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Interesting interview with Terry Ryan

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#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

Just out of curiosity, who were some of the FAs that he wasn't able to sign that would have actually signed here to help finish the build?

IMO, the Twins are a long way from "finishing up the build"... I'm just skeptical that Ryan is the guy to do that when the time comes.

 

Right now, the Twins are on the tail end of a rebuild... Maybe they're at the 75% mark. Next season, they *should* be around the 90% mark if things break right with Buxton and Sano.

 

Which means the 2015 offseason is when things should get really interesting. Do you start building for a winner or sit on your hands for another season?


#22 JB_Iowa

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:24 AM

Terry Ryan has responsibility for what happened under Smith's tenure.  He was his designated replacement and he left difficult issues on the table for him to deal with.

 

You can't say that Ryan's tenure started in 2011 -- his tenure as GM started in 1994.

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#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:27 AM

Terry Ryan has responsibility for what happened under Smith's tenure.  He was his designated replacement and he left difficult issues on the table for him to deal with.

 

You can't say that Ryan's tenure started in 2011 -- his tenure as GM started in 1994.

Sure, but you also can't blame Ryan for Smith trading a young starter for a problem child outfielder who can't play the outfield.

 

We can't know for certain but I'm comfortable in saying there's a 99% chance Garza is on the Twins through his control seasons if Ryan stays at the helm. He traded one pitcher worth noting during his long tenure with the Twins - Kyle Lohse - who was pretty awful in his last season and had been relegated to the bullpen. As far as I can remember, he has never traded a young starting pitcher with upside.

 

Garza is one player but he's a 2-4 win player. He makes the Twins better from 2008-2011 and given the collapse, the Twins probably move him and the rebuild is that much stronger at this point.


#24 JB_Iowa

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:31 AM

Sure, but you also can't blame Ryan for Smith trading a young starter for a problem child outfielder who can't play the outfield.

 

We can't know for certain but I'm comfortable in saying there's a 99% chance Garza is on the Twins through his control seasons if Ryan stays at the helm. He traded one pitcher worth noting during his long tenure with the Twins - Kyle Lohse - who was pretty awful in his last season and had been relegated to the bullpen. As far as I can remember, he has never traded a young starting pitcher with upside.

 

Garza is one player but he's a 2-4 win player. He makes the Twins better from 2008-2011 and given the collapse, the Twins probably move him and the rebuild is that much stronger at this point.

 

I'm not blaming Ryan for specific moves in Smith's tenure -- but for its overall results.  There were some good things under Smith, some bad things under Smith and some things that Ryan left hanging that were pretty much guaranteed to turn out badly..  

 

Overall, I see Ryan as generally responsible for what happened during his sabbatical.

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#25 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:38 AM

In my opinion the biggest contribution of Ryan to the current mess was not the farm system atrophying, that is over stated as there was still some talent on the farm and young pieces on the mlb roster, but the fact he didn't provide better resolution to the Hunter and Santana situations at the 2007 deadline. He had an opportunity to move guys that weren't going to stay and punted, did a half baked sell job instead, and limped to mediocre a finish leaving Smith in a tough spot to begin his tenure.

The Twins were only 6 GB at the deadline, had been a pretty good second half team the previous few years and were stuck in a weird season - Mauer and Cuddy were constantly nicked up and Morneau faded badly.  I don't think he could have moved Hunter at the deadline.  And Hunter was going to get us two draft picks at a minimum.  (Also, stat heads thought Hunter was wildly overrated at that time.  It was after he left us that b-r tweaked WAR and showed that he was a 3.5-4.0 WAR guy).  When he traded Castillo (so that promising rookie Castilla could get some playing time and got us Drew Buetera), fans went nuts about the team throwing up the white flag.  

 

As for Santana, he couldn't have moved him w/1.5 years left on his contract while the taxpayers were about to agree to build the team a new stadium.  He may have been able to get a better trade than Smith though in the offseason.  


#26 tobi0040

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:48 AM

The problem with placing blame on the GM is we don't really know what strings are being pulled by the ownership group.What the budget was, etc.Terry says every year we can do everything we can every offseason, but he can't really say anything else.

 

For example, if it is true that Bill Smith came in and presented his 2012 plan that included doubling down on aging vets that won 66 games and was canned.....then Terry was hired for a rebuild.....he has done about as good of a job as he couldhave done. Under that scenario, 2/10 for Corriea and the Pelfrey signing was probably all that he had in his budget for. If ownwership wanted a rebuild, which by all actions is appears, I think it is unfair to say the signing of Correia did not do exactly what we wanted and had the budget for (eat innings at around an MLB average ERA). 

