Five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner Torii Hunter has decided to retire after a 19-year career. He confirmed the news to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune today:
“I’m sad because it’s all I’ve known for half of my life,” Hunter said. “This great game of baseball has done so much for me. I have learned a lot of lessons. They say baseball is life and life is baseball, and I used baseball and applied it to my life. So I got through a lot of hardships and a lot of hard times and I learned from them and I made adjustments, which you have to do in the game of baseball as well as the game of life. So baseball taught me a lot.
“But mentally, I think it’s time. I still love the game, but time has taken a toll on me mentally and physically.”
Hunter turned 40 back in July and batted .240/.293/.409 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI over 139 games this season with the Twins. Of course, he finished his career where he started it. Hunter was a first-round pick of the Twins back in 1993 and spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the team. He made stops with the Angels and Tigers from there before rejoining the Twins last offseason.
Hunter will walk away from the game with a .277/.331/.461 career batting line to go along with 353 home runs, 1,391 RBI, and 195 steals. He went to the postseason eight times, but never got to a World Series. That doesn’t diminish what was a heck of a playing career.
In addition to introducing Scott Servais as manager today, the Mariners announced that they have hired Tim Bogar as bench coach and Mel Stottlemyre, Jr. as pitching coach. Another familiar face could join them soon.
According to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Mariners have talked to Raul Ibanez about a coaching position or possibly filling a role in the front office. Ibanez, 43, joined FOX as a studio analyst this season after a 19-year major league career. He was a candidate for the Rays’ managerial vacancy last offseason and the Yankees also reportedly showed interest in adding him as a coach.
Joining Seattle would be a homecoming for Ibanez. He was originally drafted by the Mariners in 1992 and spent 11 seasons with the team over three separate stints.
Mets manager Terry Collins announced his rotation for the World Series during press availability this afternoon at Citi Field. Contrary to a report yesterday, Collins said that Matt Harvey will start Game 1 against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday and will be followed by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz.
As for his reasoning, Collins said that Harvey was already lined up to start a potential Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cubs. There’s been some talk of fatigue for deGrom recently, so this order will give him an extra day of rest. Syndergaard will start the first home game at Citi Field, where he had more success during the regular season. It would also line him up to start a potential Game 7. Collins also indicated that Harvey could be used in relief if there’s a Game 7.
New York’s young quartet of starters have been a key to their postseason run. They have posted a 2.65 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 18 walks in 54 1/3 innings over nine starts.
Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes exited Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cubs with a sore left shoulder, but he said this afternoon that he will be ready for Game 1 of the World Series against the Royals on Tuesday.
Here’s the update from Steve Gelbs of SNY:
There’s been a lot of speculation about the cause of the injury. Cespedes couldn’t pinpoint it, but he confirmed that he did some pregame pushups in Chicago which was out of the ordinary for him because a full gym wasn’t available at Wrigley Field. He hasn’t done much since receiving a cortisone shot on Thursday, but he’s making progress. And he still has two more full days to get ready.
Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs and a .942 OPS over 57 games with the Mets after the trade deadline. He’s batting .265/.286/.471 with two home runs, one double, and seven RBI over nine games during the postseason.
Update (7:51 PM EDT, Bill Baer): WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that no final decision has been made. Amaro is among a small group of finalists for the first base coaching position.
On the same day that the Phillies have reportedly hired Matt Klentak as their new general manager comes this interesting nugget from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
Assuming the news is true, it would be quite a change of pace for Amaro, who was fired as Phillies general manager in September. Amaro has worked strictly in the front office since his playing career ended in 1998, first serving as assistant general manager with the Phillies before replacing Pat Gillick as general manager in November of 2008. Still, he has expressed interest in managing and this could get him started down that road.
Arnie Beyeler served as Boston’s first base coach/outfield instructor from 2013-2015, but his contract was not renewed for 2016.