Saturday, November 10, 2018

Joe Mauer's Friday night news dump

You -- a business, a government official, a person of reknown -- have a piece of news that you know is of great public interest but that you would prefer get little attention.

So you send out the press release at 6 p.m. or so Friday evening. It's known in the biz as a "Friday night news dump."

Joe Mauer's retirement announcement was treated as a Friday night news dump. It wasn't really a surprise, not after the emotional final game of the regular season and its theatrical one-pitch return to catching. It was impossible to watch that moment without knowing that it would be the last thing he did as a major league player.

Friday's letter to the fans, in which Mauer specifically connected his retirement to his 30-day stint on the disabled list with another concussion, merely made official what we all sensed in that damp-eye moment in late September.

Regular visitors to this space, or of my in-season weekly print columns in the Free Press, know well my view of Mauer's career. He had a decade in which he was as productive as any catcher in baseball history. He milked enough out of the first base years to reach the miminal career milestones expected by the Hall of Fame electorate. He deserves induction at Cooperstown, and I believe he will eventually get that induction.

I have nothing but admiration of his accomplishments, acceptance of his decision to walk away from the game, and gratitude for having gotten to see so much of it.

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