 

Regarding the trades, Meyer will be starting game 1 of our next playoff game and Span has aged/regressed a ton.That was a great trade regardless of when Meyer is up. Revere is hitting .310 with a .690 OPS (all singles), career .660 OPS, stealing bases and has a noodle arm in the OF.I would rather have May right now regardless of how his first few starts have gone.His floor is a very good bullpen guy which I would rather have for Revere, especially given that Revere would be fighting for a corner spot on our team and you just can't have him in a corner.

Edited by tobi0040, 29 August 2014 - 08:52 AM.


#27 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:59 AM

Don't agree that Ryan was responsible for the rotting of the minor league system - that responsibility falls squarely on Ryan's overmatched successor.When the Pohlad's brought Ryan back, I figured it would be a 3-4 year process to get back to respectibility and competing for the post-season.The model has fundamentally changed in that you can't do it solely through free agency anymore.There are a few players that Ryan might have signed to shorter contracts that would have made watching this team more palatable over the last three years, but those players would have had to be willing to sign here.I don't believe there were many upgrades that were willing.That probably changes a little in the upcoming years as the prospects are starting to arrive and potential free agents can better see how the team will be competitive during their contract period, but now we can be more selective - don't need 32 to 35 year olds larding up the roster.

 

if it takes 4 years for a player to make the majors......and in Smith's time there weren't enough minor leaguers to call up....who was the GM when those guys were drafted, Smith, or Ryan? this isn't actualyl a hard question to answer. Ryan was.

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What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#28 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:05 AM

I agree that part of the 2011-2014 collapse is on Ryan.

 

On the other hand, does Ryan trade Garza going into a season where he's also going to lose Santana? Does he trade Wilson Ramos?

 

If the Twins have/had those two players, how different is 2011-2014?

 

Bill Smith took a bad situation and made it so much worse. I can not see a situation where Ryan trades an up-and-coming young starter and a promising young catcher. With those two pieces, the past eight years look a whole lot different.

 

He probably doesn't make those specific trades as constituted, but he also might have done absolutely nothing and watched Garza's injury issues and attitude problems turn him into a far less valuable player.  

 

Smith actually did very well building that 2010 team using FA in a way Ryan had never managed even a fraction of.  The bang he got for his buck was simply outstanding.  Not to mention the fact that we like to absolve Ryan of his failures due to "luck" - reports were that Cliff Lee was all but signed, sealed, and delivered for Hicks and Ramos before Ramos got hurt.  (A pattern that has hardly changed in his career)

 

Even still, Smith bungled some moves horribly, but I'd argue none of them were as impactful as stringing along Hunter and Johan into the debacles those turned out to be.  Those were two premium talents that Ryan basically let get away by hard line negotiating tactics and low-ball offers.  Ramos and Garza pale in comparison, talent-wise, to those two mistakes.


#29 Boom Boom

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

The buck ultimately stops at the GMs desk on player trades.Smith deserves some criticism.

 

However, the GM is often working at the recommendation of scouts and other advisers, and the ones that Smith had to work with are largely the same ones that are still working under Ryan, including Ryan himself. 

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#30 tobi0040

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:17 AM

If some criticize the moves he did make, I think it is fair to look at the moves he didn't make.Maybe he didn't have many better options? 

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#31 Thrylos

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

This article contains some interesting statements by Terry Ryan, including the following:

 

Pohlad said last fall that Ryan’s job is safe as long as he wants it. Ryan said he appreciates the sentiment, “but everybody’s got a breaking point,” and he doesn’t believe he deserves such loyalty. “I would never hold Jim Pohlad to that statement, because it wouldn’t be fair to him,” Ryan said. “We’re losing way too many games here for anybody to put that kind of faith in anyone.”

 

I admire Ryan's admission that there is some basis for terminating him and hiring a different GM.  Maybe this is false modesty, but after reading the entire article, my sense is that Ryan is being sincere.

 

Even though I totally agree with that statement by Ryan, I have hard time reconciling it with Ryan's previous statement saying (paraphrasing) : "If I am back in 2015, Gardy will be back".

 

Those are 2 apparently conflicting statements and just about a week apart.I don't doubt his sincerity. The one way these statements do not conflict is if Ryan is not back in 2015...

