Twins implementing new family-friendly policy

Minor League staffers will have chance to plan time away during the season

Twins implementing new family-friendly policy

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Derek Falvey was introduced as the Twins' chief baseball officer in early November, one of his major themes was the importance of establishing a better culture throughout the organization.

One major change heading into next year to help address that is the organization's Minor League coaches and instructors will be able to take breaks during the season to attend family-related events. It allows Minor Leaguer staffers a chance to get away from the grind of the baseball season when an important family event comes up.

"I don't think it's unique to us in Minnesota, but we've talked a lot about people and culture, and I genuinely feel like it's important to build a culture where they want to work for the Minnesota Twins," Falvey said. "We want to care about them more than anybody else ever has."

Previously, Minor League staffers had to miss most family events that occurred during the Minor League season from April until September. But now they'll be able to talk with the front office and plan their time away, if needed.

"The reality of our business is that we work really hard and that'll never change, with work ethic being key in this sport for people who do well," Falvey said. "But I'll say this: If there is an opportunity to see their son or daughter graduate high school or have a major moment in their life, we need to be sensitive to that. I don't think not having your High A hitting coach, who is having his son graduate in a meaningful life moment, if he's gone a few days -- I don't think that's the difference between winning the championship or not."

Falvey said they'll rotate roving coordinators and instructors to fill in for the coaches or managers. Special assistants Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins, who were all hired Monday, are candidates to fill in as well.

"We want family and baseball to be at the top of their list, no question," Falvey said. "In that order. So we'll give opportunities to our coaches to have those conversations to be a part of family moments. We can empower our coordinators and our three special assistants we hired the other day. We can plug in a lot of our people and still achieve what we're looking for."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.