— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) November 3, 2014
Can “The Ignitor” light a fire under this franchise and turn it into a winner?
Paul Molitor was named the new Manager of the Minnesota Twins yesterday. He signed a 3-year deal and will be introduced at a press conference today at 10am that will air live on MLB.com and TwinsBaseball.com.
It took Terry Ryan and the front office about a month to hire the man thought to be the top candidate for the job even before Ron Gardenhire was fired. The Twins did their due diligence in looking inside and outside the organization for candidates to fill the job making sure there wasn’t a better man for the job. In the end, Paul Molitor was the man they wanted to take control of this team for the next three seasons.
The naysayers will ask many questions about this hiring. Is Paul Molitor the best person for the job? Should they have hired someone from outside the organization? Should he have some prior managerial experience? Is being a part of the so-called “Twins Way” a bad thing? Can he change Twins baseball back to a winning culture?
Is Paul Molitor the best/right person for the job?
Paul Molitor is a Hall of Famer who played for 21 seasons and has been around baseball for more than 40 years so I can’t imagine anything will come up that he won’t have already seen or dealt with. He’s already been an instructor with a lot of the players in the Twins system and on the current roster yet he will still be a new voice in the locker room. As a HOFer, he will have instant respect from every player that is currently in and/or comes into the Twins system and to the major league roster.
Should the Twins have hired someone from outside the organization, with prior managerial experience who isn’t part of “the Twins Way?”
Some think it’s wrong for the Twins to keep hiring from inside the organization. They interviewed many candidates from outside the organization and in the end, felt like Paul Molitor was the right person for the job. It’s about finding the right person not finding the right person from outside the organization.
On prior managerial experience, I give you this from an article posted yesterday on TwinsBaseball.com:
Molitor will join the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny, the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly, the White Sox Robin Ventura, the Rockies’ Walt Weiss and John Farrell — with the Blue Jays before winning the World Series as Red Sox skipper — as recent MLB hires with no prior managerial experience.
Matheny, Mattingly and Farrell have taken their teams to the postseason and Farrell won the 2013 World Series with the Red Sox. Weiss and Ventura haven’t done as well as they didn’t come into as good of a situation as the other three but it does show that prior managerial experience isn’t a prerequisite to being a major league manager.
“The Twins Way” takes on different meanings to different people. To me, the Twins Way means drafting well and developing those draft picks into major league players while now, because of Target Field, being able to supplement the roster with free agents when needed. I believe they got away from that for awhile and that’s a big part of the reason the Twins have struggled the last 4 seasons. They had no talent to bring up in those seasons and because they were losing, free agents decided to go somewhere else.
Can Paul Molitor change Twins baseball back to a winning culture?
Paul Molitor is a natural leader who may be a perfect fit for the Twins. He played every position as a major league player other than catcher and pitcher and his awareness and instincts are a big part of what made him a great player who got better as he got older. He will instill that awareness into his players and turn this team into a contender.
Even though the Twins just had their 4th consecutive season of 92 or more losses, there are a lot of positives in Dozier, Santana, Hughes, Gibson, prospects coming, etc…. They aren’t that far away from being a .500 ball club that could be on the cusp of contending for the division, playing in the postseason and, ultimately, winning a World Championship.
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