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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 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.


What happened last year? He said give up? They didn't like him last year?

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...


Who has ever said focus only on analytics and ignore relationships? Did every player say keep him last year? What changed?

Molitor is still 61 years old.


Correct. But it's not like the front office wants to punt the next couple of years.

Molitor is still 61 years old.


Why does his age matter?
    • howieramone2 likes this

Molitor is still 61 years old.


Right, but we shouldn't hold his youth against him.
    • ChiTownTwinsFan, Mike Sixel, snepp and 3 others like this

I think this deal is fine. It's probably one year longer than Falvine would have preferred, but that's what happens when your manager is in the running for Manager of the Year: he gets a little leverage.

 

Molitor has shown willingness to work with an adapt to the new regime, handles the clubhouse and media well, has useful fanbase connections, is a student of the game (which makes it hard to believe he's going to suddenly start insisting that everyone just do it his way), and has generally been fine as an in-game manager. Coming off a successful season in which young players in the lineup took a step forward, I don't have any great concerns about him running the club next season.

 

The biggest problem on this team is pitching, and they just let Neil Allen go. So either Molly recognizes he needs a better pitching coach or the FO told him he's getting a different pitching coach, and that's ok with me. If it's the first, that's sound recognition. If it's the second it's evidence that guys aren't going to get to free ride because the manager likes them.

 

Regarding bullpen useage: let's see what happens if/when we get a little more stability there. or a little more talent. (same with the rotation)

 

Managerial contracts that are 3 years or less in duration tend to be pretty fungible. If this years turns out to be a total fluke year and next season goes to crap, they can move on without too much difficulty. If they take another step forward, they've got some continuity locked in.

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BrianTrottier
Oct 11 2017 11:48 AM

 

Molitor is still 61 years old.

 

Are you suggesting that age discrimination should factor into Falvey's hiring decisions?

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yarnivek1972
Oct 11 2017 12:01 PM

Are you suggesting that age discrimination should factor into Falvey's hiring decisions?


No. Simply that Molitor could decide to retire at pretty much any point.

 

What happened last year? He said give up? They didn't like him last year?

Good questions, but I'm not sure the team bought in last year...and then when things went off the rails soooo early and we were basically out of it in May.I think he has evolved as a manager and I an think the team has matured as well.I don't want to see them start over with a new guy when I think this team is on the verge of taking another step up.Buxton and Sano with an entire year of doing what they can do.Kepler has upside, Polanco has upside, and so does Berrios.

Looks like Boston doesn't have the same perspective on management. Farrell gone after American League East titles the last two years and World Series championship in 2013. Maybe if Molitor takes them to the division title...........

 

This is a real catch-22 now. If the Twins continue to improve, and with the core and better pitching, there is a high probability of that, with or without Molitor - are you stuck with him until he retires? Or do you make a bold move to make the team even better in the relatively short window (2-3 years if you are lucky) that is upon us? We all want the Twins to succeed. Nobody really roots against the Manager. What if the team only improves to 86 wins (the last two year pace of +1 game a year, 83 to 85 wins), or to 90 wins (the last 3 year pace of +5 games a year, 70 to 85 wins)? Is 90 wins, and a Wild Card game exit satisfying? How about 90 wins and a Wild Card game win, and a ALDS exit? What are the expectations now?

Farrel is a pretty bad manager from everything I read.....but who knows. Again, it is about process, not outcomes....you can do everything right and get unlucky, or everything wrong and get lucky. It's about reducing the role of that luck every day, in every way. Clearly the process wasn't working in Boston. I am open to the idea it is getting better here. I have doubts, but I also don't have enough information about what they asked him to do, and what he did off the field, to have a valid opinion.

My hope is that the FO discussed some issues they had with his managing before he resigned. I think the fact that they fired Allen plus the addition of Pickler and Rowson last year means this FO is still going to push for better voices in the dugout.

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twinssporto
Oct 11 2017 01:37 PM

 

Who has ever said focus only on analytics and ignore relationships? Did every player say keep him last year? What changed?

Nobody that I know of on here or elsewhere said to focus only on analytics and ignore relationships.  My point (obviously poorly expressed) was that I think a younger team like the Twins would fare better under a more qualitative management approach than with a management style designed for more veteran type players (and possibly a more analytics driven approach).  

 

I don't know what the players thought of Molitor last year.  Dozier's comments were said a week ago about this year.  I'm not sure if anything changed from last year or not.  Wish I had better access to the players to dig a little deeper into that subject!  

    • Mike Sixel 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. 

If you have the attention and respect of the players why would you need to act out to get results?Labile leadership is usually not a good thing.

 

Molitor is still 61 years old.

So what. What has age got to do with anything? Is Molitor going to drop dead because of age before the contract is over? Senile dementia going to set in? The ability to relate and communicate with people is not age defined, it is personality defined.

    • kellyvance, twinssporto and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

Looks like Boston doesn't have the same perspective on management. Farrell gone after American League East titles the last two years and World Series championship in 2013. Maybe if Molitor takes them to the division title...........

 

This is a real catch-22 now. If the Twins continue to improve, and with the core and better pitching, there is a high probability of that, with or without Molitor - are you stuck with him until he retires? Or do you make a bold move to make the team even better in the relatively short window (2-3 years if you are lucky) that is upon us? We all want the Twins to succeed. Nobody really roots against the Manager. What if the team only improves to 86 wins (the last two year pace of +1 game a year, 83 to 85 wins), or to 90 wins (the last 3 year pace of +5 games a year, 70 to 85 wins)? Is 90 wins, and a Wild Card game exit satisfying? How about 90 wins and a Wild Card game win, and a ALDS exit? What are the expectations now?

