The Minnesota Twins didn’t really have a choice: they had to give Paul Molitor a contract extension.
Since the final out was made in the American League Wild Card Game, Minnesota Twins fans have been wondering if Paul Molitor would be getting a contract extension. Almost a week after the Twins were eliminated in the playoffs, once again by the New York Yankees, the Twins gave a three-year contract extension to the Minnesota native in a move that the team had to make.
Not many times should a professional sports team decide a contract on a seemingly right-minded person based on public reception, but the PR hit that the Twins would have taken if Molitor was dismissed would have been absolutely catastrophic.
After the handful of losing seasons, the Twins have lost a big chunk of their fan base and, more importantly for the bottom line, the season ticket base. Target Field was still seen with a lot of empty seats even as the Twins closed in on a playoff berth. It took virtually a whole season for the Twins to build back some semblance of a fan base and they couldn’t destroy it with the firing of the beloved manager.
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Aside the PR hit, look at what Molitor did this season. He took a team from a 100-plus loss group of losers to a playoff bound up-and-coming team. Sure, Molitor was the manager of the 100-plus loss season, too, but have you seen the roster that Molitor was given. Heck, did you see the roster that Molitor was given this season? Especially the pitching staff.
The Twins have only had three managers since 1986: Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor. Kelly found World Series success and Gardenhire found himself at the helm of many American League Central division titles and Molitor already has a playoff appearance under his belt. Molitor deserves to have an even more extended run as manager to see if he can join the realm of great Twins managers.
The Twins had to extended the Hall of Famer, but he also deserved to be given that extension. The Minnesota Twins are in good hands for at least the next three years.