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#32 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:19 AM

Honesty as Ryan demonstrated in that quote is not uncommon as it is strategically the right thing to say.However it wasn't just honest, it was extremely frank. 

 

Usually such statements are hedged with auxillary comments like "I like the direction this club is heading" or "We have a solid foundation to build on now."Those kind of comments always tend to sound like passive excuses to me. 

 

None of those self-serving qualifiers were here though, just a flat out statement that his team is losing too much and no one deserves unconditional job security.Much respect from me Mr. Ryan.

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#33 Thrylos

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:25 AM

I've been an advocate for a change from the top on down for a some time.  While I can acknowledge that Ryan does have talents and has begun to 'right the ship,' he saw the ship go awry to begin with.  I think the minors are in good shape and now is the time to let go.  The only worry I would have with his departure would be if the Twins replaced him internally.  I think not only is it time for Ryan to step down, I think it's time for a fresh perspective.  If the Twins are only going to replace him from within, I'd rather he just stayed.  What's that saying ... better the devil you know, than the devil you don't?  (And I'm not saying Ryan is the devil here, it's just a turn of a phrase.)

 

I've been an advocate for a change from the top on down for a some time.  While I can acknowledge that Ryan does have talents and has begun to 'right the ship,' he saw the ship go awry to begin with.  I think the minors are in good shape and now is the time to let go.  The only worry I would have with his departure would be if the Twins replaced him internally.  I think not only is it time for Ryan to step down, I think it's time for a fresh perspective.  If the Twins are only going to replace him from within, I'd rather he just stayed.  What's that saying ... better the devil you know, than the devil you don't?  (And I'm not saying Ryan is the devil here, it's just a turn of a phrase.)

 

Totally agree.And if the replacement is the known devil heir apparent (Antony,) I'd rather have Ryan.

 

One little addition (and some food for thought) :Top down does not begin with Ryan.Top down begins with St. Peter. Maybe the overall issue here is that he is not a baseball man.Most of the other teams have baseball people in the top of their hierarchy.Maybe that's what the Twins needs to succeed.

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#34 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

If some criticize the moves he did make, I think it is fair to look at the moves he didn't make.Maybe he didn't have many better options? 

 

All this question does is get into a whole web of assumptions, counter-factuals, and red herrings.  Basically this question relies on this:

 

If there are options for Terry Ryan to sign, then he'd make the team better.  Except the posters asking this question never accept that there were indeed options for him to sign, so therefore he never had a true chance to make the team better.

 

The question is designed, from the outset, to prove Ryan never had a chance to make the team any better because they'll never accept the antecedent to be true.  I think there are many, many things that have stood in the way of Ryan improving the team over the years, but I also believe it's still his job to find a way to do it regardless of those obstacles.  So this entire question basically absolves him of the responsibilities to the product he put on the field, regardless of how much you disagree or agree with arm-chair GM suggestions.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 29 August 2014 - 09:30 AM.

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#35 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:29 AM

if it takes 4 years for a player to make the majors......and in Smith's time there weren't enough minor leaguers to call up....who was the GM when those guys were drafted, Smith, or Ryan? this isn't actualyl a hard question to answer. Ryan was.

When did the minor league system really fail us though?  I'd say 2011.  Again, Ryan's last years had several top 100 guys - his last drafts were much better than people pretend to claim.  In 07 we had one pick in the top 90 - Ben Revere, who ended up being a decent pick.  The team has had problems since 2011 b/c of the collapse of the minor leagues (which is a normal cycle that all teams go through).

 

In 2010, the Twins got some nice support from guys like Valencia (2 WAR season) and Duensing (who lost his rookie status in 09). And that team was mostly home grown w/smart FA additions to complement it.  Trying to pin the 2011 collapse on the 04-06 drafts is greatly over simplifying the problems.

 

The Twins have had very little bang since Deron Johnson took over the draft.  In 08, he had 3 first round picks, Hicks might still be a player but Hunt and Gutierrez are long gone.  09 was Gibson, a bunch of failed flame throwers and Dozier. etc.  

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#36 drjim

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:31 AM

Even though I totally agree with that statement by Ryan, I have hard time reconciling it with Ryan's previous statement saying (paraphrasing) : "If I am back in 2015, Gardy will be back".

 

Those are 2 apparently conflicting statements and just about a week apart.I don't doubt his sincerity. The one way these statements do not conflict is if Ryan is not back in 2015...

