October 30, 2023

Would the Twins have been better off with Torey Lovullo as manager?

From 2011 through 2014, the Twins never won more than 70 games, a streak that finally had dire consequences for longtime manager Ron Gardenhire and longtime general manager Terry Ryan, both of whom were let go.

The Twins replaced Ryan with the tandem of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine and then the organization had to find a new manager to replace Gardy — not an easy task considering the Twins had had only two managers, Gardy and Tom Kelly, since 1986. Continuity appeared to be paramount so the organization’s next hire would be nothing short of significant.

And among those interviewed for the job, and the eventual runner-up to manager Paul Molitor, was none other than Torey Lovullo, the skipper of the 84-win Arizona Diamondbacks who are in the thick of the World Series. Just when it appears that the power of the Philadelphia Phillies or Texas Rangers might be too much for the Snakes, the D-backs answer back, outlasting the Phils in seven games and tying the World Series at a game apiece with a 9-1 blowout.

The Twins it seems took a good hard look at Lovullo before they finally hired Molitor, including input from team owner Jim Pohlad, according to the Star Tribune.

“Pohlad also flew to Los Angeles last week to meet with Boston Red Sox bench coach, Torey Lovullo, the other finalist for the job,” the newspaper reported in November 2014.

That’s right: The owner flew to meet him, not the other way around.

So, would the Twins have been better off with Lovullo over Molitor? Molitor hasn’t managed as long, but the two have had similar careers.

Lovullo was named manager of the D-backs in 2017 to replace former Twin Chip Hale. He went on to win the N.L. Manager of the Year award in his first season, while Molitor accomplished the same leading the Twins in 2017.

Both managers suffered through 100-loss campaigns (110 losses for Lovullo in 2021 and 103 for Molitor in 2016) and both have had postseason success. The Twins were a Wild Card team in 2017 while the D-backs are in the middle of their best postseason run since winning the World Series in 2001. Both, too, have similar winning percentages: Lovullo’s .480 to Molitor’s .471.

In the end, it makes sense that both were finalists for the job, and I can see how Paul finally edged him out. After all, he is from Minnesota, he played for the Twins and recorded his 3,000th hit for the team and later worked as a coach for the organization.

Extra innings …

-The Texas Rangers scored only one run in their blowout loss to the Diamondbacks, but that one run, a home run, was hit by former Twins catcher Mitch Garver.

Garver has had a pretty good postseason, slashing .268/.362/.899 with 11 hits, including three home runs and 13 RBI. Garver spent five seasons with the Twins and was a Bomba squad member in 2019, hitting 31 home runs.

October 23, 2023

The not-so-secret stylings of ex-Twin Robbie Grossman

How many major league players have parlayed a .244 batting average with limited power into a career that stands at 11 seasons and counting? Not many, I suspect, but that is precisely what Texas Rangers outfielder Robbie Grossman has accomplished, perhaps prompting many to lift their caps, scratch their heads and ask: What’s so special... Continue Reading »

October 17, 2023

We hardly knew ye, Trevor May

Relief pitcher and Northwest native Trevor May, 34, who spent six of his nine seasons in major league baseball with the Twins, announced his retirement on Monday. The announcement was apparently made using a social media platform called Twitch, according to MLB Trade Rumors. “I love talking pitching, I love talking about the game, I... Continue Reading »

October 15, 2023

‘You’re playing like the Chicago White Sox,’ said relative to Dan Gladden

Before the Twins’ Game 4 loss to the Houston Astros, there was a moment of fun between two ex-Twins and some good humor in the radio booth. Former Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti threw out the first pitch to former left fielder and recent Twins Hall of Fame inductee Dan Gladden, who also does Twins... Continue Reading »

October 12, 2023

It’s over: 2023 season ends as Twins lose game, series to Houston

The offense disappeared for the second straight night and Houston did just enough to edge the Twins 3-2 on Wednesday to advance to the American League Championship Series and make it an all-Texas affair, Astros versus Rangers. What happened to these Twins the past two games? They reverted to their regular season form by striking... Continue Reading »

October 11, 2023

Seriously, Rocco, there’s no need to pitch to Yordan Alvarez. Walk the guy

It was over before it ever really began. The Houston Astros scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, scoring again in the fifth, sixth and ninth innings to blow out the Twins 9-1 in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday. It’s a huge disappointment... Continue Reading »

October 9, 2023

Lopez, Correa come up huge as Twins even series with Astros

Pablo Lopez pitched seven innings of shutout baseball and Carlos Correa drove in three runs to lead the Twins to a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Sunday. The series is now tied at a game apiece. Games 3 and 4 are at Target Field,... Continue Reading »

October 8, 2023

No need to pitch to Yordan Alvarez, Rocco

It’s time to walk Houston’s Yordan Alvarez every time he comes to the plate. That might sound extreme, but Alvarez, who haunted the Seattle Mariners during last year’s postseason play, is up to his old tricks by hitting key home runs. He hit a two-run blast to give the Houston Astros a 3-0 lead, then... Continue Reading »

October 5, 2023

Moving on! Twins sweep Toronto, advance to play Houston

A key hit, another great defensive play and nine innings of solid pitching carried the Twins to a 2-0 win and sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Series on Wednesday. The win also marked another important milestone for the Twins as they won a postseason series for the first... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.