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Baseball notes: Minnesota Twins fire manager Paul Molitor after 78-84 finish

The Minnesota Twins fired Paul Molitor on Tuesday, one season after he won the American League Manager of the Year award.

Molitor has been offered another position within the organization.

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“I fully respect that decision,” Molitor said in a statement distributed by the Twins. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me to serve in the role as manager for these past four years. I'm going to consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity to positively impact the Twins from a different role.”

The Twins went 305-343 under the 62-year-old Molitor, with one appearance in the playoffs in 2017. They were 78-84 this year, long out of postseason contention after a series of early setbacks to several key players.

Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine inherited Molitor when they were hired two years ago, when owner Jim Pohlad said keeping him would be a prerequisite for the job. After the Twins went 85-77 and reached the wild card game, Molitor was given a new three-year contract. Falvey and Pohlad each expressed confidence Molitor would remain with the Twins.

Executives often prefer to pick their own managers, and Falvey and Levine haven now undertaken that task.

Molitor, who spent the final three seasons of his Hall of Fame playing career with his hometown team, held several roles within the organization before he was named the 13th manager of the Twins for 2015.

Reliever Hendriks to start for Oakland in wild-card game

Reliever Liam Hendriks will start for the Oakland Athletics in Wednesday night's AL wild-card game against the New York Yankees.

Hendriks was designated for assignment in June and cleared waivers, but now he'll open the biggest game of Oakland's season. He will be only the fourth pitcher to start a postseason game after a regular season of no wins, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Hendriks was 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 25 appearances this year, including 0-1 and a 2.08 ERA in eight September starts of 1 2/3 innings or less. He pitched seven shutout innings in his last seven starts, allowing four hits.

Virgil Trucks started twice for Detroit in the 1945 World Series after returning from World War II and making one regular-season appearance. The others to start in the postseason after no regular-season wins were Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo in 2008 when he returned from a torn knee ligament, and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter in 2012 when he came back from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

Following injuries to Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and several others, Oakland manager Bob Melvin used 15 starters.

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