Terry Ryan climbs back in the saddle after Twins oust Bill Smith

Big League Stew

Bill Smith is out.

Terry Ryan is back in — for now.

In a somewhat surprising twist, the Minnesota Twins announced on Monday that they were reversing the Ryan-Smith switcheroo that had taken place after the 2007 season. With Smith (left) taking the fall for Minnesota's 63-99 record in 2011, Ryan (right) will move back into the general manager position on an interim basis.

Smith's firing ends his four-season reign atop the franchise, a period that saw the team win two division titles ('09-'10) and play for another in the 163rd game of the season ('08). His track record of GM moves, however, was not as impressive as the Twins really have nothing to show for the trades of Johan Santana, Matt Garza or J.J. Hardy.

Though Smith could find another job with the Twins, Ryan will again take the reins after serving as the team's general manager from 1994 to 2007.  {YSP:MORE}

"No one in the Twins' organization wants to win any more than Bill," Twins Owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said 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."

Pohlad added that the Twins will speak with Smith about "an ongoing role within the organization."

Smith originally stepped down from the GM position in 2007, citing burnout. That would seem to indicate he doesn't want to do another long haul in this job, even though he's just 58 years old. As for someone waiting in the wings for the guy who was just waiting in the wings? Hardball Talk's Aaron Gleeman points out that Wayne Krivsky just made a recent return to the organization and that player personnel guy Mike Radcliff was not allowed to interview for the open Orioles job. (It's too bad the concept of a bakeoff doesn't translate to the world of baseball transactions.)

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