Joe Mauer announces his retirement
The big news from the baseball world on Friday was the end of the career for one of the best players of the last generation. The second half of Joe Mauer’s career didn’t match up to his 20’s, and things ended before they should have. You don’t have to look too hard to find the disappointment for Mauer, but at the end of the day his career’s story is one of triumph and, mostly, greatness. He’s a Minnesota kid who spent his entire career with the Twins, and for the first ten years of his career he was an elite player at the most important position on the field. Mauer was a pure hitter through and through, and there weren’t many sweeter strokes in the game. This isn’t the last we’ll see of Mauer. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame at some point in the next decade, and it wouldn’t be terribly shocking if he ended up on a coaching staff at some point. For now, though, we say goodbye to one of the best Red Sox opponents of the last generation.
Rob Manfred gets a five-year extension
The Rob Manfred era is going to continue for a little while longer. According to a report, the MLB owners are expected to unanimously vote to extend Manfred’s contract to lead the league’s ownership group for another five years. To me, there are two ways of looking at this. From the perspective of what Manfred’s job actually is, this makes all the sense in the world. The commissioner is seen as the leader of the sport, and in some ways he is, but that is less and less of his role as time goes on. His real job is as the head of the owners, and Manfred exceeds in that role. Teams are rolling in money, and they are getting better and better deals with each CBA. Manfred is a master negotiator in these labor negotiations, and there is going to be a tense negotiation in the next few years. In that sense, this is a good extension. That being said, not everyone is thrilled at his job of running the sport. Even if he is far from the only one making these decisions, Manfred is ostensibly a big part of building the game’s reputation around the sports world. In this writer’s opinion, he spends far too much time complaining about the game’s negatives and not enough time building up the good parts of the game, including the young star power. I understand why he was extended, but I’m not thrilled about it.