Terry Ryan removed the interim label from his position with the Minnesota Twins to become fulltime general manager, MLB.com reported Friday. Ryan, who was named interim general manager last November, announced he would return to the team and accept the job on a fulltime basis. He was also the team's GM from 1994-2007. Bill Smith served in the role from 2008-11. "I'm all set, committed and ready to go," Ryan said. "So we're going to move forward with that. We're coming off a difficult year -- 66 wins isn't going to cut it." Ryan had let go of four coaches and reassigning two others on Thursday. The moves were made in response to the Twins finishing with the worst record in the American League for a second straight season. Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White and head athletic trainer Rick McWane were not offered contracts. Hitting coach Joe Vavra was reassigned as major league infield instructor and bench coach Scott Ullger was moved to major league outfield instructor. Manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson are the only members of the coaching staff left intact. "It was a difficult day for us, because most of those guys were with us 20-plus years," Ryan said. "It's not easy. They're loyal and hard-working, but in this business, sometimes change is a necessary evil." Gardenhire has led the Twins to six division titles, but will not receive a contract extension. He has one year left on his current deal. "I explained it to Ron and he accepted that," Ryan said. "He said he didn't deserve an extension." Once the coaching staff is in place, Ryan said his next goal is to improve the pitching rotation. The Twins started the year with a $100 million payroll and may add to it to make roster improvements. "It's going to take everything we've got to turn it around quickly," Ryan said. "We're going to have to hit better, field better, pitch better and close games better. We didn't get to where we are by doing too many things right. We had a tough go."
- Ron Gardenhire