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Twins Undergo Major Reorganization After Ryan Resigns PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 13 September 2007 10:13
TwinsThe Minnesota Twins announced today a reorganization of the club's baseball operations highlighted by the promotion of Bill Smith to Senior Vice President, General Manager. The reorganization was necessary as a result of longtime general manager Terry Ryan's decision to step down from his current leadership post to assume the role of Senior Advisor to the General Manager. In addition, the club promoted Mike Radcliff to Vice President, Player Personnel; Rob Antony to Assistant General Manager; Deron Johnson to Director of Scouting; and Brad Steil to Director of Baseball Operations.

"I am stepping down as the General Manager of the Minnesota Twins knowing full well that we are in good hands for the immediate and long-term future of this organization," Terry Ryan said. "We have capable, talented people that will lead us into the new ballpark and give us a chance to return to postseason baseball next year and many years to follow. Thank you to everyone for a wonderful thirteen years as the General Manager of a very proud franchise. Through good times and bad, we never wavered on how we went about our business. We tried to do it the right way."

"Over the years, the Minnesota Twins have a built a winning tradition while earning accolades across the game thanks largely to front office stability and an organization-wide commitment to player development," Twins owner Carl Pohlad said. "For the past thirteen years the Twins have been blessed to have Terry Ryan lead the club's baseball operations. Widely regarded as the game's best general manager, Terry deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his incredible loyalty to the Twins organization and support of the Upper Midwest baseball community, player evaluation skills, disciplined operating approach and non-wavering class in dealing with fellow general managers, agents, media and fans. All of us with the Twins family respect and understand Terry's decision to step down and are thrilled with his desire to remain a part of our organization.

"The Twins have long been known as an organization that promotes from within, thus providing significant advancement opportunities for players, coaches and front office staff," Carl Pohlad continued. "That philosophy has served the organization well and has us excited about the reorganization of the club's baseball department and specifically the promotion of Bill Smith to general manager. Bill's diverse experience over the past two-plus decades, management skills and contacts across the game have him well prepared for this important role. We are equally excited about the reconstitution of the club's baseball department and promotion of so many talented individuals. There is no question the Twins are well-positioned for continued success on and off the field of play."

(Select Read More to see background on each of those involved in the Twins reorganization process)

Bill Smith, a member of the Twins organization since 1986, becomes the fifth general manager in club history (Calvin Griffith, Howard Fox, Andy MacPhail and Terry Ryan). As general manager, Smith is responsible for the team the Twins put on the field (40-man roster and 25-man major league roster), negotiating contracts and overseeing the coaching staff, and entire baseball department, including the minor leagues, scouting, team travel and baseball communications. Smith has served the past 13 seasons as Vice President, Assistant General Manager under Terry Ryan, sharing responsibilities for negotiating contracts, assisting the day-to-day operations of the Major League department and the Twins academies in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. He has also been active in representing the baseball department in the planning and design of the new Twins ballpark, scheduled to open in 2010. Smith is a member of the Minor League Baseball Board of Trustees, and represents the Twins in scheduling and Winter League baseball issues. Smith, 49, was raised in North Hampton, NH and is a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where he majored in French. In 1980, he was one of the first participants in Major League Baseball's Executive Development Program. Following two seasons as the assistant director of minor leagues & scouting for the Chicago White Sox, and three seasons as the General Manager of the White Sox' Class A affiliate in Appleton, WI, Smith joined the Twins organization in March, 1986 as Assistant Director of Minor Leagues and Scouting. Smith was named Director of Baseball Administration for the Twins in October, 1989, and was the Twins liaison during the construction of their spring training home in Fort Myers, FL, from 1989-1991. Bill, wife Becky, daughters Allison and Amy, who are twins, and Jennifer, make their home in Bloomington, MN.

"I am deeply grateful for being entrusted by the Pohlad family with this special opportunity -- to lead an organization known and respected for its fundamental play on the field, and for a similar style off the field," Smith said. "There is a tremendous foundation in place here thanks to Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire, and to my mentors and immediate predecessors, Andy MacPhail and Terry Ryan. While the Twins Baseball department faces some significant challenges on the horizon, we're also ready to seize tremendous opportunities, the biggest of which is represented by the new ballpark. Backed by the tireless efforts of our entire baseball department, including the major league and minor league field staffs, our scouts and front office staff, the Twins will remain focused on winning baseball -- and the goal of making the playoffs and winning the third World Series in franchise history."

Mike Radcliff, a member of the Twins organization since 1987, has been named Vice President, Player Personnel. In Radcliff's new role, he will lead the club's overall player evaluation process at both the major and minor league levels, assist Smith in negotiating player contracts and oversee the club's professional and amateur scouting staff. Radcliff, who was named Director of Scouting in 1993, was the longest tenured scouting director in Major League Baseball. As scouting director, Radcliff managed 27 full-time and 34 part-time scouts and coordinated the annual amateur draft as well as the international scouting world. His scouting staff was responsible for drafting current Twins Jason Kubel (2000), Joe Mauer (2001) and Justin Morneau (1999) as well as former Twins Corey Koskie (1994), Jacque Jones (1996) and Doug Mientkiewicz (1995). Under the direction of Radcliff, the Twins have landed pitching prospects Scott Baker (2nd round, 2003), Glen Perkins (1st, 2004), and Matt Garza (1st, 2005), and outfielder Denard Span (1st, 2002). Radcliff, 50, was raised in Raytown, MO. He attended Arizona State University and is a 1979 graduate of the University of Missouri. He began his scouting career as an area scout with the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1982. He was hired as an area scout by the Twins in 1987 and promoted to Midwest Supervisor in 1988. Mike and his wife, Sherry, have two children, Erin and Brett, and reside in Overland Park, KS.

