Jimmy Rollins: Michael Young is a “professional hitter”

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Jimmy Rollins, differentiating Michael Young from all of those hitters in the majors who have chosen to forego pay and keep their amateur status:

Q: What do you think of the additions the club made?

A: Michael Young is a professional hitter. He’s been to two World Series.

That comes from a Q&A between Rollins and CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Who gamely attempts to get Rollins to say something provocative as he has often done at the beginning of the season, but this year the best he can do is to decline to say that the Nationals are the team to beat in the NL East. Which, no, isn’t exactly bulletin board material.

But I do love the “professional hitter” line. I bet it’s been applied to Young more in the past year than to any other player in baseball by a factor of five.

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.