• Paul Molitor's coaching snub is puzzling

    When the Twins announced the retooling of their coaching staff at the conclusion of the regular season, one of the first names to come to mind for most Twins fans was former Twins player and Twin Cities native Paul Molitor. The Hall of Fame player is currently employed by the organization as a roving minor league instructor and he served as bench coach for Tom Kelly from 1999 to 2001. In interviews since the Twins cleared out their coach staff, Molitor expressed interested in coaching with the team if he was asked. General Manager Terry Ryan has come out publicly and stated Molitor isn't a fit with the major league version of the Twins. When asked about the issues in another interview, Ryan said, "It's not a fit right now."

    So the question floating through the minds of Twins fans has to be, why isn't Paul Molitor a coaching option at this point?

    From sounds of reports out of the Twin Cities, it sounds like Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire made the joint decision to keep Molitor off of the major league coaching roster. Speculation can be made that one of these men has something working with Molitor. Before Ryan came back to his role as GM, he spent a lot of time working with the minor league system for the Twins. This should have given him plenty of opportunities to see Molitor working closely with the talent in the minor leagues. Both Gardenhire and Ryan see a lot of Molitor at spring training as he hops from field to field working with different groups of players. He knows the team and the organization so there must be something deeper to this dismissal of Molitor joining the coaching staff for the Twins.

    The last time the Twins organization needed a new manager there were a few different candidates for Terry Ryan to pick from. Obviously, Gardenhire became the man for the job for a few different reasons. He had served as manager in the minor leagues for three seasons before joining the club as the third base coach in 1991. Gardenhire would keep that job for 11 seasons and he worked closely with Tom Kelly during this time. Molitor was another candidate for the job back in 2002 but he was only three years removed from his own playing career. In the three years since his retirement, he had been working as the bench coach for the Twins but the team went for Gardenhire, the man with more experience.

    In your own life if you were going after a tough job opening, there can be plenty of pressures in the job interview process. If there was another candidate strongly considered for the position, it might be hard for you to work with them if they were hired to work below you in some capacity. This might be the thinking of Gardenhire as he assesses the situation this offseason. He knows his job is on thin ice after two terrible seasons in Minnesota and having Molitor on his bench as a coach could make his job even harder for next year. If the Twins were to get off to another rough start, Molitor could be the new manager in waiting. This can be a threatening situation for Gardenhire so maybe he put the axe on the thoughts of having Molitor added to his staff.

    The men picked to fill the open positions for the Twins include some of the members of the staff for the Twins Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. Triple-A hitting coach Tom Brunansky has moved through the Twins system pretty rapidly in the last few years and he is lined up to take over the hitting instruction. Triple-A pitching coach Bobby Cueller is now the bullpen coach since Rick Anderson kept his position as pitching coach with the Twins. Cueller could also be useful as a translator for Hispanic players on the Twins as this has been an area of concern for the club. Rochester manager Gene Glynn didn't have a perfect first season with the Red Wings and it looks like the organization wants him to continue working with players at that level. The most surprising hire was Terry Steinbach to serve as bench coach and catching coach. He has no prior coaching experience so it's hard to imagine what coach would take over if Gardenhire was fired in mid-season.

    In the end, it doesn't sound like Molitor will be joining the coach staff for the Twins at the beginning of the 2013 season. Ryan has made that point clear to the public over the last few weeks. The timing might not be right for Molitor to join the club but this doesn't take him out of consideration for future openings. Another bad season in Minnesota could mean the end of Gardenhire's time as manager and this could open up an opportunity for Molitor to rejoin the coaching staff. There are pressures surrounding all of the men at the top of the Twins organization and the coaching staff will continue to be scrutinized until the results change on the field.
    This article was originally published in blog: Paul Molitor's coaching snub is puzzling started by Cody Christie
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. adjacent's Avatar
      adjacent -
      Well it could be that, if Gardenhire is let go at the end of the year, Molitor could be a "fresh" candidate, without the burden of having worked with Gardy. That would signal a change of direction. If they hire Molitor now, besides what the article says, in the sense of how uncomfortable could it be for Gardy, hiring Molitor as manager later could be seen as "more of the same".
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Does Molitor have managerial experience anwhere??? I dont think so. So how do you hire him as Twins manager without any minor league mgr. experience. Better to promote Glynn much better to bring on somebody like Manny Acta with MLB managerial experience.

