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


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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.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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This may surprise some people, but I think this is great. I think Paul Molitor as manager gives this team the best chance to take the next step in 2018. With some key names entering the last year on the contracts (Mauer, Dozier & Ervin, though he has an option for '19) this next season could represent this group's final shot together. 

 

The fact that he got a three-year deal is on the Twins. At this point, Molitor had every right to request that long of a deal. I'm sure they could have signed him to a shorter extension if they'd approached him earlier. I'd expect he would have gladly agreed to a one-year extension at this time a year ago, or a two-year deal in July. The Twins dragged their feet in their evaluation of him, the three-year deal is the price they pay for that (not that he can't get fired if things go south).

 

But this should put to bed any speculation that Molitor isn't Falvey's guy and that he'd prefer to bring in someone else. If this front office had another guy in mind, this deal wouldn't be happening. Having both the front office and now the manager under long-term commitments should foster further continuity throughout the organization. Hopefully that strengthens the relationship between the manager and the front office and encourages further collaboration from the two.

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I wish that little video of that bunt attempt started earlier.  Under the rules of MLB, the catcher has to be in that little box behind the plate until the ball is released from the pitcher's hand.  That's why (up until this year) you would see catchers on IBB start behind the plate (or at least with one foot in that sometimes imaginary box) and then jump to catch the ball.  It doesn't appear that the catcher started behind the plate.  Of course, if the pitcher stepped off, all bets are off.  In that instance the hitter could be cited for interference.

 

 

Regarding Molitor, I'm kind of "whatever" about it.  IMO, good managers can win games and bad managers can lose games.  Most have minimal impact.  IMO, Tom Kelly won some games. His biggest strengths were developing young players and putting his players in a position to succeed.  Conversely, Ron Gardenhire IMO struggled in both of those key areas and as a result I feel he cost the Twins a lot of games.  Can you say that any team over-acheived under Gardenhire? I see Molitor as a minimal impact type.

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But this should put to bed any speculation that Molitor isn't Falvey's guy and that he'd prefer to bring in someone else.

 

 

I don't necessarily see this move as a referendum that Molitor is Falvey's guy, per se. I don't think Falvey makes this decision in a bubble. He would likely have to run the decision by Dave St Peter as well as Jim Pohlad.

 

I do agree that it says the front office agrees that Molitor is good at his job, but I also believe there is an internal guy that Falvine view as the long-term option as a manager (Pickler) but who is too inexperienced at this juncture. Retaining Molitor allows him to learn on the job for a couple of years. 

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not a fan of the incessant sac bunting and the often-questionable bullpen management (due at least in part, of course, to the often-questionable bullpen). but hard to argue with the team's play down the stretch and the apparent camaraderie. three years? no big deal -- steinbrenner fired gene michael 11 games into a three-year contract ...

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On the one hand, I think Molitor is a thoughtful guys who has proved himself fairly adept at handling the media, and that's a big part of the job. One also must look at the growth of the lineup and give him credit where it is due. 

 

On the other hand, I wonder a lot about his ability to develop a bullpen. Maybe some changes to the coaching staff can help with that. 

 

But the truth is that we are all in a really tough position when it comes to evaluating his performance and the guys above him are in a much better position for that. He must have done well enough that they trusted him more than their own hand-picked choice.

 

I'm a little surprised by this, to be honest, but I'm certainly not in a position to know one way or the other what the inside story was. A 3-year contract (provided all years are guaranteed) is no joke. I'll be interested in the money to see just how much of a commitment they have made. 

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I don't necessarily see this move as a referendum that Molitor is Falvey's guy, per se. I don't think Falvey makes this decision in a bubble. He would likely have to run the decision by Dave St Peter as well as Jim Pohlad.

 

I do agree that it says the front office agrees that Molitor is good at his job, but I also believe there is an internal guy that Falvine view as the long-term option as a manager (Pickler) but who is too inexperienced at this juncture. Retaining Molitor allows him to learn on the job for a couple of years.

I don't understand why we try so hard to limit the agency of Falvey and Levine. They have the power to make the decisions they deem necessary.

 

I imagine St. Peter and Pohlad would push back if they wanted to go a different direction, but they should! Molitor is popular locally and just unexpectedly led the team to the playoffs for the first time in 7 years. There needs to be an extremely good reason not to bring him back. A few too many bunts and a very undefined critique of "bullpen management" isn't nearly enough. If they don't renew Molitor and hire Pickler and it goes bad, that might be their jobs.

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I don't understand why we try so hard to limit the agency of Falvey and Levine. They have the power to make the decisions they deem necessary.

 

 

No one is limiting them, it's just the way this type of decision is made. 

 

Molitor is popular locally and just unexpectedly led the team to the playoffs for the first time in 7 years.

