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Updated: July 27th, 2012 7:50pm
GM Ryan's interim tag remains; 'I don't feel good with where we're at'

GM Ryan's interim tag remains; 'I don't feel good with where we're at'

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Terry Ryan is nearly nine months into his second stint as Minnesota Twins general manager. His task was to turn around a team that lost 99 games in 2011 -- the most losses for a Twins team since 1982.

Record-wise, not much has changed.

The Twins entered Friday night's game against the Cleveland Indians a season-low 18 games below .500. If they continue to play .408 baseball the rest of the way they will finish 66-96.

Where does that leave Ryan and the interim tag that is still attached to his title?

Ryan said he hasn't even discussed it with owner Jim Pohlad.

"I'm still the interim for a reason. I've got a lot of work to do here," Ryan said. "We haven't talked about it at all and I don't anticipate talking about it until we get to the latter part of this year. ...

"We have not had a good year. We've got a lot of work to do here. I'm not in any position to say that interim is going to be off me."

Despite the Twins' paltry record, the signings Ryan made last offseason have mostly panned out.

Josh Willingham (.271/.384/.563, 25 HR, 72 RBI) has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season and has one of the more team-friendly contracts around ($7 million per year through 2014).

Ryan Doumit (.287/.339/.470, 10 HR, 46 RBI) has proven to be a valuable backup catcher and designated hitter for only $3 million.

Jamey Carroll (.236/.320/.281) hasn't done much offensively, but his defensive steadiness at multiple infield positions has been a welcome addition.

Jared Burton has emerged as one of the better late-inning relievers in baseball.

Darin Mastroianni has also shown promise.

The most glaring flaw with Ryan's offseason blueprint was starting pitching, which owns a collective ERA of 5.77. The $3 million handed to Jason Marquis was essentially flushed down the toilet, and the $4.75 million given to Matt Capps was not money well-spent either.

But fixing an entire 99-loss team in one offseason required more money than ownership was comfortable spending -- and more money than simply adding a pitcher like Edwin Jackson for $11 million.

"I don't feel good with where we're at," Ryan said. "That's part of the process. I don't want (the interim tag) off there yet. I have to prove to myself that I can do this job."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd