Monday, October 9, 2017

Molitor watch, Day Four

Paul Molitor, whose status remained unresolved through the weekend, is not the only postseason manager on an expiring contract.

Others in the same position: Dusty Baker of the Washington Nationals and Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees.

Presumably Molitor and the Twins front office will come to an agreement today or Tuesday. But the mere fact that Baker has the Nats job is evidence that an agreement in principle can run aground on the details. Three years ago Bud Black was supposed to be the Nats' manager, but he wanted more money than the team wanted to pay.

Baker apparently wasn't thrilled with the salary either, but he probably figured this was his last best chance to manage again. Black eventually landed the Colorado job (and made the playoffs this year as well).

I devoted the Monday print column to the Molitor standoff. I'd rather have him return, but there's plenty of reason to suspect that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine want to at least keep their options open for replacing him.

Girardi may have to at least win the ALDS to keep his job in New York, especially considering the roasting he's taken over Game Two of that series and specifically for his failure to challenge what proved to be a pivotal HBP call. It's startling to me to realize that he's had the Yankees job for 10 seasons with "only" one World Series title on his managerial resume.

Speaking of the managerial carousel, a couple of #OldFriends are said to be prominent candidates for the Detroit Tigers job: Ron Gardenhire and Mike Redmond.

The Tigers have no shortage of candidates and I wouldn't declare either to be the favorite, but I

  • doubt that anybody is going to win there for a few years and
  • would not be inclined to hire Gardenhire for a rebuilding project.

There are probably teams and situations in which Gardenhire would thrive: specifically, a veteran team with minimal need for the manager to decide who should play.

Gardenhire might be a better fit for the 2018 Yankees than Girardi would be -- but Gardy might not have been a good fit for the 2017 Yankees, who came into the season unsure if Aaron Judge should even be on the roster or if Luis Severino should be in the rotation. But even if Girardi is axed, I suspect the Yankees will go for a manager more obviously analytically inclined.

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