On Monday morning, Torii Hunter received a text message from Terry Ryan wishing him a happy birthday and reiterating how much Ryan respects Hunter.
There was no mention of what Ryan already knew: Hours later, the Minnesota Twins would announce that Ryan would be fired. This is another example of why Ryan is so highly respected and so well-liked by the folks who worked for him and alongside him. He has always cherished other people and demonstrated concern for them. Late on Monday, Hunter mentioned to a friend with astonishment that he couldn’t believe Ryan took the time, on one of the worst days of his professional life, to reach out with a simple but important message of caring.
Executives with other teams have great respect for Ryan and also believed that, generally speaking, he would move conservatively in midsummer trades -- so it’s probably not a coincidence that in the hours after news of the GM change, calls poured into the Twins’ organization about possible deals.