Will The Twins Fire Paul Molitor This Week?
The Minnesota Twins ended their 2018 season Sunday, but the speculation over Paul Molitor's job as manager may be just starting.
Last year, the Twins over-achieved just about everybody's expectations, finished second in the American League Central division and squeaked into the playoffs for the first time in a while. (Of course, they then lost in the Wild Card Game to the Giants, but still...)
Then, Paul Molitor was named 2017 American League Manager of the Year. But even as he won that honor, his status in Minnesota appeared to be on shaky ground-- thanks to the new management team of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. They joined the team in October of 2016 and many Twin Cities sportswriters believed they always wanted to implement their own choice as manager. (Previous GM, Terry Ryan, had hired Molitor.)
However, seeing as Molitor had just won that award last fall, he was given a 3-year contract extension-- but it took until October 9th of last year for the team to get everything finalized, furthering that notion that perhaps Molitor was their first choice to lead the team on the field.
This season, though, the Twins underperformed on the season again and missed the playoffs. And that's lead at least one sportswriter to speculate that despite having two more years on his deal, Molitor might get the ax by Twins management later this week.
Patrick Reusse, a longtime columnist with the Star-Trib, posted those thoughts on his Twitter page over the weekend. "I'm more impressed w/ Molitor winning 78 games w/ this collection of misfits than winning 85, sneaking into wild-card game & being voted Mgr of Year last season. As his reward, my bet is Molitor will be fired this week," he Tweeted.
Is he right? Will Molly get fired this week? I don't know, but I hope not. I've liked Molitor ever since I was a kid and he was playing third base for the Brewers. He's a St. Paul native, and, of course, he's a Fall of Famer too. Despite all the injuries to their star players-- and many of them being traded away in July-- Molly still lead the team to a .500 record after the All-Star break.
All of which means Reusse, sadly, is probably right.