Tigers bring back Jim Leyland, entire coaching staff for 2011

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Despite a disappointing 80-78 record that puts them in third place and out of the playoffs for the fourth straight season since a World Series run in 2006, the Tigers announced today that they’re bringing back manager Jim Leyland and his entire coaching staff for next year.
Leyland was already signed through 2011, so his return certainly isn’t a shock, but the lack of any shakeups on the staff is somewhat surprising.
Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, pitching coach Rick Knapp, first base coach Tom Brookens, third base coach Gene Lamont, infield coach Rafael Belliard, and bullpen coach Jeff Jones will all return in the same roles.
Leyland is 423-384 (.524) since taking the Tigers job in 2006.

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.