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Paul Molitor is working his magic in Minnesota

May 12, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

Brian Dozier Getty Images

For years tons of Minnesotans wanted Hall of Famer (and local boy) Paul Molitor added to the Twins’ coaching staff because he’s always been touted as a great baseball mind and specifically an excellent base-running teacher.

This season the Twins finally added him to Ron Gardenhire’s staff and to hear Brian Dozier tell it at least, Molitor has already had a big impact. Dozier, who has 12 steals after totaling 14 all of last season, told Tyler Mason of FSN North:

To be honest with you, what’s kind of revamped everything has been having Molly on the staff. It’s been night and day compared to every other year, as far as dissecting pitchers, knowing exactly what they do, their tendencies, stuff like that. He has a five, 10-minute conversation with me before every game and every single thing that he’s got on film from the pitcher, tendencies, everything.

All of which is great, of course, although as a Twins fan it does make me wonder what took so long to actually get Molitor on the coaching staff.

As a team the Twins rank fourth in the league with 27 steals and have been thrown out just eight times. Last season they stole 52 bases all year to rank 13th in the league and Dozier went just 14-for-21. Molitor has also been tasked with handling the Twins’ defensive shifts, which are much more frequent and analytic based after a decade of relying mostly on Gardenhire’s eyes and gut feelings.

  1. billyboots - May 12, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Molitor wasn’t on the staff because Gardenhire knows that a large minority of Twins fans wanted Molitor to have his job all along. Molitor was the second choice of the Twins management team when Gardenhire was hired and will be the man to take over when Gardenhire eventually gets fired.

    • chevroletmovietheatre - May 12, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      God, I hope so.

    • moogro - May 12, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      This. And Gardy’s loyalty to those already there.

    • happytwinsfan - May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      The improvement he’s adding possibly saves Gardenhire’s job.

      • billyboots - May 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Possibly, but it says more about Gardenhire’s pettiness than anything else. Molitor should have been on staff years ago. He wanted to be there, the fans wanted him there, but Gardy always goes with “his guys.”

  2. kraa0901 - May 12, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Billyboots- you are spot on with that assessment! I cannot wait until Gardenhire gets ran out of town. Molly for 2015!!

  3. bigtunany - May 12, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    “Molly”? The art of nicknaming has really been lost. Baseball Reference lists Molitor’s nickname as, “The Ignitor”, which is way better than Molly, but I don’t remember people actually using that when I was a kid. Shortening the name, and adding “y” is just the worst.

    • missingdiz - May 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      “Iggy” then?
      One thing I doubt Molitor can teach, his quick swing. I don’t think I ever saw anybody who wait so long on the pitch and then swing so quickly. Except maybe Hank Aaron.

      • mgv38 - May 13, 2014 at 6:52 AM

        I always thought his swing was most similar to Joe DiMaggio’s.

    • uwsptke - May 12, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      It’s long been “Molly” as well as The Ignitor based on his knack for starting rallies.

      I was 11 years old during Molitor’s last season in Milwaukee, and I still remember a picture of Molitor (who was often injured) with arrows pointing to various regions of his body that had sustained an injury at one point or another. The title of that picture – “Good Golly, Molly!”

      Unfortunately, the GM at that time decided that he wasn’t worth re-signing after the ’92 season, and infamously said he was “just a DH”. Which was foolish, especially considering the Brewers were in the AL at that time.

    • moogro - May 12, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Gardy adds the-y to everyone for the nickname.

  4. musicman1434 - May 12, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Molitor has fire and intellect which are two things that Gardy is lacking in.

  5. alexo0 - May 12, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    The Twins clubhouse sounds like a lot more fun now that they’ve allowed Molly into it.

  6. alpo3744 - May 12, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    So that’s who Miley Cyrus was talking about when she sang that she was dancing with Molly, that makes way more sense now.

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