With Molitor Hire, Twins’ “Country Club” Mentality Continues


Twins fans, we finally made it.

After weeks and weeks of rumors, interviews, reading tea leaves, and ‘gut feelings’, the Twins are set to announce that they have selected Paul Molitor to be their next manager.  While the announcement is yet to be official, all we are waiting for is contract specifics to be ironed out and get some signatures on a contract and the saga that is the 2014 Minnesota Twins managerial search will mericfully reach its conclusion.

Now we can switch from “who will it be?” to now “Is Molitor the right guy?”

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Puckett’s Pond editor Collin Kottke wrote how he has conflicting feelings about the hire. I don’t blame him, I think a lot of us do.  There are quite a few gaps in his otherwise impressive resume that should give any Twins fan pause when analyzing this hire:  He has never held a manager position at any professional level. He has never had to assemble a coaching staff or evaluate roster talent. While he has been involved with the organization for years as a consultant, he has only officially been on the coaching staff for a little over a year. Yes, he boasts a Hall of Fame resume as a player, but will he be able to transition that experience into a successful managerial stint?  Needless to say, the questions surrounding the Molitor hire abound.

Despite those questions, Molitor is the new manager of the Minnesota Twins and there is one specific reason he was hired:  General Manager Terry Ryan didn’t have the guts to go outside the organization.  In the end, the Country Club mentality of the Pohlads and the front office superceded all other criteria and for that, the entire managerial search was a show only to satisfy the fanbase that wanted full due diligence in making the hire.

When a team is mired in a streak of losing seasons like the Twins, it was imperative that the organization was going to be open to fresh faces, fresh ideas, and a new way of doing things. Ryan had candidates in Torey Lovullo and Doug Mientkiewicz that brought with them those new points of views, new ways of doing things, and more importantly, a new voice in the clubhouse.  Instead, he chose the candidate he already knew. He chose the candidate he already liked. And ultimately, he chose the candidate that was already in the country club.

This is not to say that Molitor can’t be a successful manager with the Twins.  Puckett’s Pond editor Ted Schwerzler detailed why Molitor was an excellent candidate for the Twins . For the fans’ sake, myself included, I hope that is the case.  But when the organization had a chance to make some real changes, address some real issues, and make a bold statement that things are going to be different, they instead chose the guy that was “one of us.”

The Minnesota Twins Country Club is alive and well, folks. Let’s just hope that its newest member is up to the task.

Until next time…

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