Don't get me wrong here: Torii Hunter is one of the Twins' All-Time Greats. I've always liked Torii. He definitely has a special place in Twins history, and very soon, the Twins Hall of Fame.
But please don't retire his number.
(Disclaimer: No one said the Twins would retire Torii's number, but I'm paranoid... and really there's not a lot to write about this time of the season. Sorry.)
I don't mean any of this as an insult either. Torii was great. But let's also remember that Torii spent a lot of his prime offensive years as not-a-Twin. He was an Angel, or a Tiger, or whatever. If the Twins retired Torii's number, to me, it would open an uncomfortable can of worms: If you retired #48, why didn't you retire Brad Radke's #22? Why didn't you retire Justin Morneau's #33? Why didn't you retire Chuck Knobla—lol, just kidding.
Check this out:
A list of all numbers retired by the Yankees:
# Player Date/Year Retired
1 Billy Martin August 10th, 1986
2 Derek Jeter ??, ??, 2014 (Sorry, wasn't paying attention).
3 Babe Ruth June 13th, 1948
4 Lou Gehrig July 4th, 1939
5 Joe DiMaggio April 18th, 1952
6 Joe Torre August 23, 2014
7 Mickey Mantle June 8th, 1969
8 Yogi Berra July 22nd, 1972
8 Bill Dickey July 22nd, 1972
9 Roger Maris July 22nd, 1984
10 Phil Rizzuto August 4th, 1985
15 Thurman Munson September 20th, 1980
16 Whitey Ford August 3rd, 1974
20 Jorge Posada August 22nd, 2015
23 Don Mattingly August 31st, 1997
32 Elston Howard July 22nd, 1984*
37 Casey Stengel August 8th, 1970
42 Jackie Robinson 1997
42 Mariano Rivera September 22, 2013
44 Reggie Jackson August 14th, 1993
46 Andy Pettitte August 23rd, 2015
49 Ron Guidry August 23rd, 2003
51 Bernie Williams May 24th, 2015
Do the Twins really want to go down this road? Where every popular player gets their number retied? I don't think they will, and I hope not (unless they retire Radke's number first).
Torii left the Twins. If he had spent his whole career in Minnesota? Retire his number, no doubt. But now? Play it like Bert Blyleven, who left, and came back . If Torii somehow gets in the Hall of Fame (laugh now but I can see it happening, and not that I agree), retire his number. Otherwise, avoid letting someone use "#48" for two years and unceremoniously let another mediocre player wear the long-time Twins player's number, just like last time. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Tommy Milone.)
What do you think? What number do you think the Twins will retire next? Do you think there are any other numbers the Twins should have retired already?