Don’t look now, but the Minnesota Twins have baseball’s best record.
It seems unlikely in retrospect. The Twins finished with 78 wins last year. They fired manager Paul Molitor and watched future Hall of Famer Joe Mauer retire last offseason. Yet, somehow, they’re the best team in baseball as we inch toward the season’s midway point.
It seems every year in the MLB there’s a team or two that peaks too early, building an unlikely lead in their division and crashing before the calendar reaches October. Last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks spent a National League-best 125 days in leading their division before bottoming out and missing the postseason. Apparently built on smoke and mirrors, those DBacks collapsed when it mattered.
The big picture: These Twins aren’t going too fast, too soon. They’re legit.
In with the new: The Twins’ choice to replace Molitor — a Hall of Fame player who won the Manager of the Year award in 2017 — with Rocco Baldelli represents a complete change in thinking and style. Molitor was a manager of yesterday, and in explaining the manager’s firing, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey cited a youth movement.
In Baldelli, the Twins got a 37-year old guy with no managing experience. So far, it’s paid off.