Minnesota Twins: Paul Molitor Out as Manager After 4 Seasons
In a surprising move, the Minnesota Twins fired 2017 Manager of the Year Paul Molitor. The Twins went 305-343 under Mollie.
The Minnesota Twins are wasting no time rebuilding for 2019. On just the second day of the off season, the Twins surprised everyone by firing manager Paul Molitor. Molly replaced Ron Gardenhire 4 years ago and was celebrated as a returning former player. In 2015, the Twins went 83-79 and Molitor finished 3rd in AL Manager of the Year voting. The following season, the Twins set an ominous record for most losses in a season when they went 59-103. In 2017, The Twins made the playoffs, becoming just the first team to do so after a 100 loss season. Molitor was awarded AL Manager of the Year and hopes were high for the 2018 season.
Opening Day 2018 was met with much excitement and expectation. However, Miguel Sano struggled mightily and Byron Buxton spent more time on the Disabled List or in the minors than on the active roster. Offseason acquisitions Jason Castro and Logan Morrison ended the season injured and ace Ervin Santana battled through a finger injury, spending time on the DL.
The trade deadline became a fire sale for the Twins. Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar and Zack Duke were all dealt, much to the dismay of fans. Dozier was a reliable second baseman and bat. Escobar was an exciting, young, fast, up and coming player and Duke was just starting to make his mark on the club. Injuries continued to pile up and the offense struggled at times. The team ended the season 78-84, culminating in Molitor’s firing on Tuesday. The team plans to retain Molitor in a front office position.
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What’s Next for Joe Mauer?
As Joe Mauer exited Target Field for the final time this weekend, fans began to speculate. And let’s just get one thing straight right now. All signs point to Joe being done. He caught, even if it was one pitch, his daughters met him at first base, he got a hero’s send off and we had all the feels. If he doesn’t have an eye toward retirement, it would be hard to top that going away party. Besides, a season long send off isn’t exactly Mauer’s style.
So what’s next for Joe? It’s hard to imagine Joe walking away from baseball, despite how adorable his daughters are. He would be an obvious choice for a bench coach or even a bullpen coach. He could even find his way down to one of the minor league clubs as a hitting coach. With some of the best numbers in Twins’ history under his belt, Mauer comes with instant credibility for both players and fans.
It’s too early to say who will replace Mollie in Minnesota. The fans would love to one day see Joe Mauer in a Twins uniform again. That day might not be right away, but hopefully whoever keeps that seat warm for him can get the Twins back to playing October baseball sooner than later.