      Make Molitor hitting instructor not manager.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      I believe it was on Dan Barreiro's show that LEN3 said that he thinks the Twins view Molitor as a manager, not a coach, and they don't want Gardy having to look over his shoulder at a possible replacement all season.
    1. James's Avatar
      James -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Does Molitor have managerial experience anwhere??? I dont think so. So how do you hire him as Twins manager without any minor league mgr. experience. Better to promote Glynn much better to bring on somebody like Manny Acta with MLB managerial experience.

      Make Molitor hitting instructor not manager.
      He was the hitting coach for the Mariners in 2006 and that didn't work out all that well.

      I don't think a lack of MLB managing experience should rule him out completely. As the article says, he was a bench coach for TK. And other managers have done well without any experience. Look at what Robin Ventura did with the White Sux this year...
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I believe it was on Dan Barreiro's show that LEN3 said that he thinks the Twins view Molitor as a manager, not a coach, and they don't want Gardy having to look over his shoulder at a possible replacement all season.

      This seems more likely given that they didn't bring Gene Glynn up to the major league club either.

      I had a problem with Cody's speculation (both being considered 11 years ago) but not bringing up any likely near-term managerial candidate makes some sense
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I would say that Robin Ventura did a nice job of showing that having managerial (or coaching) experience shouldn't be a requirement for a big league managerial job.

      And, Mike Matheny and the Cardinals are showing that you don't need Tony Larussa (or Albert Pujols) to be pretty good again. A win tonight and they're back in the world series. He had no coaching experience.

      I don't think Molitor is necessarily a great choice for Twins manager, but it isn't because he hasn't been a manager before.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post

      I don't think Molitor is necessarily a great choice for Twins manager, but it isn't because he hasn't been a manager before.
      Why is that?
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      I think Molitor is the manager-in-waiting, and everyone knows it. Gardy should either keep the job or be fired. Don't bring his successor in early.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Actually, I've heard from more than one source that Gene Glynn is more likely to be Ryan's choice to replace Gardenhire than Molitor if/when that decision is necessary. In either case, I agree with Dave, there's no reason to add either guy to the staff yet since both are likely to be available if the need arises anyway.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      I updated the story to include the hirings announced by the Twins today.
    1. Montecore's Avatar
      Montecore -
      Personally, I'd rather see Dan Gladden be the 2014 mgr. than Molitor. Nothing against Molitor. It's just that I think Gladden could provide the intensity to shake off all the doldroms of the past decade plus.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Now we know the reason for both the Paul Molitor and the Glen Glynn snubs:
      they never coached high school ball at Wayzeta
    1. zenser's Avatar
      zenser -
      The Twins should look outside the organization for the next manager. My vote, Ryne Sandburg.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by zenser View Post
      The Twins should look outside the organization for the next manager. My vote, Ryne Sandburg.
      Yeah, I've been hoping for him for awhile now...
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by zenser View Post
      The Twins should look outside the organization for the next manager. My vote, Ryne Sandburg.
      Yeah, I've been hoping for him for awhile now...
      Rhino would be a great choice...surprised he hasnt been given the opportunity to manage somewhere yet.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Rhino would be a great choice...surprised he hasnt been given the opportunity to manage somewhere yet.
      He's now the 3B coach for the Phillies...

      He was the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year in 2010 and the Minor League Manager of the Year in 2011
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      I'm not sure why everyone is so wound up about Molitor not being brought on board. Is he so clearly the right choice that it's considered a 'snub' to not hire him?

      I don't think he's entitled to a job simply because he had a great playing career and is a popular local figure who wants it.

      Maybe he'd make a great coach or manager, but I don't think we've seen enough to assume that. I would have been fine had they hired him, but I'm not ready to start ripping them for the fact that they didn't.

      What I would rip them for is this: if it's true they've decided that Molitor (or Glynn) is the guy to replace Gardy, then just make the flippin' move. I don't see what good is served by putting Gardy in lame duck mode for a year.
    1. SpantheMan's Avatar
      SpantheMan -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      What I would rip them for is this: if it's true they've decided that Molitor (or Glynn) is the guy to replace Gardy, then just make the flippin' move. I don't see what good is served by putting Gardy in lame duck mode for a year.
      The twins can be cheap and maybe they don't want to eat whatever remains of his salary. It might look better for them if they simply don't rehire him rather than fire him. There was already enough change to send a message. Also, since Gardy has been around for a while, maybe they legitly want to give him a chance to prove he belongs in his job.
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