 

 

With that logic, you would have to assign Molitor some of the blame for the previous 103-loss season.

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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.

 

Concur. Unless they've done a lot more behind the scenes than we know about, after the first year they fired a couple of scouts, Dougie Baseball, Jack Goin, and a couple other minor league people. 

I'm a bit disappointed because the narrative when they were hired was they would fix the "Total System Failure". This all seems like things that the old regime could have done. 

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I think the narrative that all the front office has done is fire people is a bit misleading. For one thing, they brought in James Rowson and Jeff Pickler, both of whom seem to have had a positive impact on the Twins season. Rowson in particular has to be given credit for the offensive improvement of several of the Twins players. Pickler was more behind the scenes but based on watching the games I'd say some of the things like the outfielder's alignment cards are likely due to his presence.

 

At the minor league level, their first draft seems like a success although that's a little more controversial and too early to judge.

 

I'm holding off too much judgment until after this offseason, but I like at least most of what we've so far.

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Concur. Unless they've done a lot more behind the scenes than we know about, after the first year they fired a couple of scouts, Dougie Baseball, Jack Goin, and a couple other minor league people.

 

I'm a bit disappointed because the narrative when they were hired was they would fix the "Total System Failure". This all seems like things that the old regime could have done.

I think what's missing from this critique is how many people they have hired. Boosted the front office by around 40% in size (at least). It's smart to keep talented people who may have been hamstrung by previous operating methods and systems.

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The three year contract sounds nice now, after a winning season. If they regress next year I think the FO will have a quick hook. Ultimately I think they have someone else in mind and felt they had to extend him after the year we had. O really don’t think they ever wanted Molitor in the first place.

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I wish that little video of that bunt attempt started earlier. Under the rules of MLB, the catcher has to be in that little box behind the plate until the ball is released from the pitcher's hand. That's why (up until this year) you would see catchers on IBB start behind the plate (or at least with one foot in that sometimes imaginary box) and then jump to catch the ball. It doesn't appear that the catcher started behind the plate. Of course, if the pitcher stepped off, all bets are off. In that instance the hitter could be cited for interference.

 

 

.

We get your point, but that's not MLB. :)

 

As for Molitor, I hope he's better than I think he is. Which is entirely possible.

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I imagine St. Peter and Pohlad would push back if they wanted to go a different direction, but they should! Molitor is popular locally

If that had any bearing on the decision, I'd not only be disappointed, but quite upset.

 

I can think of other actions that would better curry fan favor, like four dollar beers at the stadium, $140M payrolls, traditional double-headers and owner financed stadiums.

 

If the Pohlads are making any onfield-impacting calls to appease fans, MLB needs to strip them of their ownership.

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I think these guys collaborate and delegate and this year Molitor proved flexible enough to work with his new bosses and even learn some new tricks. Maybe there is some fine print that limits the bunting. This year seemed like more of a group effort than the Gardy regime and Molitor played his role pretty well. I was surprised and pleased that young players were allowed to learn on the job for example. 

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If that had any bearing on the decision, I'd not only be disappointed, but quite upset.

 

I can think of other actions that would better curry fan favor, like four dollar beers at the stadium, $140M payrolls, traditional double-headers and owner financed stadiums.

 

If the Pohlads are making any onfield-impacting calls to appease fans, MLB needs to strip them of their ownership.

 

Allowing a franchise owner to have a say in the selection of arguably the most visible member of the franchise is grounds for his/her removal?

 

I doubt there is any owner of any pro franchise who doesn’t ultimately give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the head coach/manager selection.

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If that had any bearing on the decision, I'd not only be disappointed, but quite upset.

 

I can think of other actions that would better curry fan favor, like four dollar beers at the stadium, $140M payrolls, traditional double-headers and owner financed stadiums.

 

If the Pohlads are making any onfield-impacting calls to appease fans, MLB needs to strip them of their ownership.

If the front office really wanted a different manager they could get one, but they would have to nail the hire or risk their jobs. And I think it is quite likely they like Molitor, as they should.

 

I know it's hard to believe, but good relations with a fan base and trying to sell tickets is part of the equation. Ultimately winning is what matters the most (by far), but you can screw up the process in the mean time and do actual damage and cost revenue. It is a massive risk to replace Molitor after his season with media, fan base, corporate sponsors, etc.

 

I could go either way myself, I don't think managers matter *that* much and I find most criticisms of Molitor on here to be weak sauce.

 

And yes, an owner is going to have to sign off on a decision of who the manager is (I don't think the Pohlads are going to force a certain move tho). There's not a franchise in professional sports where that's not the case, so I don't think mlb is going to strip them of the team.

Edited by drjim
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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". :)

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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