Hiring Chip Hale was considered a bold move.Hiring Lovello was a necessary move. Considering that most of the preseason predictors, the so called media experts. had The Twins around 70 wins, a team that won 85 games did something right. There were not many changes made. Somebody made spmoe decisionsthat worked. Hiring a new manager would be a bold move. Likely followed by a necessary one.

 

 

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this
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Don Walcott
Oct 12 2017 10:56 AM

I turned on the Indians-Yankees game last night when it was 3-2 Yankees and Cody Allen was pitching. Cleveland had a lefty up in the bullpen, and Brett Gardner was coming up. Francona sends out the pitching coach, and I'm thinking "what the **** is he doing? Has he never seen how Gardner works over righties?"

 

If Molitor had failed to put a lefty in to face Gardner in a situation like that, this site would have exploded.

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Oct 12 2017 11:12 AM
It's cold comfort, but the same Yankees players who burned the Twins in the WC game also burned Cleveland in Game 5 last night.

 

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". :)

Hard to watch maybe because you don't know what Pauli knows.  I can think of nobody that knows baseball who thinks a sac bunt is dictated by what inning you are in.  It is dictated by who is on and where, how many outs there are, and who is up and can he  get the bunt down. And who is coming up next. It is also dictated by how well the pitcher is doing in shutting down our offense. You bunt more in a 3-2 game than you do when a lot of runs are being scored.  

 

think that Mollie's emphasis on bunting, and our young speedsters getting better at it,  will lead to more base hit bunts and fewer sac bunts.  There are several Twins that can outright fly.  Take Bux and Rosario.  Those guys can bat 400 with bunts, once they get the hang of it. And nobody criticized Billy Martin in 1969 when Rod Carew bunted 29 times for hits. Bunting is a largely overlooked part of the game today, and I applaud Mollie for using this overlooked tool. When you have speedsters, you use the speed because speed never goes in a slump.  

 

I remember a Mariners game where I was there and the Twins bunted three times innarow. Punto, Span and someone else I can't remember. The bunts all worked and nobody criticized Gardy. 

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yarnivek1972
Oct 12 2017 02:07 PM

 

I turned on the Indians-Yankees game last night when it was 3-2 Yankees and Cody Allen was pitching. Cleveland had a lefty up in the bullpen, and Brett Gardner was coming up. Francona sends out the pitching coach, and I'm thinking "what the **** is he doing? Has he never seen how Gardner works over righties?"

 

If Molitor had failed to put a lefty in to face Gardner in a situation like that, this site would have exploded.

Cody Allen is Cleveland's closer.In the playoffs, at home, winning or losing or tied, your closer is going to pitch the 9th inning.

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Don Walcott
Oct 12 2017 04:25 PM

 

Cody Allen is Cleveland's closer.In the playoffs, at home, winning or losing or tied, your closer is going to pitch the 9th inning.

That's obviously what Francona was thinking. Although it makes no sense that they were even warming up a lefty with Judge and Sanchez coming up next. And it makes no sense from a purely statistical probability standpoint with Gardner being much, much better against right-handed pitchers. And there were runners on first and second and two outs, so it would have made a lot more sense to bring in a lefty to get Gardner than risk facing Judge and possibly Sanchez next.

 

My point is that's exactly the kind of old school thinking that would not be tolerated here if it were Molitor.

That's obviously what Francona was thinking. Although it makes no sense that they were even warming up a lefty with Judge and Sanchez coming up next. And it makes no sense from a purely statistical probability standpoint with Gardner being much, much better against right-handed pitchers. And there were runners on first and second and two outs, so it would have made a lot more sense to bring in a lefty to get Gardner than risk facing Judge and possibly Sanchez next.

My point is that's exactly the kind of old school thinking that would not be tolerated here if it were Molitor.


Maddon hasn't exactly been amazing with his bullpen usage either.

I think the lesson is that basically every manager is as good as their staff allows.
    • Don Walcott likes this

 

Hard to watch maybe because you don't know what Pauli knows.  I can think of nobody that knows baseball who thinks a sac bunt is dictated by what inning you are in.  It is dictated by who is on and where, how many outs there are, and who is up and can he  get the bunt down. And who is coming up next. It is also dictated by how well the pitcher is doing in shutting down our offense. You bunt more in a 3-2 game than you do when a lot of runs are being scored.  

 

 

Well, you probably don't know even close to everyone who knows baseball nor have you likely had discussions with anyone in baseball in regards to that. If so, please share.I'm sure many would love to hear how those conversations went.

 

Lots of studies have shown how bad it is to purposely give away outs.With the pitcher in the NL it makes slightly more sense in certain situations, but teams get 24-27 outs in most games and giving them away has been shown to decrease the odds of scoring, not increase it.So I imagine that managers who embrace newer info out there, only call for it in selected situations.Some older school managers might find it makes sense whenever because that's how the game has been played for so long.

 

Bunting for hits is a different conversation.

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

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

my God! The man quotes the run expectancy table and then says I don’t care what the math says, I go by gut

 

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

 

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

Wow, I just threw up a little in my mouth.


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