The Minnesota Twins have fired manager Paul Molitor after four seasons on the job, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
Paul Molitor has been fired by the Minnesota Twins— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 2, 2018
Minnesota finished with a disappointing 78-84 record, a year after reaching the AL Wild Card Game (a loss to the New York Yankees). Despite leading the Twins to their first playoff berth in seven years and registering a pair of winning seasons, Molitor was surprisingly let go.
Following the 2017 season, the Twins gave Molitor a three-year contract extension. That was a sign of confidence from management and ownership, but Molitor has been reminded that baseball is a brutal business. One bad season was enough for Minny to fire a man who had just gotten a multi-year deal 12 months ago.
The Twins added pitchers Jake Odorrizi and Lance Lynn, plus big time slugger Logan Morrison to join a team that had made the playoffs in 2017. Minnesota was heavily expected to compete for a playoff spot throughout the season, but they were never really in contention. The Cleveland Indians won the AL division with a record of 91-71.
Molitor, the 1997 AL Manager of the year, also played for the Twins from 1996-98. He joins Jeff Banister (Texas Rangers), John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays), and Mike Scioscia (retired, Los Angeles Angels), as the list of managers who will not be returning to their respective teams in 2018. More firings are sure to follow.
In his playing career, Molitor was a seven-time All-Star, part of the 3,000 hits club and helped the Toronto Blue Jays win the 1993 World Series, where he was named MVP of the Fall Classic. Molitor joined the Twins organization as a coach for the 2005 season, and wound up landing the managerial gig in 2015.
Molitor brought a quick turnaround in Minnesota by guiding them to winning seasons in 2015 and 2017. Perhaps that may be enough for other teams to consider when they begin the process of searching for new managers.