Joe Mauer pens re­tire­ment let­ter to Twins fans

The Mercury News - - Sports -

Joe Mauer is re­tir­ing after 15 ma­jor league sea­sons, six All-Star games, three Gold Glove awards, three bat­ting ti­tles and 2,123 ca­reer hits, all with his home­town Min­nesota Twins.

“Thank you, Min­nesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for mak­ing my ca­reer as spe­cial and memorable as it was,” Mauer wrote in a full-page ad that will run Sun­day in the Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune and St. Paul Pi­o­neer Press. “Be­cause of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grate­ful heart.”

Mauer’s eight-year, $184 mil­lion con­tract ex­pired the day after the World Se­ries ended, cre­at­ing a nat­u­ral part­ing from the game he grew up with in St. Paul, less than 10 miles from the down­town Min­neapo­lis ball­parks he called home with the Twins.

“The de­ci­sion came down to my health and my fam­ily,” Mauer wrote. “The risk of a con­cus­sion is al­ways there, and I was re­minded of that this sea­son when I missed 30 games as a re­sult of div­ing for a foul ball. That’s all it took this time around and it was all I need to bring me back to the strug­gles I faced in 2013.”

Mauer is 35 and his eightyear, $184 mil­lion con­tract ex­pired after this sea­son. In his 15 ma­jor league sea­sons, Mauer has ap­peared in six All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves, three bat­ting ti­tles and racked up 2,123 ca­reer hits.

He walks away with a .306 bat­ting av­er­age and a place in the top five on the team’s ca­reer lists in a clear ma­jor­ity of of­fen­sive cat­e­gories. Mauer is their all-time leader in dou­bles and times on base and sec­ond in hits be­hind Kirby Puck­ett.

Golf

KUCHAR BUILDS TWO-SHOT LEAD IN MEX­ICO >> Kuchar scored a for­tu­nate bo­gey after driv­ing deep into trou­ble on the 12th hole, his only jam of the day, and he rode eight birdies to a 7-un­der 64 that gave him a two-shot lead over PGA Tour rookie Cameron Champ go­ing into the week­end at the Mayakoba Golf Clas­sic in Playa Del Car­men, Mex­ico.

Champ, go­ing after his sec­ond vic­tory in three weeks, played in the morn­ing and shot 62 with a bo­gey on his fi­nal hole. Kuchar was at 14-un­der 128 as he tries to end more than four years with­out a PGA Tour vic­tory.

GOY­DOS LEADS SCH­WAB CUP CHAM­PI­ONSHIP >> Paul Goy­dos birdied the par-5 18th for a 6-un­der 65 and a on­e­stroke lead in the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons’ sea­son-end­ing Charles Sch­wab Cup Cham­pi­onship.

Tied for the first-round lead with Tim Petro­vic after a 63, Goy­dos had six birdies in the bo­gey-free round at Phoenix Coun­try Club. Scott McCar­ron, one of six play­ers left in the sea­son­long Charles Sch­wab Cup points race for a $1 mil­lion an­nu­ity, was a stroke back after a 64.

NFL

BRYANT HURT, SAINTS TEN­URE COULD BE SHORT >> In just his sec­ond prac­tice with New Or­leans, re­ceiver Dez Bryant re­ceiver in­di­cated in so­cial me­dia posts that he has had a sig­nif­i­cant set­back. The team’s in­jury re­port listed Bryant as ques­tion­able for Sun­day’s game in Cincin­nati with an an­kle in­jury, but a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion said the team is still await­ing the re­sults of a doc­tor’s ex­am­i­na­tion of Bryant. The 30-year-old signed with the Saints on Wed­nes­day.

MACK SHOULD BE BACK WITH BEARS >> Khalil Mack, out two weeks with an an­kle in­jury, prac­ticed Fri­day to com­plete three straight days of full work. He is not listed on Chicago’s in­jury re­port and is ex­pected to play Sun­day against the Lions.

Hockey

U.S. WHIPS SWE­DEN, CRUISES

INTO 4 NA­TIONS CUP TI­TLE GAME >> Syd­ney Brodt, Melissa Samoske­vich and Han­nah Brandt scored in the first pe­riod and the U.S. women’s hockey team beat Swe­den 5-1 to cruise into the Four Na­tions Cup ti­tle game in Saska­toon, Saskatchewan.

Mo­tors

HAR­VICK GRABS POLE >> The cheat­ing scan­dal that knocked Kevin Har­vick out of NASCAR’s cham­pi­onship round didn’t slow him a bit at one of his fa­vorite race tracks. Har­vick won the pole for Sun­day’s fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing race for the cham­pi­onship fi­nale with a strong run that briefly over­shad­owed the con­tro­versy his Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing team cre­ated with an il­le­gal part. Har­vick turned a lap at 139.340 mph Fri­day around ISM Race­way out­side Phoenix to put him­self in po­si­tion to re­qual­ify for the cham­pi­onship.

Soc­cer

SAN JOSE STATE ELIM­I­NATED >> San Jose State women’s sea­son came to an end at UCLA as the Spar­tans fell to the No. 4 Bru­ins 5-0 in the open­ing round of the NCAA tour­na­ment. The Spar­tans (9-7-6) were com­ing off a Moun­tain West tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship. STAN­FORD STARTS STRONG >> Top-seeded Stan­ford (180-2) eased past Seat­tle Univer­sity with a 3-0 at home to open the NCAA tour­na­ment. Stan­ford’s pro­gram­record un­beaten streak stretches to 42 games. Ci­vana Kuhlmann and Carly Malatskey scored, and the Red­hawks con­trib­uted an own goal.

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