|Jim Rantz, with Tony Oliva by his side, turns in the Twins|
first-round draft pick in 2008.
Rantz has been part of the Twins organization from the moment Calvin Griffith moved the franchise to the Twin Cities from Washington -- minor league pitcher, minor league manager, public relations, scouting, farm system. Fifty-two years in professional baseball, all with one team -- and his hometown team at that (he's from St. Paul).
His biggest claim to fame: He's the guy who found Kirby Puckett while watching his son play college ball in Illinois.
Rantz is 75, so this may very well be purely his choice, and he told the Star Tribune that he had told general manager Terry Ryan a year ago that 2012 would be his last year.
Still, in the wake of the coaching staff shakeup, some may have figured that Ryan wanted to make some changes in that part of the organization as well. That thought certainly crossed my mind. But judging from Ryan's comments, that's not the case. Brad Steil, Rantz's assistant, was named interim farm director Monday, and I've seen immediate speculation that the interim tag will be fairly quickly removed.
Either way, there's an opening, and it will be interesting to see if Ryan promotes from within or looks outside the organization for a farm director. My guess is that he'll stay in-house.