Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 11
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com provides an update on Terry Ryan's health:
#MNTwins GM Terry Ryan had successfully surgery on his neck today. Will stay at the Mayo Clinic for a few more days.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) February 12, 2014
Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
Ryan released a statement through the Twins' official website, indicating that a routine physical examination revealed a lump in his neck, which was determined to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
During the course of a routine annual physical, Twins team physician Dr. Vijay Eyunni detected a lump in my neck which required further review. A subsequent biopsy confirmed the lump was cancerous, leading to an official medical diagnosis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Thankfully, incremental tests indicate the cancer appears to be confined to my neck and has not spread to other regions of my body. At the direction of Dr. Eyunni, I am currently being treated at the Mayo Clinic as well as Minnesota Oncology. I've been assured this form of cancer is treatable and remain optimistic about my return to good health in the near future.
This adverse set of circumstances Ryan has been dealt has at least left him a sense of optimism, since it appears to be an early diagnosis and treatable since the cancer has not spread to other parts of his body.
Club president Dave St. Peter sent out his support and knows that Ryan will fight hard to beat the disease:
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press also highlighted a key part of Ryan's statement, which revealed his confidence in manager Ron Gardenhire and the others to run the organization in his absence:
During Ryan's treatment, #mntwins BB ops team, "including Rob Antony, Mike Radcliff, Ron Gardenhire and others" will run things, Ryan says.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) February 10, 2014
Terry Ryan said he's "highly confident in the proven leadership of our baseball operations team." #mntwins— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) February 10, 2014
The 60-year-old Ryan has had two separate tenures as a GM in Minnesota, from 1994 to 2007 and picking up again in 2011. What is notable about his accomplishments in the Twins front office is that he's had to build through the draft and the minor league farm system since the club is a smaller market and consistently has one of the lower payrolls in baseball.
Not to mention, Ryan was successor to Andy MacPhail beginning in the 1994 strike-shortened season, and McPhail had built two World Series teams for 1987 and 1991.
After enduring some difficult seasons for the rest of the 90s, the new millennium brought optimism back to Twins baseball, as the foundation was in place for Minnesota to compete. The Twins won six American League Central Division titles between 2002 through 2010, with Ryan making several notable trades to put Minnesota in those ideal positions to succeed along the way.
The past three campaigns have seen the Twins decline and win fewer than 70 games each year, as the talent level, depth and star power have all diminished within the current team nucleus.
But this is exactly the type of situation from which Ryan pulled Minnesota out of before, and in his fight to beat cancer, perhaps he and the Twins can feed off each other for inspiration. The team begins spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., when pitchers and catchers report on Sunday.
Ryan also stated his thankfulness for the support he's received in the statement, per Berardino:
Ryan: "We are grateful for the many friends and colleagues who have sent their well wishes and support throughout this challenging time."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) February 10, 2014
Here's to a speedy and full recovery for Ryan, and thoughts go out to his family and friends in light of this news.