Twins Talk, August 28 28 Aug 15

Twins Talk

Story and Photos by Gordy Jones

Molitor was Born to Run the Twins!

As I write this, the Twins are three-fourths of the way through the 2015 season, they are above .500, and they still have a chance to win a wild-card playoff spot. This season has been more fun than we’ve had since 2010, during Target Field’s inaugural season. I believe that the person most responsible for this year’s fun and success is Twins manager Paul Molitor.

Paul appears to be reserved, but he is not. It’s just that he chooses his words methodically and carefully, and is an articulate speaker. The wheels are always turning in his head. He is creative and inventive. Whether he’s trying an unusual shift of the infield, an unexpected steal or bunt, restricting the players’ electronic-device usage before the game, or even calling off practice so that the guys can rest, opponents never know what to expect. And actually, Paul’s not so quiet. When he and Tom Brunansky watch the game as they’re perched on the top dugout step, they are two of the more vocal coaches around. They are great at cheering their players on, and instructing them loud enough so that the guys can hear them on the field, but they are also entertaining when sharing their opinions with the umpires. Even though Paul Molitor has told me it’s too early in his career to give him a report card for managing, I’d give him an A, so far.

Paul is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. This week was the 40th anniversary of Springsteen’s Born to Run album. Recently, Scott Korzenowski filled in for Patrick Reusse on AM1500. His guest was Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, and they discussed Mike’s column that ran in the August 25 Pioneer Press in which he interviewed Paul Molitor. Mike had talked to Paul about his expertise and relationship with Bruce Springsteen. They say that Paul has been to more than 50 of Bruce’s concerts. Scott and Mike both noted in their discussion that when Paul broke down Springsteen’s music, it showed what a detailed mind he has. That is the same attention to detail he uses to run his team. He is a deep thinker, much like his close friend Tom Kelly.

They ended the show, just as Berardino ended his column; with a funny anecdote. In 1997, TK was the Twins’ manager, and Paul was a player. While playing at Yankee Stadium, Paul asked TK if he wanted to meet “The Boss.” TK said, “Nah, I’m good.” Later, TK asked if that was Bruce Springsteen that he had seen on the field. Paul said, “Yes, I asked you if you wanted to meet him.” TK said, “When you said ‘The Boss,’ I thought you meant George Steinbrenner.”  

 

Puck Lived Life to its Fullest!

I got a note from my friend Jodi Olson after I wrote about the late, great, Kirby Puckett last week. She was Kirby’s fiancée, and enjoyed my story, but sent me her thoughts and a couple of changes, and here they are:  “Thank you Gordy Jones for the mention. He (Kirby) is missed DAILY! Only one correction…we weren’t ‘hiding out’ in Arizona. This has been one of the biggest misconceptions since his passing. To clarify the rumors, we woke up one morning to a bitter 20 below temperature, and we both looked at each other and vowed that would be our last winter in Minnesota. We simply moved to a place where we could enjoy sun on a daily basis. We were back here all summer long and enjoyed every moment surrounded by great friends and family. He lived his life to the fullest, and I am grateful for the wonderful memories I made with him ♡”