McGwire, A-Rod and the double standards

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You don’t have to search hard in my archives to find effusive praise of Joe Posnanski. I tend to agree with him on most things, he’s the best sports writer going in my view, and someone would have to write an awful lot of gold to even begin to get into the conversation as his rival.

But, as Jay at Fack Youk points out, nobody’s perfect. Jay went back and checked, and it seems that, while Posnanski now writes that judging apologies seems unfair, he was perfectly willing to judge A-Rod’s apology last year, and did so in pretty sharp terms.

Posnanski responds via Twitter that the apologies were two different beasts — McGwire’s was voluntary while A-Rod’s was a forced p.r. exercise — but Jay anticipates this, noting that, McGwire’s wouldn’t have come had he not taken the job as the Cardinals hitting coach and that his was no less an exercise in p.r. in practice, even if it seemed more genuine in substance.

Posnanski obviously has a metric crap-ton more goodwill in the bank than do the Jon Heymans and other double-standard bearers of the world, and when you write as much as Poz does you’re bound to cross your streams once in a while.  But fair is fair, and like a lot of other writers (and Bud Selig)  Posnanski seems to be treating McGwire quite differently than he treated A-Rod.

UPDATEPosnanski responds.  In this I think we see the biggest difference between Pos and others who contradict themselves on occasion.  Pos owns up, explains his thought process and is generally transparent about it all — though I think he’s still being a bit willfully naive on the Selena Roberts stuff; her story may have been legit, but A-Rod’s outrage at her in general was more than justified given their shared history and the book she wrote.

Anyway, would any of you hold your breath for Jon Heyman to explain himself? Or Dan Shaughnessy? I wouldn’t. So, the Roberts thing notwithstanding, good for Joe.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.