For the proudly insular Twins, hiring a leader from outside the organization sent a clear message.
“Things were broken,” said reliever Glen Perkins, a St. Paul native who has spent more than a decade with the Twins. “I think ownership realized that something needed to change, and what the Twins organization was doing wasn’t working anymore. It had worked for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to work.”
The Twins won six American League Central titles from 2002 through 2010. Since then, they have been 158 games below .500, and pitching has been the main reason. For five seasons in a row, the Twins finished last in the majors in strikeouts. Last season they ranked 26th out of 30 teams in strikeouts, with a 5.08 E.R.A. that put them in 29th place, just ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In Falvey — who hired Thad Levine from the Texas Rangers as his general manager — the Twins have an acknowledged pitching expert. That was part of his appeal to Dave St. Peter, the team’s president and chief executive.
“Clearly, his vision for pitching got our attention,” St. Peter said. “But beyond that, it was how he wanted to build in terms of people, collectively, across all aspects of baseball operations. His skill set in building relationships was impressive.”
Falvey created his network of connections in 2007, compiling written and video reports on prospects in the Cape Cod League, listening to scouts’ advice and showing them how he could help. The Indians hired him that fall, first as an intern and then as a scouting assistant.
The goal, Falvey said, was to help whomever he could, knowing that he would…