The Twins have fired manager Paul Molitor, as USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale first reported Tuesday:
Paul Molitor has been fired by the Minnesota Twins— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 2, 2018
Over just four seasons, Molitor worked his way to ninth all-time in Twins franchise history — a rather significant accomplishment considering that the club has been in existence for 118 years, dating back to its days as the Washington Senators. He was unable to have consecutive successful seasons, though. After going 83-79 during his first season, the Twins posted a miserable 59-103 record under his watch in 2016. Molitor won the 2017 AL Manager of the Year award as they rebounded in incredible fashion last year, going 85-77 and reaching the AL Wild Card game (becoming the first team ever to go from losing 100 games in one season to making the playoffs in the next). Even after that turnaround, though, Molitor didn’t seem to have the greatest job security in the world — he was a free agent last offseason, and it took until October 9 for him to receive a new three-year contract.
With the Twins going 78-84 this season, basically losing all momentum from last season while getting disappointing seasons out of young core players such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, it wasn’t too surprising to see Molitor let go. He was hired by the previous GM, Terry Ryan, rather than the current baseball operations duo of Thad Levine and Derek Falvey, so it makes sense that they’d want to finally bring on their own guy.
With that said, this move has the potential to make things awkward between the Twins and Molitor — a Minnesota-born Hall of Famer who attended the University of Minnesota and spent the last three years of his playing career in a Twins uniform. But at this point, the organization appears to feel confident that he’ll accept a different role, according to a report from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Tuesday.