MLB Franchise Notes: Twins Take New Direction With Molitor Firing
The Twins yesterday fired manager Paul Molitor just a season after he was AL Manager of the Year, and in Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes Twins Owner Jim Pohlad "made it clear" Exec VP & Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine are "calling the shots when it comes to all baseball-related matters." Pohlad said that when the team hired Falvey and Levine to "turn this franchise around after six seasons where the Twins went 407-565 overall, one condition was they had to keep Molitor on as manager." But going 78-84 this season "meant Falvey and Levine were comfortable firing Molitor" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/3).
JUST THE BEGINNING: In Ft. Worth, Jeff Wilson writes the reality for the Rangers is that they are "far from contention while in the early stages of a rebuild." Much would "have to change for the Rangers to contend." Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels said that the team "won't be big spenders this off-season ... and that the farm system won't be able to contribute yet again." Daniels: "Our goal and our belief is we can take steps forward next year. I don't believe in the word 'tanking' or that sort of thing. ... There are a lot of ways we can get better" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/3).
STARTS AT THE TOP: In DC, Thom Loverro writes the Lerner family, which owns the Nationals, is responsible for why the team has had "four different managers over the course of the last seven years." The Lerners at the end of last year dismissed the advice of Nationals President of Baseball Operations & GM Mike Rizzo, who was "wise enough to see the value of bringing back" former manager Dusty Baker for one more season. Loverro: "Dismiss any notion that it might [be] wise to show patience instead of pettiness, faith instead of foolishness, caution instead of carelessness? Ownership" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/3).
FOLLOW THE BLUEPRINT: In Pittsburgh, Kevin Gorman wrote the Brewers this season modeled a blueprint for the Pirates that "adding payroll with the right players could be the difference between playing in the postseason and watching from home." The Pirates "must show they are willing to spend." That is what "pushed the Brewers, transforming their outfield" by signing CF Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80M contract and trading four prospects to the Marlins for LF Christian Yelich. If the Pirates "didn't shed their reputation for being penny-pinchers" by trading for Ps Chris Archer and Keone Kela and LF Corey Dickerson, they "can by spending this offseason" (TRIBLIVE.com, 10/1).