Paul Molitor chat transcript
Hall of Famer answers questions about his Toronto days
Gearing up for Toronto's Back2Back Weekend, Hall of Famer Paul Molitor participated in a live Web chat Wednesday afternoon. He chatted with fans about a variety of topics, including his hitting streak, the World Series, Cito Gaston, the Hall of Fame and more.Paul Molitor:: I welcome everybody to the Web chat -- glad to be part of this chat and excited to be coming to Toronto for the reunion next weekend! Molitor: The Rogers Centre fire alarm is being tested (or so they tell me). I look forward to your great questions. Be back in five minutes. Molitor: Thankfully the fire alarm testing is over! I will begin answering questions now. bigbat80: Hey Paul, are you going to be signing autographs for the Back2Back weekend coming up? Molitor: I will be signing on Friday night, Aug. 7, at section 207 from 5:30-6:15 p.m. I will be joined by Rob Butler and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you. flyball14: Molly, thanks for chatting with us fans. Wondering if you could let us in on what Roy Halladay is going through right now. You were a player that had great success with the Brewers (for a long time), but had to change teams in order to win a World Series. Molitor: The circumstances are a little different at looking at a trade as opposed to as a free agent. It could be a little troubling for the player of loyalty, as to where you are. It is tough to be in a area of uncertainty. bacatcher1: Everyone talks about how great a manager Cito Gaston is. From a player's perspective, what made him so popular? Molitor: Ah, first thing for me is the way he respected his players. He had their back, kept us cohesive. These were some of his better strengths, also knowing the team we had, Cito had great instincts in handling the personnel. He knew how to push us when we needed it. Treating us like men and having respect for the players were his two best attributes. heavhiter: Hey Paul, speaking as a Hall of Famer, do you think Robbie Alomar is a first-ballot entry in the Hall of Fame? And who are some other members of the 1993 team that should be worth a consideration? What about Cito? Molitor: I know Robbie is eligible next year. I have not looked as his numbers specifically. Robbie was very good defensively. He had uncanny instincts. I can't say he is definitely a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but again I don't really keep track of his career numbers. Robbie will be in the Hall of Fame for sure. As far as other members of the '93 team go, I think that Jack Morris is worthy of the Hall of Fame, as he was one of the best big-game pitchers. Jack would be the one that sticks out for me. haffner21: Hi Paul, I saw you back in Toronto in May for Flashback Fridays. It has been a while since you were up here. What was it like to be back in Toronto? Molitor: It was a great weekend to be recognized and to receive the reception from the fans and very heartwarming to myself. It was very nice in Toronto and I look back on it with fond memories. Great experience. barrybonnell: What were your emotions after winning the World Series? Everyone remembers the tears. Molitor: The exhilaration was first, the dramatic conclusion to that World Series, with Joe Carter's home run having ending it. The dramatic conclusion was very memorable. It was my first time winning a World Series, so that made it special. It hit me hard and fast and I was overcome there on the field. It was all that I could hope it would be. All the work that had gone in to the season was made worthwhile. shawnf1977: Of all your baseball accomplishments (.306 BA, seven-time All Star, World Series MVP, etc.) are you most proud? Molitor: Its a bit of a surprise answer -- I'm most proud of playing into my early 40's. I played until I was 42, and with all the injuries I had early in my career, this makes me the most proud. bigbat80: Hi, Paul. Your career batting average was .306, which is quite an accomplishment. How were you able to stay so consistently effective as a hitter throughout your career? Molitor: Two things definitely helped. No. 1, I learned to appreciate playing every day. When I had injuries at the beginning of my career it really helped me to appreciate playing every day. And I think learning to deal with the day-to-day emotions of playing in the big leagues -- learning how to deal with not being too up or too down. jays1085: With Minnesota building an open-air stadium, what are your thoughts on that? Since you played there for three seasons with a roof, do you think it's a good idea? Molitor: Baseball is meant to be played outdoors. The Metrodome served its purpose but it is going to be great to have baseball in Minnesota played outside -- definitely going to be some challenges with the weather, though. downdirty: As a member of the Hall of Fame, just curious on your thoughts on Pete Rose and Barry Bonds? Should they be allowed in? Molitor: Pete -- No and I'll tell you why. Gambling is the one rule that everyone knows before the beginning of the year. We are all well aware of the consequences if you are caught violating this rule. I think the rule would have lost all its meaning if we make a