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It's Official: Twins/Molitor Agree To Three-Year Deal

The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have reached a three-year contract extension with manager Paul Molitor.

In his three seasons since becoming the Twins manager, Molitor is 227-259. That includes two seasons in which they were above .500. They were 83-79 in 2015, and this year's squad went 85-77. Of course, we also have to mention the 103-loss 2016 season in his resume.
Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today
Molitor's three-year contract extension will give him the opportunity to be the team's manager through the 2020 season.

In the coming weeks, we will find out if Molitor will be named the 2017 American League Manager of the Year. His competition would appear to be Cleveland manager Terry Francona and Houston manager AJ Hinch.



We know that at least most of the players are going to be excited about the move. So, what do you think about the Twins inking their skipper for three more years.

The next decisions are likely to involve his coaching staff. How many will return?

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine spent the first year of their tenures doing a lot of evaluation. Some moves have been made. Expect more to come.


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77 Comments

I thought that towel had a Vikings logo on it. Why is Allen lecturing an offensive lineman, I thought. Anyway...

I've seen national stories documenting the "ineptitude" of decisions made by Maddon and Girardi in the last few days. There are so many ways to critique a manager, but ultimately, wins count the most, especially when accompanied by clubhouse endorsements.

I'm glad to see Molitor back. Better the devil you know... If they flop next year, he'll probably be gone.
    • Don Walcott, Dozier's Glorious Hair and VirginSturgeon like this

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But Skip gave me the bunt sign!
    • ashburyjohn, Jerr and Blackjack like this
Not saying Allen shouldn't have been let go. I think there are a number of things we could point to and wonder out load as to the quality of his work. But there were success stories in his tenure with the Twins. Erv has pitched about as well as he has at any time since joining the Twins. Berrios saw big improvement in year two. Gibson really turned things around the second half of this year. Those are just a few examples.

But with less than a full stable of quality arms to work with the past few years, is he really to blame for some of the pitching woes the Twins have had? And to what degree? Will the next guy really make that big of a difference? Or is it more about maturation of the guys on staff and a couple key acquisitions?

Not sure I have the answer...just posing the questions.
    • MN_ExPat likes this

Paul Molitor was a student of the great Dick Siebert, one of the finest college baseball coaches in history. Siebert literally wrote the book on baseball fundamentals. In the early 1970's my dad used to coach little league kids right out of Siebert's book, and among the photos demonstrating correct fielding, throwing, and base running technique was a young college player: Paul Molitor. 

 

For a team loaded with young, impressionable talent, it's hard to imagine a better teacher than Paul Molitor. It's true that baseball has advanced since Siebert's time, but Molitor is a Hall of Fame example of how to play the game right. Especially in an organization that depends on developing its roster through its own minor league system, you need a manager at the major league level that is also a teacher of the game. 

 

As this generation of Twins players matures in their expertise, perhaps the team will be better served by a more demonstrative emotional manager. But for now, at least the next few years, Paul Molitor can teach these young guys a lot about baseball. 

    • Jerr, Blackjack, benchwarmerjim and 4 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 10 2017 07:28 AM

How I feel about this is very complex. I'll just leave it at that.

    • Jerr, diehardtwinsfan and Sconnie like this

 

How I feel about this is very complex. I'll just leave it at that.

I'm opposed to the move and hope greatly that the Twins win the world series.

    • ThejacKmp, Blackjack and Vanimal46 like this
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Don Walcott
Oct 10 2017 08:27 AM

 

Not saying Allen shouldn't have been let go. I think there are a number of things we could point to and wonder out load as to the quality of his work. But there were success stories in his tenure with the Twins. Erv has pitched about as well as he has at any time since joining the Twins. Berrios saw big improvement in year two. Gibson really turned things around the second half of this year. Those are just a few examples.

But with less than a full stable of quality arms to work with the past few years, is he really to blame for some of the pitching woes the Twins have had? And to what degree? Will the next guy really make that big of a difference? Or is it more about maturation of the guys on staff and a couple key acquisitions?

Not sure I have the answer...just posing the questions.

I agree with these points. So I hope this move was more about bringing someone else in who Falvine believe will make a difference, rather than assessing blame.

It is fascinating to see all the coaches that Molitor hired get fired and Molitor gets rehired.I am fine with him as manager as long as they choose the coaches for him. 

 

I think this is a mistake. Besides bunting, Molitor had a lot of problems. This should have been a time for the new FO to make a move but so far they have not done much at all. This should be a mark against them which are starting to add up.

