In news that will surprise no-one, disappoint many, and delight some jerkholes, Joe Mauer told the Star Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal III after Wednesday’s game that he is mulling over whether to retire from playing professional baseball.
Mauer’s primary reasons appear to be his family (Maddie Mauer is expecting their third child), his health, and the Twins’ struggles this season. He currently has the worst triple-slash of his career with an OPS of .719.
“It’s been a grind, a lot of things going on this year,” he said.
While it feels like Mauer has had a relatively injury-free season (compared to other Twins, at least), he mentioned a May 11 concussion which resulted in 25 missed games; “it is definitely something I need to think about.”
The Twins front office has stated their openness to discussing Mauer’s future if and when he wishes to do so. “If he came to us with the question ... we’re rolling up our sleeves and having a conversation,” GM Thad Levine said.
Mauer’s first roommate as a Twin, Justin Morneau, said “as a fan, I want him to keep playing.”
As a fan myself, I’m torn. If Mauer’s worried about his health, I would think that has to be his most serious consideration. As a player, while it’s hardly fair to expect him to match his numbers from ten years ago, I’m sure he would still contribute enormously as a professional teammate and mentor, in a sort of player-coach role (or even as just a coach). And then, of course, he has to think of his family and all the time away a baseball season requires. (Even home games mean missing prime family time in the evenings.)
The key quote for me? “Regardless, this last homestand is going to be pretty emotional, when we come back. I’m already starting to feel a little bit like that.”
So if you don’t have tickets for the final game on September 30th ... you might give that a thought. I know I will.