MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 03: Manger Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the game against the Kansas City Royals on September 3, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Royals defeated the Twins 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

On Tuesday afternoon, manager Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins was awarded AL Manager of the Year. Fellow finalists for the award were Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch.

Molitor led the Twins to an 85-77 record, which won them the second wild card. They managed to reach the Wild Card game against the New York Yankees but were then eliminated. This was Minnesota’s first postseason appearance since 2010. Molitor gave Twins a 26 game improvement after the Twins experienced a 100 loss season, going 59-103.

Paul Molitor wins 2017 AL Manager of the Year

Within a year, Molitor was able to help the Twins bounce back from a 100 loss season. The 61-year-old was managing to keep his job during his last year of a three-year contract. Jon Krawczynski quoted Molitor on the uncertainty of his contract.

“It’s not a totally comfortable thing,” Molitor said. “But I think for the most part, staying task-focused … obviously having a competitive season with a wild card appearance, helped keep that focus consistent without being too distracted by it. I tried to put it on the back burner as best as I could.”

Thanks to Minnesota stars Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer the Twins were able to bring a formidable offense this season. Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton were able to have break out seasons which helped the Twins get into the wildcard.

The Twins pitching staff struggled this season, finishing 19th ERA. They made up for their pitching with their defense. Minnesota finished second in team fielding percentage with a .987 fielding percentage.

In the first two years under Paul Molitor the Twins went 142-182 before making a Wild Card appearance this season.

Molitor played 21 seasons as a member of his hometown team, the Minnesota Twins, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. He becomes the third Twins manager to win Manager of the Year. Ron Gardenhire took AL manager of the year honors in 2010, and Tom Kelly won AL manager of the year in 1991 as manager of the Twins.

After three seasons as the Twins manager, Molitor has 227-259 record.

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