Glen Perkins is excited to have another Golden Gopher on board. Joe Mauer gladly welcomes a fellow Cretin-Derham Hall alumni.

But both Minnesota Twins players were looking forward to more than just those school ties when Paul Molitor was introduced as the next manager of the Twins on Tuesday. They, as well as others in Minnesota's clubhouse, have expressed a high level of respect for Molitor's baseball knowledge that has them eager to be led by a Hall of Fame player.

"He's easily the most knowledgeable baseball person that I've been around," said Perkins, Minnesota's two-time All-Star closer, who was on hand Tuesday for Molitor's introductory press conference. "I don't think his abilities and those things were used to the full extent (last year), which is why he's our manager now. He's the guy in charge. . . . It's going to be fun to see to how he adapts from last year in a small coaching role to this year in a lot bigger expanded coaching role."

After spending many years as a roving minor-league instructor in the Twins' organization, Molitor was brought onto the major-league staff as a coach for the 2014 season where he helped with base running, defense and served as another set of eyes on the bench during games.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier credited Molitor with helping him make the transition to second base, as well as the increase in Dozier's stolen base totals -- from 14 in 2013 to 21 this past season. Molitor worked early in the season with Dozier and other players about reading opposing pitchers and trying to pick up on tendencies that might give base runners an edge. That same approach helped Molitor steal 504 bases during his 21-year career.

"There's not a better guy fit for the job, in my opinion," Dozier said Monday when Molitor's hiring was announced. "I know you hear so many times . . . how intelligent he is and knowledgeable he is about the game of baseball. It's off the charts. I think it truly is a blessing. I'm excited."

Like Molitor, Mauer grew up in St. Paul and also played his high school baseball at Cretin-Derham Hall High School. Across the street from their alma mater's baseball field is a restaurant, the Nook, where both Molitor and Mauer have burgers named after them. Their pictures are both displayed on the walls, too.