special exception for Pete Rose. As far as Barry Bonds goes, if it is ever proven that he has used performance-enhancing drugs then, no, he should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame. But I don't think he should be held out based on speculation. freshclean: Molly, you are one of the classiest athletes to ever play in Toronto, and we appreciate everything you did for this city. Why does it seem that today's players don't open themselves up to the cities that they play in? They seem so detached. Molitor: I don't think that is entirely true. There are athletes that understand the importance of community. There has been a shift in how players view what they are entitled to. There are people that get it but there has been a bit of a general shift towards players that think that they are a bit bigger than the game. studhoss12: Several years ago there was a lot of talk about you becoming the next Blue Jays manager. Just wondering what ever happened there, and is this something you would ever want to do at some point? Molitor: Honestly, I thought when I retired I would be a manager at one point. As I've gotten older and my family is more involved, I've kind of decided to have a little bit of a lesser role. I'm happy with the role I have with the Minnesota Twins. wondergoy: Paul, what is your craziest memory from your 39-game hit streak? Molitor: I think the probably the way it ended. We were in a pennant race late in the season and I was actually 0-for-4 in the game. I was on deck and guy ahead of me drove in the winning run, so the crowd ended up being very quiet because my hitting streak was over, so it was a little bit of a strange ending to the streak. It was a huge game for us to win. And I'm glad we won. thesven55: Who were your favorite players growing up? Molitor: Being a Twins fan, it was Harmon Killebrew. catchthis9: I heard Joe Carter is still trying to get in contact with Pat Borders for the Back2Back event. Did you guys use to pick on him or something? Why would he not want to come? Molitor: Pat was one of the most-liked guy on the team. Can't tell you why he is so hard to track down. shawnf1977: Did you know that you scored the first run at the Skydome in '89? Are there specific baseball moments that you still remember? Molitor: Yes, I did remember and the game was actually on June 5, 1989. The things I remember were the field was nowhere near ready for the game, they were still installing the turf and the fences, and at that point I wondered if we ever be able to play the game. Jimmy Key was the starting pitcher and it will always be a favorite memory of mine. coolbrook: Hi Paul. Are you going to be the new CEO of the Blue Jays? Molitor: Ha, ha, ha -- I am flattered, but I don't think that will ever happen. sammo09: What were some of your favorite memories in Toronto besides the World Series? Molitor: My favorite memories of Toronto are how beautiful a city it was. Toronto has great fans and I remember us drawing 4 million fans during the 1993 season. I got to know so many great friends in Toronto, so it will always be special to me. thesven55: Which former teammates do you look forward to seeing most? Molitor: I'm looking forward to seeing all the guys and coaches. Manderson: Hey, Molly, what did you do to celebrate winning the '93 World Series? Molitor: I did what the rest of Toronto and Canada did -- partied 'til the wee hours. coolguy126: Paul, I heard you guys are being honored on the field at Rogers Centre. How cool is that for a former player to hear the cheers still. Must give you goose bumps! Molitor: The Friday night at the Rogers Centre will be awesome! It feels great to be remembered with all those players. It will be awesome to share the field with those two World Series championship teams. I know my other teammates feel the same way ... we are all excited. haffner21: What was it like to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? How did you find out and what was your reaction? Molitor: To go in the Hall of Fame is very special. I did not start my career with becoming a Hall of Famer in mind. To be included in a club with the game's greats is very special. I really look forward to my annual trip every year and seeing all the great players. herosand: Paul, what do you miss most about the city of Toronto? I heard that you lived here year-round. What did you think of our winters? Molitor: I miss the people and the friendships. I love living in Toronto in the winters. My daughter actually went to school in North York and has fond memories of her time here. As far as the winters go -- they are not much different from Minnesota. soney123: Who will be at the Back2Back reunion weekend? Molitor: I am pretty sure almost everyone is coming. I know Rickey [Henderson] can't make it, but other than that I think everyone else is in. The Blue Jays have created a website www.bluejays.com/back2back that has all the details (or so I am told). Molitor: Well guys, thanks for all the great questions. This was a lot of fun! I look forward to seeing everyone next weekend in Toronto. I know this is a very special weekend for all the players and coaches! Thanks again.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.