The managerial roundtable continues, but it seems as though one potential suitor was made available and then almost completely taken off the board within the hour.
It’s clear that as Blue Jays fans, one of the single most exciting developments this offseason will undoubtedly be the search for the team’s new manager. Whether new or old, this new face, whoever it may be, will hopefully lead the team into a fruitful new chapter.
As names are thrown out and rebutted as quickly as they were thought of, one name seemed to stick with core members of the Blue Jays fan base on Twitter. His name – Paul Molitor. A proud member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, “Molly” was awarded American League Manager of the Year last season and was surprisingly let go by the Minnesota Twins around noon Tuesday.
Almost immediately, Blue Jays fans jumped at the opportunity to point out that Molitor, a member of the storied 1993 Blue Jays, would be a near perfect candidate for Blue Jays skipper. He’s modern, strategic, and fits in admirably with GM Ross Atkins’ description of what his new manager should be – “tough, smart and passionate”.
Sounds good, right? A former Blue Jay being fired from his post and joining the up-and-coming bluebirds. Awesome. Unfortunately, though, things are indeed never as great as they seem.
According to Dan Hayes of the Athletic, the Twins have offered Molitor another role within the organization. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN expects Molitor to accept the offer of this “undisclosed” position, while the official press release from the Twins on Twitter adds that Molitor will “consider the offer” for a role in “Baseball Operations”.
In a separate statement from Molitor himself, delivered via the Twins official account, the native of Saint Paul, Minnesota says that he will “consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity”.
From the sounds of it, it’s likely that Molitor will accept the offer and stay within the Twins organization, at least for a while. His contract still has some time left on it and while he could certainly find a managerial job elsewhere (in Toronto, no less), that simply may not be what he wants.
The managerial shuffle is cutthroat and menacing, with professionals finding themselves jobless within an instant. Even though Molitor had a losing record (305-343) as the Twins’ manager, he was recognized as one of the best and most forward-thinking skippers in baseball, routinely earning respect from his players and fellow coaches.
Molitor, who joined the Twins in 2015, also was, according to a recent study done by Ian Hunter of Sporting News, a relatively successfully manager as far as challenges go. With a 44% success rate this season, “Molly” ranked ahead of notable skippers Terry Francona and A.J. Hinch.
All in all, it’s both troubling and saddening that the Blue Jays may not get the chance to interview Molitor for their vacancy, as he would not only represent a positive figure for a fanbase starved of success, but would also do the job effectively and entertainingly, as he has ably demonstrated the last few seasons with the Twins.
While it’s far from a sure thing that he’ll remain with the Twins, it doesn’t look like Molitor will be willing to negotiate for a managerial position, at least right now. He could still be a dark horse for the position, though, adding yet another name to the long list of individuals who could be leading this team for the next handful of seasons.