over and he's not worried about getting back to help out his team.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:17 pm

Morneau doesn't join Twins in Chicago

Justin Morneau Twins general manager Bill Smith refused to call it a "setback" but Justin Morneau didn't join the team in Chicago today as the team had hoped. If not a "setback" is it a "stayback"?

Morneau has been out since suffering a concussion on July 7, but the team had hoped he'd be able to take batting practice today and tomorrow before going on a rehab assignment.

"He's made good progress the last week," Smith told the Minneapolis Star Tribune 's Joe Christensen . "Chicago was a possibility, just like Cleveland was a possibility [this past weekend], depending on how things went last week. But Justin's very comfortable with the facilities at Target Field, so he's going to continue doing his workouts there."

He didn't work out Monday, but is expected to work out Tuesday.

The Twins have been able to keep pace with the White Sox since then, with both teams going 18-10 since Morneau went down. Michael Cuddyer has filled in for Morneau at first and since taking over that position has hit .304/.370/.470 with three home runs and 14 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com