One year after winning the AL Manager of the Year, Paul Molitor has been fired by the Minnesota Twins. However, the Twins hope to keep him on as part of the organization. But, within a different role next season. We’ll see what happens there.
Molitor would lead the Twins to a 78-84 season, finishing 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians. After a spring training, though, high expectations were set for the team’s ability to compete within the division. It just didn’t work out that way
In four seasons as manager, Molitor’s Twins compiled a 305-343 record. They were expected to be on a turnaround after finishing 85-77 in 2017. That came after the 2016 Twins went 59-103 — grim, indeed. They would then earn their second-highest victory total in 2017, with the previous record being set in 2010. Minnesota won 94 games that season. The 2017 team did also earn a trip to the postseason as a wild card team, but fell short to the Yankees. (Sounds eerily familiar to the 2010 season, doesn’t it?)
But the Twins organization insists that the Molitor firing wasn’t a result of the team’s record.
“This wasn’t about our record this year. This is about what we think is best as we continue to grow a young team in the direction toward being a championship contender,” said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, according to ESPN.
Molitor has two years remaining on the three-year contract extension from 2017. That said, the organization is almost certain he’ll opt to stay with the Twins.
So, what does Moli think about all this? Well, to put it simply, he gets it.
“I fully respect that decision,” Molitor said in a statement distributed by the team. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me to serve in the role as manager for these past four years. I’m going to consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity to positively impact the Twins from a different role.”
That all sounds pretty good. But is it too good to be true? We’ll likely know sooner than later. It’s just that Molitor and the Twins couldn’t propel the 2017 momentum into 2018. And it would start with Minnesota winning just nine games in April.
A Minnesota native, Molitor was a seven-time All Star. He spent 21 seasons in MLB between the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays and Twins. Molitor was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 — his first appearance on the ballot.