The end is quickly approaching to what may be the Minnesota Twins worst season in history. The team fired GM Terry Ryan back in July and has been looking to revamp the front office ever since. The recent chatter coming out of the organization is that the team hopes to have a head of Baseball Operations hired by the end of September while at the same time stories have come out that a number of people who the ballclub was interested in hiring have no interest in coming to Minnesota. Owner Jim Pohlad did say back in July when Ryan was let go that manager Paul Molitor would be back in 2017 for his third and final year of his contract.
If I am Paul Molitor, why would I come back in 2017? What manager worth his salt manages in his final year of a three-year deal? What kind of message does that send to the players not to mention the fans? Why come back and work for a GM or Head of Baseball Ops who didn’t hire him? An extension looks extremely unlikely after a season of 100 or so losses while working for someone who did not hire him in the first place. The easiest way out for everyone is for Paul Molitor to resign after the season ends and for the new Head of Baseball Ops to hire his own field staff.
Molitor and his staff have done nothing to make the Twins a better team. From what I see there is a lot of talk but no action. Young players appear to be going backwards in their development after spending their first season in Minnesota. Molitor was a Hall of Fame player, he has done nothing to show that he will be a Hall of Fame manager. Players keep making the same mistakes and nothing changes, Molitors’ bullpen management is a disgrace and his constant line-up changes are like throwing darts blindfolded.
Then there is Joe Mauer with two years left at $23 million per season. Joe has been the face of the franchise but at the age of 33 with 13 seasons in the big leagues, 10 as a catcher, Mauer needs to step aside and retire, his body has taken all it can handle. My guess is that Mauer has back issues that are showing up as leg issues. Nobody in the Twins organization wants the job of telling Joe that he is done as a player so it is up to Joe to do it himself. I can’t see it in Joe’s personality or pride to see him as a part-time bench player so the choice is simple. We all reach a point where the body can no longer do what it once was capable of doing. Joe has already sent a subtle message that the end is near when he bought a home on Lake Minnetonka not all that far from Justin Morneau. Actually the solution on what to do with Joe is rather simple. Here is what I would do to keep Joe Mauer a Twin for life and not pay him a ton of money. Mauer is already owed $46 million by Jim Pohlad. This past Spring Forbes magazine reported that The Minnesota Twins were worth $910 million. The solution is easy, have Joe retire and Jim Pohlad gives him 5% of the Minnesota Twins which is worth about $45.5 million. Joe walks away a happy owner of 5% of the club and Pohlad saves the $46 million he owed Mauer anyway and a roster spot opens up. Mauer hangs around the club and does what ever he wants and starts learning the ins and out of owning a MLB team.
The Twins recently announced that they could lose as many as 3,000-5,000 season ticket holders going into 2017, that would be a huge chunk of the Twins fan base. In response the Twins have told the season ticket holders that they can hold off on their down payments for 2017 ticket packages and that the team will not raise ticket prices. NOT RAISE TICKET PRICES? The team should be lowering the ticket prices after tanking since the 2010 season. The Twins should be embarrassed to even mention that they won’t raise ticket prices, that should go without saying.