Another comment that disturbs me is the animosity toward a free agent because he "is blocking somebody". This smacks of favoring longevity over performance--"it's not how well you have performed, but how long you have been here". That attitude will doom an organization.
Life and business evolve and grow over time. If you live in a bubble and don't expand your thinking you will be left behind. Doing what you did 10 years ago likely doesn't work any more. That's why every top MBA school has lines of businesses recruiting the grads as they walk out the door. They want that young energy and fresh look at things.
John said: "the Twins are too enamored with GroupThink, too inbred, limit their promotions to internal people and are resistant to external ideas/people." IMO that quote agrees with with what John said.
Ryan isn't perfect, far from it. His apparent refusal to pay market price for free agents is maddening.
But if you're going to give me a guy who can corral and build a powerful farm system but is averse to free agent signings, I'll take him all day over the guy who does the opposite. I don't have to like everything Ryan does to believe he's a better GM than most in the game and if you fire everybody in the organization (which many here seem to advocate on a daily basis), there's a damned good chance you're going to fill those vacancies with people worse at their job, not better.
Why wasn't there a search for a new GM? When Smith failed and got relieved of his duties, why wasn't there ANOTHER search for a new GM? This is like a Monarchy, inbred heirs take the throne regardless of skill, there is no search for a new candidate, there is no voting commitee, everything stays within the family regardless if new blood could oversee the kingdom with better results.
There aren't many functional monarchies left in the world, and for good reason. I always said the Twins were stuck with '80's baseball ideologies. Maybe I meant 1680's.
One of the most baffling statements in the TR interview was toward the end when he said he doesn't operate any differently now than he did in the Dome days, with the exception of not needing to unload players. The availability of extra cash doesn't mean you should start making stupid decisions, but you should certainly be more willing to take some financial risks. Ryan pointed multiple times at Cleveland as an example of a team that turned it around quickly, but Cleveland has proven willing to take bold risks -- trading for Jimenez, trading for Bauer, signing major free agents. The Twins continue to give no indication that they're willing to do so, because those would apparently be defined as "shortcuts."
To me it comes down to blending in new personalities -- whether it be players through trades and free agency or front-office staff through new hires from outside the organization. Not wholesale changes but a willingness to blend in new talent and ideas.
I'm dealing with the same issues in another part of my life right now. A governmental body where its members have become long-term and entrenched. They have developed an arrogance about what they are doing that causes them to no longer discuss anything publicly, to have votes that are always 5-0, to bully anyone in the public who dares to question any behavior. And you know what, the public has just basically shut down because fighting it gets so difficult.
To me it appears that the Twins' group think is so deeply entrenched that it would take a series of new hires for any of their ideas or philosophies to begin to percolate. Of course people should feel like they have the chance to move up in an organization -- but there should also be some among them who desire to grow enough to be hired elsewhere as well. We don't see that. We don't see new hires in. But we also don't see much of people leaving for better positions elsewhere. This has gone beyond stability into a slow death.
How is trading for a guy different than signing a free agent? Buehler? Buehler?
By all means, give me the shortcuts.
I don't know (do you?) that there wasn't a "search". For example maybe one or two people were "approached" and their response might have been along a similar line to Smith's--spend a lot of money. Or, "perform major surgery on the organization". Or "...if I'm in charge, I must have complete control..."; or other unacceptable answers according to the owner. The type of close-knit, group-think organization did not happen by accident and change would be considered anathma, outright heresy. Quite likely everything originates from the top, and then change can only happen when initiated from the top. Continued healthy profits would likely prevent any sea change in organization.
Terry Ryan stayed in the organization, but his move out was like a retiring CEO. He stays on as a consultant, but it is clear to everyone else that there is a NEW boss. Ryan definitely got out of the way for Smith.
For Smith to go back to his old gig or something really close to that would not be a good thing for the organization.
I have very little issues with the core philosophy of the Twins. Even doing them the way they were done in the "Dome Days" isn't too mind-blowing. The core phiosophy is who you are. The Cardinals do things the same way that they have for years and its proven to be a successful model. The Twins had a way of doing things and it worked for nearly a decade.
The problem started when the lack of new young talent stopped coming. There was a dry spell in the organizations ability to bring in talent that produced at the MLB level from 2007 till now. The starting pitchers that were dominant in the minors and were supposed to be rotation guys for years (Blackburn, Slowey and Perkins) were not good as MLBers. Add in the fact that Gibson and Wimmers were drafted high as guys that were close to MLB-ready pitchers coming out and they both blew out there arms right away and it has absolutely crushed this organizations pitching depth. What was being fostered and appeared to be looking good in the mid and late 2000's took a comlete nose dive. Some of this is bad luck, some is poor development and maybe some is on our favorite pitching coach. Regardless, this turnaround will take time and the core philosophy will not change. Parts may, like pursuing more high velocity arms vs. the soft-tossers of yesteryear, but overall, the Pohlads apparently agree with the FO core philosophy and that building this team from the bottom up is the best way to go. Doing it this way will take time.