I disagree and here's why.If you look at the season that just wrapped up, the Twins defense improved a lot and it's been documented that Molitor emphasized it early and often in spring training.When management traded away pitching before the deadline, Molitor united the clubhouse - "No retreat. No surrender".They played hard for him.It was the clubhouse, including Molitor, against management trying to prove them wrong and they did.If you replace Molitor with one of their guys, that guy would have already lost the clubhouse before they started.These guys have a bond with Molitor now.They will play for him.

    • Jerr, bizaff, DocBauer and 1 other like this

 

Disappointed, but likely inevitable. The sac bunting and pulling the IF in early in games, and the odd BP moves are hard to watch. We can only hope that the reason it took 4 days is that Molitor had to write on the blackboard 1000 times "I WILL NOT SAC BUNT BEFORE THE 7TH INNING". :)

Enlightening article concerning Molitor and bunting in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

 

http://www.twincitie...is-a-dying-art/

 

 

    • Sconnie likes this
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birdwatcher
Oct 10 2017 10:12 AM

I'm uneasy about Molitor longer-term (I was rooting for Lovullo), but I understand this decision, and three things come to mind:

 

1. How do we argue with the appearance that this group of players came together and showed some of that elusive sense of cohesion in the final months? Even Joe Mauer said he had fun playing with this group of teammates.  How do we not give Molitor some credit for this?

 

2. As fans, we can judge in-game stuff, but we don't have much insight about what may be the more important part of managing well, which is managing the clubhouse. We don't see many signs that the players lack respect for Molitor or the coaches, although to me, I find it curious that we don't hear player heaping on credit either. In any event, my own sense is that there isn't a glaring problem in general.

 

3. This feels like a two year contract in a three year package. The financial risk of changing course at any time is negligible. If I'm a betting man, and I am, I'm betting Paulie isn't around for the entire term of the contract.

I look at it a bit differently.Molitor is a Jim Pohlad favorite.Before this season he told the FO that they would honor Molitor deal through the conclusion of his contract, which makes me think they were already looking to replace him (why Jeff Pickler was brought in). 

 

I am not under the impression that he was Falvey's or Levine's first choice, but they were stuck between a rock and a hard place.Apparently the players like him (Molitor), ownership loves him and after this season they really had no choice but to keep him around.I'm sure Paul knows this and was in the driver's seat during contract negotiations, obviously wanting the years.He either got the years in a new contract or walked away, which would have been difficult for the newer front office to explain to the fans and ownership. 

 

But as some other posters have stated I think Jeff Pickler is likely in the running as next manager.He is a big analytics guy and graduated magna cum laude at UT.I wouldn't be surprised that he continues to take on a much larger role in the clubhouse during the next three years. 

 

    • Jerr and spinowner like this
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yarnivek1972
Oct 10 2017 12:02 PM

I look at it a bit differently. Molitor is a Jim Pohlad favorite. Before this season he told the FO that they would honor Molitor deal through the conclusion of his contract, which makes me think they were already looking to replace him (why Jeff Pickler was brought in).

I am not under the impression that he was Falvey's or Levine's first choice, but they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Apparently the players like him (Molitor), ownership loves him and after this season they really had no choice but to keep him around. I'm sure Paul knows this and was in the driver's seat during contract negotiations, obviously wanting the years. He either got the years in a new contract or walked away, which would have been difficult for the newer front office to explain to the fans and ownership.

But as some other posters have stated I think Jeff Pickler is likely in the running as next manager. He is a big analytics guy and graduated magna cum laude at UT. I wouldn't be surprised that he continues to take on a much larger role in the clubhouse during the next three years.


I don’t see it. Falvey’s previous manager was Terry Francona, very much a player’s manager. I know Pickler played in the minors for several yearss, but I think the players look at him as the computer geek. I could see Pickler being bench coach.

 

I don’t see it. Falvey’s previous manager was Terry Francona, very much a player’s manager. I know Pickler played in the minors for several yearss, but I think the players look at him as the computer geek. I could see Pickler being bench coach.

 

I absolutely don't agree with your opinion, but that's fine.

 

He's what 41 / 42?So he's a young guy, but he's also a statistician whereas Molitor is old school.

 

Gordon Jones had a good piece on him earlier this year and described him as confident, organized and having the confidence of the players.He's actual quite hands on as the outfield coach.Hardly a shy computer geek hiding behind his computer screen upstairs or in the corner of the dugout.  

 

He's functioned as a scout for the Diamondbacks for three years, an assistant coach for the University of Arizona and special assistant in scouting and player development for the Dodgers from 2014-2017.His father coached college baseball for 30+ years. Hardly a nerd.I think that along with Rowson and Smith he has been part of the reason for the turn around.

