Twins owner Jim Pohlad expressed his support for GM Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire today, reports Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio. Pohlad made a rare appearance on the field today, talking to Gardenhire during batting practice before Monday's game with the Angels. Pohlad said that he is "pleased" with how Ryan has performed his job since returning to the team as the interim general manager last November, and Pohlad added that both he and Ryan have "100 percent confidence" in Gardenhire.
Pohlad admitted it has been difficult watching his team's poor start to the season and while he described the season as "technically salvagable," he sees why Minnesota fans could want a change in management. "But I suppose (calling for someone's job) would be the natural (reaction) for somebody who's not really part of the organization might say. A frustrated fan might say that," Pohlad said.
Ryan was the Twins' GM from 1994-2007, becoming a consultant to the team once Bill Smith took over the job but returning when Smith was fired last November. I don't see the Twins outright firing Ryan given that his tenure with the organization and the fact that he's working on an interim basis already, though it's possible he could step down after 2012 if the club settles on a permanent GM.
Gardenhire's own history with the team is also a point in his favor. This is Gardenhire's 11th season as the Twins' manager, a stint that has seen him lead the team to six AL Central titles and an overall 873-775 record. Gardenhire could take the fall since the Twins are on pace for their second consecutive last-place season but it's hard to blame him for the team's injuries and lackluster roster.