The Minnesota Twins are expected to name Paul Molitor as their next manager as early as Monday. Molitor will replace Ron Gardenhire, who was relieved of his duties this past season. Molitor, a Hall of Famer and coach on Gardenhire’s staff, will become the 13th manager in Twins history as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Molitor was a first ballot selection to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2004, and according to a timeline presented by the Minnesota Star Tribune, has worked with the Twins previously under Tom Kelly in 2000-01 season. He served as a hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2004 and recently joined Gardenhire’s staff this past season as a bench coach, concentrating on bunting, base running and infield play.
As a player, Molitor, a Minnesota native, began his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and won a world championship in 1993 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He signed with the Twins in 1994 where he finished his career fourth on the Twins hits list behind Rod Carew, Joe Mauer and Kirby Puckett. Paul Molitor is only the third Hall of Famer to become a full-time manager, joining the legendary Ted Williams and Ryne Sandberg in that elite class.
The Minnesota Twins have not found the success they had hoped for after moving from their old home–a dome–into an open air ballpark at Target Field in 2010. The team went 70-92 this past season before the managerial change was made on September 29th. Under Ron Gardenhire, who took over for Tom Kelly in 2002, the team went 1068-1039 in 12 seasons, according to Baseball Reference.com. Twins owner Jim Pohlad hopes that by bringing in fan favorite Paul Molitor, who was born in St. Paul and went to college at the University of Minnesota, Molitor can help lead the team back to the levels of success that Tom Kelly found in the late 80s and early 90s.
The naming of Paul Molitor as Twins manager is expected on the same day the Chicago Cubs are expected to name Joe Maddon as their new skipper as originally reported in the Inquisitr last week. With the World Series over, Major League Baseball has started its official offseason. Awards announcements, new manager hirings, and player trades and free agent signings will dominate the baseball news landscape until February when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Florida for the start of spring training. And for the Minnesota Twins, Paul Molitor will be there to welcome them as they begin the 2015 baseball season.
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[Image courtesy of twincities.com]