Astros reliever apologizes to the umps

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You don’t see this very often. Last night Astros reliever Paul Clemens thought a 2-2 pitch was a strikeout. Home plate umpire Paul Emmel thought differently and called it a ball. Clemens was visibly upset and jawed some stuff Emmel’s way.  After the game, however, he apologized:

“Let me take a second to apologize to him and his whole crew. I apologize,” Clemens said. “It was just my competitive nature. … I took the Lord’s name in vain and I apologized.”

If that’s the standard, Greg Maddux is going to spend eternity in a very bad place for all of those F-bombs he used to launch.

Nice on Clemens, though.

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.