When Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey introduced Rocco Baldelli on Thursday, Oct. 24, he used the word "manager" twice and the word "partner" four times.
Baldelli, 37, is now with the Tampa Bay Rays as a field coordinator, working in the dugout with Ray manager Kevin Cash and the bench coach on a daily basis.
The former Tampa Bay Rays player, assistant and coach will be a first-time manager, the first in the major leagues born in the 1980s. Earlier this month, they fired Paul Molitor after serving as the manager for four seasons. He assisted Cash and bench coach Charlie Montoyo during the game, worked with the outfielders and focused on continued development of the team's young players.
That year Chariots of Fire and Raiders of the Lost Ark came to theaters, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" was on the radio and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. "He has a lot of ideas as how to help players", said Falvey, who is just 35.
Baldelli's name had been linked to several of the manager openings around the league.
Baldelli said he feels great, adding, "I also know that I have to take care of myself as well in ways that, when I was a young guy I was not really thinking of". Before that, he was their third-base coach for three years.
Baldelli has declined comment throughout the managerial search process, having also interviewed with the Blue Jays and Rangers, who still were interested, and the Angels and Reds, who hired others. "They've counseled me. I'm talking about personal things on top of baseball things".