Shortly after it was announced that Diamondbacks’ manager Torey Lovullo won the NL Manager of the Year Award, it was announced that Paul Molitor had won the Award in the American League. Molitor beat out manager Terry Francona of the Indians and A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros.
Molitor’s Twins were the Cinderella story of 2017 going from a 59-103 in 2016 to an 85-77 record and a Wild Card berth. While the Twins were unable to defeat the Yankees in the WC Game, they still were not supposed to win 65 games, let alone clinch the second Wildcard spot.
Molitor, who was no slouch in his playing days, was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2004 and has now become just the 2nd Hall of Famer to win a Manager of the Year award (Frank Robinson was the first). Molitor is also the third Twins manager in franchise history to win the Manager of the Year Award, following Ron Gardenhire in 2010, and Tom Kelly in 1991.
2017 marked the Twins first playoff appearance since 2010 and Molitor was awarded with one of the most prestigious awards for a manager as a result of this.
His players think very highly of his methods as well. Brian Dozier had this to say about Molitor…
“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.”
Molitor certainly deserved this honor after leading the Twins to become the first team to follow up a 100-loss season with a playoff appearance, and if you would like the full voting results, you can see them below.
AL Manager of the Year voting
|Paul Molitor, MIN||18||6||4||112|
|Terry Francona, CLE||11||9||8||90|
|A.J. Hinch, HOU||1||13||12||56|
|Joe Girardi, NYY||2||6||12|