Earlier today, Bill Smith stepped down as the Twins general manager with Terry Ryan named as the interim gm. In the four seasons Smith was at the helm, the Twins won two division titles ((2009 and 2010) and nearly won one in 2008 only to lose in game 163 to the Chicago White Sox thanks to Jim Thome hitting a solo home run, giving the Sox a 1-0 victory to go on to the playoffs.
According to Twins president Dave St. Peter, Smith stepped down as gm because of philosophy differences. There had been discussions between St. Peter, Twins owner Jim Pohlad and Smith for several months and it was concluded that the best thing to do was for him to step down.
We don’t know what the philosophy differences were, but I’ve some good guesses as to what they might be.
The one I see as being the most likely is the fact that Smith has not had a whole lot of success when it comes towards trading players. The best trade Smith was involved in was us getting Orlando Cabrera in July of 2009 to help lead us to a central division title. You could also make a case that the Jason Bartlet/Matt Garza trade didn’t exactly work out the way we would have liked it when we acquired Delmon Young in that deal.
You could also say that there could possibly be differences on how to deal with injuries. However, I don’t know if this is as likely. One thing I will say is Smith was pushing for players to be at 100 percent when they played, then that should be a concern. A real expectation is players are going to have various ailments throughout the season and to expect them to be pain free when playing is not a reasonable expectation.
The reason I don’t see this as likely being the reason for Smith to leave is unlikely. Players like Justin Morneau were suffering from serious enough injuries that you had to be careful with the injury.
And, who knows what the Twins will do for a replacemen gm. From what I can read into Ryan’s comments, I wouldn’t at all be surprised that he remains as gm. At the same time, Ryan has indicated that he doesn’t know how long he will remain as gm if it would be for 1 year or 10.
The candidate that I can think of as likely being the replacement gm is former assistant gm Wayne Krivsky who has also been general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. However, the Twins are as of now planning to rehire him as a sscout and assistant to the general manager.