Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pic of the Week

Tom Kelly with his Target Field statute on Friday.
The Twins installed yet another larger-than-life bronze statue at Target Field on Friday, this time honoring Tom Kelly, manager of the 1987 and 1991 World Series champs.

Kelly remains a "special assistant" in the new regime, but he's clearly pared back his activities after his stroke of a couple winters ago, and I doubt that he's as influential with "Falvine" as he was with Terry Ryan.

His influence remains in the organization, however. Paul Molitor, the current occupant of Kelly's former job, played and coached for Kelly. The two best managerial prospects in the Twins organization, Jake Mauer and Doug Mientkiewicz, are also offshoots of Kelly's managerial branch.

The game has changed since Kelly's heyday. It always evolves. The constant challenge for managers is to identify those changes, adjust to them and find how the eternal verities of the sport fit in those changes.

This task, if I may get philosophical, applies to other aspects of life than baseball. Those of us who resist that evolution become grumpy old men. I can identify with that. I suspect that is part of why Kelly retired at an age at which Molitor hadn't started managing.

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