Shirtless and holding a sign that read "OCCUPY MY OLD OFFICE," former Twins General Manager Bill Smith angrily protested outside of Target Field on Thursday afternoon.
Walking back and forth and chanting "Pitch to contact/multi-year contract," Smith cut a hard-to-miss figure in the cold Minneapolis air.
"Bringing back the failed closer from a 63-win team and signing a 50-year-old guy who can't hit to play short for two years?" an animated Smith asked reporters on the scene. "You had to hire someone else to do that? Come on, those are classic Billy Smith moves!"
Smith was replaced by former Twins GM Terry Ryan, the person often credited with the team's revival in the 2000s. While fans overwhelmingly approved of the switch, Ryan's moves since then have not been as universally admired, especially given the new salary constraints the team is said to be under. Indeed, as Smith repeatedly pointed out, the moves Ryan has made are very similar to the ones he would have made if he were still the club's GM.
"I can see changing horses if they were going to go all in and bring in a front-line starter and some bats, or if they were going to blow the whole thing up and start from scratch," Smith said, stopping only to take giant swallows of hot coffee. "But my heavens, bringing back (Phil) Dumatrait, getting a back-up catcher and saying, 'Nope, we're good!' I can do that in my sleep. That's not even a figure of speech, either: I took a power nap in the winter of 2007, and next thing I know, boom, Mike Lamb."
Smith, who left the scene without incident as the sun set, speculated that, "It's almost as if they needed to bring someone in to do the exact same thing I would have been told to do, but they didn't want to get destroyed in the papers and on the blogs."
When reached for comment, a Twins front office official who asked not to be named would only say, "Hey, did you see that Cuddy had twins aren't they super adorable?" before hanging up.