Twins fire General Manager Bill Smith

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Twins fired General Manager Bill Smith Monday and named former GM Terry Ryan as an interim replacement.

The Twins won back-to-back AL Central titles in 2009 and 2010 under Smith, but fell to an American League-worst 61-99 in 2011.


Smith, a longtime member of the Twins staff, had assumed the GM job in September 2007 after Ryan moved into a consulting role.

"We are fortunate and grateful for Terry Ryan's willingness to step in as interim general manager," Twins owner and chief executive Jim Pohlad said in a statement.

"Working for the Minnesota Twins for the past 26 seasons has been the greatest professional privilege I could have ever imagined," Smith said.

Minnesota won four division titles under Ryan, who was the Twins' GM from 1994 to 2007.

He will lead the search for a permanent replacement for Smith, Pohlad said.

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