 

You aren't using the Sid Hartman story for the first quote are you?

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Papers...business papers.

#37 tobi0040

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:37 AM

All this question does is get into a whole web of assumptions, counter-factuals, and red herrings.  Basically this question relies on this:

 

If there are options for Terry Ryan to sign, then he'd make the team better.  Except the posters asking this question never accept that there were indeed options for him to sign, so therefore he never had a true chance to make the team better.

 

The question is designed, from the outset, to prove Ryan never had a chance to make the team any better because they'll never accept the antecedent to be true.  I think there are many, many things that have stood in the way of Ryan improving the team over the years, but I also believe it's still his job to find a way to do it regardless of those obstacles.  So this entire question basically absolves him of the responsibilities to the product he put on the field, regardless of how much you disagree or agree with arm-chair GM suggestions.

 

I may be wrong, but I thought the initial question of who should he have signed was in response to the assertion that he has done a horrible job signing free agents. So I think the context here is limited to FA signings, not anything else.Given this fairly limited context, I think it is a fair question.

 

My gut tells me given how bad our team was in 2011, ownership was not going to dole out a 3+ year contract to a pitcher.Therefore he had a bunch of bounce-back types, retreads, and guys like Corriea to choose from.If those were the options he had, it is hard for me to say he made a terrible signing.

 

I could write several blogs about things Terry should have done differently, but I am not sold he had better FA options given the budget he likely had.

Edited by tobi0040, 29 August 2014 - 09:43 AM.


#38 drivlikejehu

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

How big of Ryan not to "hold" his boss to the notion that at-will employment doesn't apply to the GM of an MLB team. It's just another statement in a long line - Ryan talks about accountability, he just doesn't practice it.


#39 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

I may be wrong, but I thought the initial question of who should he have signed was in response to the assertion that he has done a horrible job signing free agents. So I think the context here is limited to FA signings, not anything else.Given this fairly limited context, I think it is a fair question.

 

So it's not possible for the person asking the question to go back, look up available FAs, and see that there were likely options to improve the team?  Or perhaps trade targets?

 

Imbedded in such a question is the notion that there was no way to improve the team.  I think that statement is always false.  There are always ways to improve the team.  Then it comes down to the costs to do so and a myriad of other factors that Ryan has to sort through.  Either way, it's his job to sort through them and improve the product.  If he doesn't, excusing it because of assumptions over who is or is not available is a fallacious waste of time.

 

We can acknowledge the difficulty, but every thread about this sort of thing gets mired in all these useless hypotheticals rather than evaluating the result.  

Edited by TheLeviathan, 29 August 2014 - 09:42 AM.


#40 Thrylos

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:41 AM

I agree that part of the 2011-2014 collapse is on Ryan.

 

On the other hand, does Ryan trade Garza going into a season where he's also going to lose Santana? Does he trade Wilson Ramos?

 

If the Twins have/had those two players, how different is 2011-2014?

 

Bill Smith took a bad situation and made it so much worse. I can not see a situation where Ryan trades an up-and-coming young starter and a promising young catcher. With those two pieces, the past eight years look a whole lot different.

 

If Bill Smith did not trade Garza and Ramos, how different is 2010? Capps and Young were major reasons that the Twins won the division in 2010.

When Ramos was traded he was blocked by Mauer.People are arguing that Pinto should be traded in favor of Suzuki, doesn't this argument make the Ramos trade a no-brainer?

 

Garza was going to be gone as a free agent and was not going to be around to help in 2011-4.

 

And, for the sake of argument, lets say that you had Ramos & Garza from 2011-2014. 

 

Would Ramos start instead of Mauer?No.So you would replace Suzuki with Ramos in 2014.That's a wash.Maybe a few PAs off Butera and some DHs?1-2 wins better each season from 2011-2013?(So we are looking at 98, 95, 95)

 

If you had Garza, you would not have Pavano in 2011 and 2012, Correia in 2013 and 2014.Fair assessment? Here are comparisons:

 

2011: Pavano 9-13, Garza 10-10
2012: Pavano 2-5, Garza 5-7
2013: Correia 9-14, Garza 10-6
2014: Correia 7-14, Garza 7-7

 

So 1 more win in 2011, 3 in 2012, 1 in 2013 and none in 2014.

 

So total with both:

 

97 losses in 2011

92 in 2012

94 in 2013 and

91 (projected) in 2014.

 

and missing the post-season in 2010 ;)

 

That's the math of those 2 trades.

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