Last of the best - GMs/Owners
Posted by mikelink45 , 06 March 2019 · 1,590 views
griffith pohlad terry ryan andy macphail minnesota twins
The Best Twins General Manager and owner - really a difficult task - the manager, the owner, the GM, the players - who do you blame?
• Calvin Griffith. (1961 – 1984) It is not a long list since Calvin served as both owner and general manager. We won a World Series under Calvin, he moved the team to Minnesota, he insulted and lost Rod Carew.
• Howard Fox. (1985 – 1986) He was a member of the Twins organization for sixty years. When he was traveling secretary, he had a fight with Billy Martin on the team plane. After Calvin sold the team he stayed on as team president for two years under Pohlad.
• Andy MacPhail (Won WS twice in 1987 and 1991) Andy was the boy wonder. He was hired as VP for player development in 1984 and GM in 1985. He hired Tom Kelly, and traded for Jeff Reardon to close out games and pitchers Joe Niekro and Dan Schatzeder as well as outfielder Dan Gladden. Then after a last place finish in signed Jack Morris and we went on to another pennant while McPhail became Sporting News Executive of the Year. He then left for Chicago Cubs, which did not work out as well. Now he is president of the free spending Phillies.
• Terry Ryan (1995-2007, again from 2012 - 2016) From Janesville, WI, Ryan had an unsuccessful career as a pitcher, but became a prolific scout for the Mets where he developed his reputation for player evaluation. He was smart enough to trade Dave Hollins to Seattle for David Ortiz, but did not keep him long enough to see his true development. Stuck with tight budgets he often dumped vets, but was savvy enough to trade for Shannon Stewart when the team needed him. In 2002 the Twins were the victors over Oakland in the playoffs, and he was named executive of the year while the team was the Organization of the year. He left with a good reputation, but returned in 2012 and lost some of his luster as the changing times caught up with him.
• Bill Smith (2008-2011) was Ryan’s replacement. He was a loyal member of the front office and assistant to Ryan. However his star never rose and names like Matt Capps will forever stain his reputation. He was fired, the first GM to be fired by the team and Ryan came back.
• Terry Ryan became the second GM fired by the Twins, but then there are not very many and perhaps the first one would have been fired had he not owned the team.
• Rob Antony (interim 2016) A filler, not much to say.
• Thad Levine (2016-present) Too early to tell.
So how do I judge the best. We won world series under Griffith and MacPhail. Ryan and MacPhail both won Executive of the year.
Average wins per season under GM
Griffith 80 wins
Ryan – first round 85
Bill Smith 83
Terry Ryan – second round 71
At the end of this look and after reading a lot of material I conclude that I cannot really judge. MacPhail looked like the Wonderman, but his teams could not sustain. Was he the best? He could not do it with the Cubs and he went higher in the front office with the Phillies who have not done well, but have now tried to buy the championship. Ryan has the best average wins under his first stint.
Of course, this also reflects on the manager – these are the men who sign the players. They determine what the manager has to work with. It is really hard to figure out a really good metric for them. Was Calvin better than MacPhail – he has more wins per season – but long time Twins fans would faint at that decision.
I am not going to do a best owner – Calvin is here and was the owner until Carl Pohlad bought the team and then son Jim took over. Not a lot to look at and not a lot of difference. One WS under Calvin, 2 under the Pohlads. One contraction threat under the Pohlads, lots of racist statements from Calvin. The average wins per season does not vary much between the two families. So I have no choice in this and only hope the next one is the best.
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