Rob Antony, a member of the Twins organization since 1988, has been named Assistant General Manager. In Antony's new role he will focus on MLB rules, waivers and the negotiation of player contracts. He will continue to assist longtime Twins Director of Minor Leagues Jim Rantz in providing player evaluation throughout the minor league system. Antony, who was named Director of Baseball Operations in 1995, added major league contracts to his responsibilities in 2006 in addition to his various duties in the minor league and scouting departments including the spring training operation and free agent draft preparations. He is responsible for establishing and overseeing the budget for the minor league, major league and scouting departments as well as acting as the liaison between the technology and baseball departments in regards to the computer and scouting program. He travels to all the affiliates to evaluate players in the Twins' system and monitors the working relationship between the club and its affiliates. He also works closely with team's scouting department and scouts players eligible for the free agent draft as well as amateurs in Australia and Latin America. Antony, 42, started with the Twins as an intern in 1987 and was hired as Assistant Director of Media Relations in 1988 after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Speech Communications and a minor in English. He served as assistant until June of 1991 when he was promoted to Director of Media Relations. Rob and his wife, Lynn, have two children, Tyler and Emily, and reside in Rogers, MN.

Deron Johnson has been promoted to Director of Scouting. In this position, he will lead the Twins 27-man scouting staff in organization and preparation for the annual June Draft of high school and college players. Johnson will also work closely with Pro Scouting Coordinator Vern Followell to insure coverage of all 30 Major League teams and their minor league affiliates. Johnson joined the Twins organization as the Northern California Area scout in January, 1994, and was promoted to West Coast Supervisor in October, 1998. He has been responsible for managing the Twins western scouting staff, evaluating high school and college players in advance of the draft, hiring and training new scouts in the west and cross-checking top prospects across North America in advance of the annual draft. He has helped the Twins draft and sign prospects Chris Parmelee and Tyler Robertson (2006), Matt Garza and Alex Burnett (2005), Trevor Plouffe (2004), and Jason Kubel (2000). In addition, Johnson has provided coverage of minor league and major league teams and has been part of the Twins Advance Scouting team for the post-season over the past five years. Prior to joining the Twins, Johnson played in three minor league seasons as an outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1988 - 1990. He served as the Assistant Baseball Coach & Recruiting Coordinator for the University of San Francisco from 1992-1993. Johnson, 40, was born and raised in Vallejo, CA, and was graduated from St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA with a BA in Liberal Arts/Business Administration in 1991. He and his wife, Alicia, have four children, Ashley, Alexis, Deron, Jr. and Dominique, and reside in Sacramento, CA.

Brad Steil assumes the position of Director of Baseball Operations, succeeding Rob Antony. In this role Steil will manage the day-to-day business operations of the Minor League and Scouting Departments, overseeing all Baseball department budgets and purchasing. He will help coordinate the amateur draft, work closely with the Twins technology department, coordinate minor league Spring Training and travel through the minor league system during the season. Steil joined the Twins organization as an intern in the Baseball department in January, 2000, and was hired full-time the following January as Scouting Administrative Assistant. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Baseball Operations in January, 2006. Steil, 31, was graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 1999 with a B.A. in Business and a minor in Classical Studies. He received his Masters degree from the St. Thomas Graduate School of Business in 2000. Brad is a native of Litchfield, MN, and now resides in Burnsville, MN.

Terry Ryan, who has spent more than 24 years in the Twins organization as a minor league player or executive, has been named Senior Advisor to the General Manager. In Ryan's new role, he will assist the General Manager on all player evaluation matters including the major leagues, minor leagues and international operations. Ryan was named the fourth General Manager in Minnesota Twins history on September 13, 1994. Through the efforts of Ryan and his staff, the Twins organization won four American League Central Division titles (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006). He was twice named Sporting News Executive of the Year (2002 and 2006) and twice the recipient of the Andrew "Rube" Foster Legacy Award as the American League Executive of the Year by the Negro League Museum (2004 and 2006). Under Ryan's leadership, the Twins were twice named Baseball America's Organization of the Year (2002 and 2004). Ryan, 52, began his professional baseball career with the Twins in 1972 after being drafted in the 35th round out of Parker High School in Janesville, WI. He pitched in the Twins' minor league system for four seasons, posting a 14-3 record, including 10-0 in 1973, before an arm injury cut his career short. In 1975, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a degree in physical education in 1979. The 1998 Topps' Advancement Through The Game Award winner returned to baseball in 1980 as Midwest Scouting Supervisor for the New York Mets, a position which he held for six years before being named the Twins' Scouting Director in January, 1986. Prior to becoming General Manager, he was Vice President of Player Personnel, a position he assumed on September 23, 1991. Terry and his wife Karilyn, have two children, Tim and Kathleen, and live in Eagan, MN.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
 
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