Twins manager Paul Molitor bans smartphones before games
Starting 30 minutes before first pitch, devices will be banned from use in the clubhouse and are supposed to remain off until after the game's final out. Molitor also said grooming will continue to be left up to the Twins' big leaguers, but rules that former manager Ron Gardenhire had—such as being on the field for the national anthem—will again be enforced.
"Just to have some parameters," Molitor said Friday. "Down here it won't be quite as critical.
"I don't want to make those things bigger than they are, but hopefully the people out in the clubhouse, the leadership, will take care of some of those things, too."
After coaching with the Twins last season, Molitor was hired as manager in November. He replaces Gardenhire, who managed the Twins for 13 seasons from 2002-14 and posted a 1,068-1,039 record and six postseason appearances.
Gardenhire reportedly tried to "crack down" on phone usage in the clubhouse before and during games last season, but enforcement was "sporadic."
"I think it helps out," pitcher Tommy Milone said of Molitor's edict. "It's going to cause all your teammates to interact with each other. Just being in a clubhouse sometimes, you're just stuck at your locker. You're just on your phone all day, whether it's a time when you can be on your phone or not. Guys are just sitting at their lockers."
The Twins finished 70-92 last season, their best record since 2010.
- Mike Fiammetta