There is undeniably more optimism around the Minnesota Twins heading into 2015 than there has been in years.
Four straight 90-plus loss seasons forced the club to "change the voice" and after removing Ron Gardenhire as manager at the end of the 2014 season, the Twins hired Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo ranked all 30 managers in Major League Baseball, and he put Molitor at the very end, ranking him 30th.
"The second Hall of Famer to take a crack at managing, he joins [Ryne] Sandberg in trying to apply the things that made him great to players who will likely be inferior. This is not easy. Ted Williams also struggled as a manager because players couldn't live up to what he expected. Molitor has been around the Twins as a coach so the transition shouldn't be severe."
That's one thought, but Puckett's Pond is quick to respond that Molitor's knowledge of the game is second to none.
"Prior to his hire, much was made about the baseball mind the former standout on the diamond possesses. Regarded by many as having some of the highest baseball intellect in the game, there is nothing to say Paul Molitor doesn't quickly find himself amongst the Maddon and Bochy realm."
Expectations for the Twins this season are kind of tough to figure out. While there's little doubt the team has improved, even Twins MLB.com blogger Rhett Bollinger notes the Twins aren't expected to contend for the AL Central title just yet.
The rest of the American League Central division is also improved; so while there is reason to hope 90 losses are a thing of the past, a run to the division crown may still be a couple of years away – following the arrival of some of the team's top prospects.