As Cleveland Chases Title, the Minnesota Twins Find Themselves in Limbo

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It’s not often that Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter finds himself rooting for the Cleveland Indians. But as the Tribe looks to eliminate the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS and earn their first World Series berth since 1997, St. Peter is hoping that Terry Francona and the Indians win their first title since 1948.

The reason is, of course, because he’s got a horse in the race. Derek Falvey, the Twins executive vice president and chief baseball officer in waiting, is currently the assistant general manager of the Indians. “He’s a Cleveland Indians employee. He’s been able to have some introductory discussions with some of our key people, but he remains focused on the task at hand in Cleveland, which is how they’re going to beat Toronto tonight,” he said before Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night. “I can assure you that while I have some mixed feelings, we’re hoping the Indians go all the way to the World Series and bring home the World Series title, because it would be a special thing for Derek and so many other people we respect there, to go through.”

Not only does this create an odd rooting situation for St. Peter, but it also puts a lot of Twins employees in an odd place. Rob Antony remains the interim general manager without knowing if he’ll retain that position under Falvey once his hiring is official (“he has the authority to make decisions as necessary,” said St. Peter), but the rest of the staff has to prepare for next season knowing that general managers’ meetings take place in Scottsdale, Ariz. less than a week after Game 7 of the World Series.

“We’re going through the normal prep we would on a host of issues around preparation of free agency, things of that nature,” said St. Peter. “And, again, I understand the perceived challenges with it, and I’ve said it’s not ideal, but a couple weeks from now, when Derek’s here, a lot of these challenges will go by the wayside, and we’ll be able to move forward.”

That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been odd for Twins employees, many of whom have benefitted from the stability the organization has created over the years. “I’m most sensitive to our people,” he said. “It’s an awkward time within our baseball operations area in the front office, and there’s certainly still some uncertainty that probably permeates our scouting staff, our minor league area.”

Falvey has visited the Twin Cities with his wife and has had introductory conversations with Antony and manager Paul Molitor, who owner Jim Pohlad has publicly stated will remain in his position through next season, but nothing more than that in order to avoid the ire of commissioner Rob Manfred. “We understood the ground rules going in, and we have such conviction that Derek is the right guy for this job that that was something that we were willing to abide by here for the short term,” said St. Peter.

“I think that Derek’s primary focus is trying to help Terry Francona and the coaching staff there prepare for the Blue Jays and ultimately the World Series,” he added. “I also get the sense that Derek is burning the candle on both ends these days, because I know in my discussions with him, which are daily, he’s spending a lot of time over the course of his week thinking about, refining, what he wants to do when he gets to Minnesota.”

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