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Article: St. Paul Legends Admire One Another On Emotional Day

joe mauer paul molitor
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#1 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs


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Posted 30 September 2018 - 12:44 PM

Paul Molitor grew up in St. Paul. He put in a great career at the University of Minnesota, because a high draft pick and had a Hall of Fame career.

Joe Mauer grew up in St. Paul. He was the number one overall pick out of Cretin-Derham Hall in 2001, soared through the minor leagues and has had a career that should receive strong Hall of Fame consideration.

There is speculation that Sunday could be the final game of Joe Mauer's career. Before the game Molitor was asked about managing Mauer and Mauer was asked about how Molitor has been a mentor to him.Joe Mauer still would not tip his hand, too much, on whether or not he will return for a 16th season with the Twins in 2019. While we have seen on-field celebrations this season for Victor Martinez and David Wright, Mauer says that he's going to take a little time for other things before making such a big decision.

"I’m doing nothing for the first week, besides just hanging out with the girls. I made it a point not to do anything for at least the first week, and then go from there."

His wife Maddie is due in mid-November with the couple's third child. (No, they aren't going to find out the gender ahead of time)

And that's probably wise. Making that decision after a long career can't be easy. And making that decision at the end of a long 162-game season (plus spring training) when he likely is experiencing plenty of aches and pains isn't necessarily fair to himself either. Certainly he doesn't want to regret whatever decision he makes, so taking some time to do so is smart.

Paul Molitor retired from baseball twenty years ago (on Friday), and he acknowledged that he went back and forth in his mind a few times on when the right time to retire was. In fact, he contemplated that decision before joining the Twins for the final three seasons of his career.

Asked if he would provide Mauer with any advice as he contemplates his future, Molitor said, "He knows that I’m an available resource; I don’t know where on his list that will land. So, we have had some of those discussions about -- not where you get down to maybe actually listing pros and cons -- but I do think we’re all kind of guessing about the order of priority. You think about physical condition, the work to prepare to play. Family considerations. How much does he believe this team has a chance to win?"

And Mauer says that he believes that the players in the Twins clubhouse have a lot of talent and can win.

"We had meetings, and I was telling the guys that this is a good team, there’s a lot of talent in this room, so it’s been fun to see guys step up. Guys you probably wouldn’t think would get an opportunity in spring training, and they’ve responded." Mauer continues, "You can go up and down the lineup, there are guys who got an opportunity and have taken advantage."

Mauer specifically mentioned Willians Astudillo and Jake Cave as guys who have taken advantage of their opportunities this year.

Molitor spoke also of how Joe Mauer has been a leader in the clubhouse, a resource for teammates and hard working in the community.

He said, "In doing this job, the rewarding part is being around the people and relationships, somewhat true to when you were a player. But Joe, you know, you think about who he was coming off the sandlots in St. Paul, and what he’s done at this level, and being the same guy -- the consistency, the humility -- sometimes people don’t understand just how competitive he is, his desire to win. There’s a lot of things that make managing him pleasurable."

Such as? Molitor continued, "I think just the way he goes about his job, the way he handles his relationships with his teammates, the way he gives back to the community, you just couldn’t ask for a more complete package of integrity."

The admiration certainly goes both ways. With some question on whether or not Paul Molitor will return as Twins manager, Mauer talked about playing for the 2017 Manager of the Year.

"l have the utmost respect for Paul. I really enjoy playing for him and just being around him. I hope he’s here for a long time, as long as he wants to be here. he’s great. It’s hard to describe my feelings toward him. He’s a great baseball guy, a great person, and I really enjoy playing for him."

However, when asked if his return could be tied to Molitor's return, Mauer said that he hadn't heard of that possibility.

"That’s the first I’ve thought about it, I haven’t even processed that. Hopefully he’ll be back if he wants to be."

If one thing is known, it's that there will be a lot of emotion on Sunday at Target Field.

According to Molitor, "Don’t know where it’s going to go, but I do know there’s been a lot of emotion around this week, and rightfully so -- no matter what the future holds. Today will be a great day. I think that whoever comes out are going to be very observant and aware of the potential here, as well as the guys in the clubhouse.I told the players yesterday, ‘We’ve all learned something from Joe Mauer.’ It might be different person to person, player to player, but he teaches life lessons well by the way he lives."

For Mauer, it's been a great week on the field but also with his teammates and more. "Yeah, the last couple of days have been a little emotional, but it’s been fun. Just the interactions I’ve had with people here. Just having conversations on personal levels, with people inside, fans, teammates, all sorts of people."

There has been a lot of emotion on the field and in the Twins clubhouse this week, but this has also been emotional for a lot of Twins fans, especially those whose baseball fandom began around the mid-'00s when Mauer was beginning his career. He's got a lot of family and friends in attendance, for just in case it is his final game.

Mauer said that he is planning on playing nine innings on Sunday, but one would think that if he gets on base in the later innings, there is a chance that he will be removed for a pinch runner. Or, since he is playing at first base today, he could run out to his position only to be removed before the beginning of an inning. That will be a special moment for everyone at Target Field and any Twins fan able to watch the game today.

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  • Craig Arko likes this



    Rally SQUIRREL!!!!

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 03:48 PM

Lewis Thorpe is the minor league pitcher of the year!? Wtf. What a joke. Tyler Wells deserves this HANDS DOWN.

I think you made this comment in the wrong thread?
  • ChrisKnutson likes this
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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