On Monday, Twins' general manager Terry Ryan announced via a team press release that he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.
During a recent routine physical, the Twins' team doctor found a lump on Ryan's neck. After a biopsy, it was determined that he had a form of carcinoma. Ryan says he has been receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic and, though he will not be with the Twins for the beginning of spring training, he hopes to be able to get back to his normal routine soon.
The 60-year-old Ryan has been a pillar of the Twins' community for over a quarter of a century. He was promoted to the general manager position in 1994 and served in that role until he stepped down towards the end of the 2007 season. Ryan presided over one of the most successful runs in Twins' history as they won the American League Central division four times from 2002-2006. His fingerprints we're also still all over the division-winning squads of '09 and '10.
When the team fell on hard times, losing 99 games in 2011, Ryan's replacement Bill Smith was shown the door. Ryan, who had been serving as a senior advisor to the organization in his retirement, agreed to take over the GM's chair once again. The Twins lost 96 games in both 2012 and '13, but a resurgent farm system has them looking towards a brighter future. Ryan has always been known for his scouting acumen (he began his career in Minnesota as the scouting director), and now the Twins boast a stronger farm system (Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are near-consensus top-10 prospects) and reason for optimism in the future. That is due in no small part to Ryan.
Fortunately for Ryan -- as well as the entire baseball community -- all indications are that he will be able to fully recover from this. Tests indicate the cancer has not spread beyond the tumor in his neck, making it far more treatable.
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