I’ll miss Paul Molitor for many reasons, the foremost of which was that he created so many great moments for me as a baseball writer.
He was the MVP of the first World Series I covered, in 1993.
He was the smartest player I ever covered, and I still remember minor-league players telling me about Molitor predicting the next pitch the opposing pitcher would throw.
As a beat writer in the ‘90s, I found him to be the most thoughtful interview subject I had encountered. I still remember asking him questions, worrying that I might have offended him, then realizing he was taking extra time to formulate an incisive answer.
Watching him produce his 3,000th hit, an opposite-field triple in Kansas City that ended with a face-first slide into third base, was one of my career highlights.
And as a manager, I found him - here’s that word again - thoughtful. He treated all players well. He handled his public and media obligations with grace.
Even if I thought he deserved to be fired, and I don’t, I’d miss having him around.
You can find my podcasts, including a discussion about Molitor and Joe Mauer with Roy Smalley, at TalkNorth.com