Saturday, October 7, 2017

Bringing back Molitor, a continuing saga

On Thursday night, there were reports that the Twins would have an official announcement on Paul Molitor's new contract on Friday.

There wasn't. The word Friday was that this won't be resolved until next week.

Evaluating this from the outside:

* The public pressure is on the Twins. Brian Dozier has been quoted: "One hundred percent, I speak for everybody else in here, we hope he’s back.” The metro columnists are, predictably, in favor of retaining him. To the extent that Molitor has leverage in these negotiations, it's the vocal player and media support for him.

* Other leverage is with the front office.

It is entirely reasonable to believe that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine in July expected to dismiss Molitor at seasons end and that they had specific candidates in mind. (Two names from Cleveland, Falvey's former organization, have been linked to the job already: Micky Callaway and Sandy Alomar Jr., the latter of whom was among the candidates Molitor beat out three winters ago.) I doubt they are particularly worried about running these talks aground. In a sense, the worst that can happen is that they wind up with the manager they expected three months ago.

At the very least, if Molitor returns -- and I expect he will -- it will be on Falvine's terms, not Molitor's.

The Dozier quote, I'll take with a grain of salt. The idea that any manager is universally beloved in his clubhouse is somewhere short of credible. Casey Stengel supposedly said of managing that on any team, Five guys love you, five hate you and the rest are undecided. The secret of managing is to keep the five who hate you away from the 15 who haven't made up their minds.

We can assume Dozier is in the "love him" camp.

As for the metro columnist support, I've developed a rather deep contempt for their collective baseball wisdom. If Jim Souhan says the sun is shining, carry your umbrella.

As for my position: Tune in to the Monday print column.


  1. Well-said about Souhan.

  2. Personally, I have never been particularly concerned about Molitor's baseball decisions (bunting, batting order, etc).

    I am impressed with what I consider his main strength which is his leadership, getting timely contributions from his players. And he is getting the most from the players he has.

    To do that means he is using them where they can be successful.

  3. What happened last year?