Indians series an emotional reunion for Twins' Falvey

Francona: Minnesota exec 'was a favorite' in Cleveland

Indians series an emotional reunion for Twins' Falvey

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey admitted it was a little strange to have his former organization, the Indians, in town for a four-game series that began Monday night at Target Field.

Falvey, 34, got his start in baseball with the Indians as an intern in 2007 before working his way up to assistant general manager. He was hired by the Twins last offseason after Cleveland made its run to the World Series. Falvey said he mostly misses the people he worked with, but that he has never had any second thoughts or regrets about taking Minnesota's top post in baseball operations.

"It's strange," Falvey said. "I'm competitive at heart but it was family to me for a long time, so it's hard for me not to feel that side of it, too. But Pitch 1, it's on. That's the way it is. We're all in this game competitively. But you certainly don't forget where you came from."

Falvey worked particularly close with manager Terry Francona as part of his day-to-day responsibilities, including breaking down pitching data for the coaching staff to absorb. It meant a lot for Falvey to talk with Francona before Monday's game.

"I saw him today and I almost cried," Falvey said. "It's just that type of relationship. He's been a mentor of mine. I still call him about stuff, from being a dad to baseball. I have a lot of conversations with him. It's pretty special."

Francona had nothing but positive things to say about Falvey, after beginning his media session joking that nobody liked Falvey during his time in Cleveland.

"It's hard to talk to him today because everybody wanted to say hello to him, which I think speaks volumes," Francona said. "He found a way to connect with everybody here. Whether it was in the office or with the players or coaches, he crossed over every line there was. He was a favorite."

Falvey said Francona asked him how to pitch to some of Minnesota's hot hitters but that he didn't take the bait. Falvey did talk with Twins manager Paul Molitor about Cleveland's players, although Molitor joked he didn't need to get Cleveland's signs from Falvey because he's known them for years.

"We've had chats about their personnel a little bit and things that jump out at you, like their numbers," Molitor said. "Whether they'll be game-changers, we'll see. But we'll take all the information from insider trading, if you will. Try to use it the best way we can."

Francona said he has no doubt that Falvey will succeed in Minnesota because of his personality, willingness to be open to ideas and positive approach.

"Even at such a young age, he had a very good way of looking at things," Francona said. "[The Twins] are fortunate. He's a keeper. Somebody here made a good decision."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for 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.