Terry Ryan replaces Bill Smith as Twins general manager

Coming off a brutal season, the Twins announced today they have replaced general manager Bill Smith with Terry Ryan, who had the job before Smith took over four years ago.

"No one in the Twins' organization wants to win any more than Bill," says Twins owner Jim Pohlad in a statement. "He is unquestionably loyal, committed and talented. The Twins goal is to get better in 2012 and beyond. Bill was equally motivated to achieve that goal but we differed in the scope and approach that was required.

Ryan, a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been with the Twins since the mid-70s. In the late 80s, he served as the team's scouting director, eventually working his way up to general manager in 1994.

Smith joined the Twins organization in 1986, succeeding Ryan as general manager in 2007.

For many Twins fans, axing Smith was a long time coming. He earned plenty of criticism in his tenure, perhaps most notably for trading All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy to Baltimore last year.

Ryan's duties as interim director will begin immediately.

"Going forward, we intend to have additional discussions with Bill about an ongoing role within the organization," says Pohlad. "We wish Bill, Becky and the entire Smith family nothing but the best. We are fortunate and grateful for Terry Ryan's willingness to step in as interim general manager."

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