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After losing 90 games or more in five of their past six seasons, including a Major League-worst 103 losses in 2016, the Twins became the first club to go from losing 100 games one season to the postseason the next. Their surprising run under Molitor’s guidance ended with a loss to the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game.
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“I don’t think he gets enough credit,” said catcher Chris Gimenez, who was recently outrighted. “He sees so much on the field and he really started to loosen up, too. As a player he was intense, but he’s showed that he’s smart and witty, too.”
The Twins set the club record with a 26-win improvement from 2016 to ’17, and they did it without any major signings heading into the season. It was mostly the same core from the previous year, outside of the free-agent addition of catcher Jason Castro via a three-year, $24.5 million deal and signing veteran leaders Matt Belisle and Gimenez.
“What was so impressive with Mollie is how he was still learning about being a better manager,” second baseman Brian Dozier said. “It’s nothing negative.
“When you stop learning, you might as well leave the game. He could easily say, ‘I’m Paul Molitor, Hall of Famer, and we’re doing it my way,’ but instead, he really poured into us and we poured into him, and bounced off things to learn as a unit.”
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source : MLB