New GMs for Twins and O's, same woes
November, 7, 2011
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
J. Meric/Getty ImagesFormer Twins GM Bill Smith was aggressive, but many of his moves didn't pan out.
When the Minnesota Twins fired general manager Bill Smith on Monday, it signaled the team’s longing to return to a state of stability and continuity, which had become hallmarks of the franchise. To do that, the Twins brought back Terry Ryan on an interim basis. He had served as GM from 1997 through 2007.
For the Baltimore Orioles, who will officially name Dan Duquette their general manager Tuesday, it is the team’s latest attempt to install stability and continuity in a franchise that has had little in the past decade. To do that, the O's are bringing in Duquette, a man who hasn’t worked in a front office in almost 10 years. He served as the Red Sox's GM from 1994 through 2002.
The two franchises couldn’t be more different, and their philosophies underscore that. But they both have the same problem -- they lost more than 90 games apiece this past season, and changes needed to be made.
The fact of the matter is the Twins have been eroding for the past few years. Although the team won division titles in 2009 and 2010, Smith gradually strayed from the team’s management philosophy of developing and retaining talent from within and relying less on the free-agent and trade markets.