 

http://minnesota.cbs...h-jeff-pickler/

I'm not a Molitor fan but keeping him was the logical decision if you put yourself in the boss's shoes.

 

However, 3 years seems long to me. 

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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 10 2017 03:44 PM

This probably doesn't happen if the Twins finish with 75 wins and miss the playoffs. Despite all the bunts, Molitor got results. This isn't like Gardy where it appears he has too much say over the roster, which is good. I just hope that Pickler can help him more with in-game decisions over the next couple years. I think the players liking him is a good thing, but I just want to see him consistently making the best moves to put the team in the best place to win.

If the new regime is realistic, they know that outside of catching lightning in a bottle, they still have a 2-3 year process ahead of them. They were forced into extending Molly now, but can continue to rebuild the lower levels of the system as needed, and get through two more years and then just fire him in year three and get who they want. 

 

 

    • spinowner likes this

It seems that many forget that the last time this club rebuilt themselves into a successful organization they brought in Andy McPhail as a young outsider, who brought in Tom Kelly as a young outsider.

 

The notion of them "taking care of their own", the "Twins Way", and all of those other "traditions" really just began in the late 90's, well after TK and McPhail made a lot of good decisions and rebuilt the culture into what worked at the time. TK pissed a lot of people off along the way.

 

The nostalgia for those days blinds people as to what it really represented, and the harsh realities that go into a true rebuild and culture change.

 

 

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yarnivek1972
Oct 10 2017 05:20 PM

It seems that many forget that the last time this club rebuilt themselves into a successful organization they brought in Andy McPhail as a young outsider, who brought in Tom Kelly as a young outsider.

The notion of them "taking care of their own", the "Twins Way", and all of those other "traditions" really just began in the late 90's, well after TK and McPhail made a lot of good decisions and rebuilt the culture into what worked at the time. TK pissed a lot of people off along the way.

The nostalgia for those days blinds people as to what it really represented, and the harsh realities that go into a true rebuild and culture change.


I don’t know how you would consider Tom Kelly an outsider. He has been employed exclusively by the Twins for over 45 years. By the time he became manager, he had 15 years in the organization.
    • jimmer likes this
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twinssporto
Oct 10 2017 05:58 PM

I'm glad they kept Molitor.  It seems silly to mess around with a cohesive team atmosphere with great chemistry.  Dozier came right out and said he supported Molitor 100% and also said he speaks for the entire team when he says that.

 

I love the new analytical approach to things in baseball but I sometimes think focusing on only that component blinds people in their approach to coaching, instructing, managing, etc. (I'm going to post a topic on this subject soon).  At this point I think a more qualitative approach to managing a young team is better than a quantitative approach.  

 

Molitor does provide a unique perspective after playing for 20 years.  He most likely has been apart of toxic clubhouses and cohesive clubhouses.  After all these years in baseball I would bet he's learned what not to do as well as what motivates a team (analytics aside).  As a Manager, either of baseball players, employees or soldiers it's his or her job to get the most out of their people and guide them in the direction you want them to go.  

 

I also don't think he earned the players respect this year but he earned it last year.  Close relationships and mutual respect are usually forged in difficult times not great times...

I don’t know how you would consider Tom Kelly an outsider. He has been employed exclusively by the Twins for over 45 years. By the time he became manager, he had 15 years in the organization.


And MacPhail was already in the organization (albeit briefly) before he was promoted to GM. That whole analogy didn't make much sense.

 

If the new regime is realistic, they know that outside of catching lightning in a bottle, they still have a 2-3 year process ahead of them. They were forced into extending Molly now, but can continue to rebuild the lower levels of the system as needed, and get through two more years and then just fire him in year three and get who they want. 

This post captures the essence of the situation. Falvey still has a lot of work ahead of him to build the Minnesota Twins. I say build instead of rebuild because he is really starting from scratch on the project of assembling an organization from top to bottom in his vision. He knows what he wants to do but he can't neglect what's in place in the meantime. I think he decided that Molitor will be satisfactory in handling the current major league team but as his vision becomes reality and he identifies someone who will better fit what he wants in a manager he'll thank Molitor for his service and make a change.

Spitballing here, but what if Falvey likes Molitor, thinks he brings a lot to the table as a baseball manager, and is the best current option to implement his vision.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Oct 10 2017 07:40 PM
When does 2018 start?
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yarnivek1972
Oct 10 2017 07:59 PM

Spitballing here, but what if Falvey likes Molitor, thinks he brings a lot to the table as a baseball manager, and is the best current option to implement his vision.


Molitor is still 61 years old.

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