It's time to decide how Joe Mauer should spend his time in retirement
On Friday, Twins catcher and first baseman Joe Mauer wrote a letter to fans announcing his retirement from baseball after a 15-year career in the Majors and followed that up with a press conference on Monday to discuss the decision. Since he was selected first overall in the 2001 Draft, playing baseball has been the only career Mauer has known.
In retirement, Mauer will have to transition to a life that doesn't involve playing baseball professionally. As anyone who has gone off to college or started a new job can attest, transitions can be tough. So, to help ease Mauer's transition into retirement, here are some suggestions for possible next steps.
Let's just get this one out of the way. Coaching is obviously an option for Mauer. Former catchers tend to do well as coaches and Mauer was always a good teammate. This wouldn't be the most fun or unexpected post-baseball path for Mauer to pursue, but it bears mentioning nonetheless.
Legend has it that Mauer once had a rap studio in his home. Retirement is the perfect time to dive into hobbies new and old, so Mauer should really get that studio up and running. His first step, obviously, should be to release a mix tape of his own. But, if he wants to fully dedicate himself to the rap game, he should bring stars and up-and-comers into his studio to record. He could transform Minnesota into a hot bed for rap music.
While some players move up to the broadcast booth after their playing days are over, the nightly news seems like a better landing spot for Mauer. He already has some on-air experience, reading the morning traffic report on Minnesota radio. Sure, that radio spot was a bit rough around the edges, but that likely provided invaluable on-the-job training.
If it turns out traffic isn't his passion, Mauer could also deliver an effective weather report. In fact, he already dabbled in meteorology, saying "It was a hot one out there, that's for sure," of a late-June game in Chicago.
Backpack in Europe
There's nothing like taking a gap year to put off a confrontation with the realities of a major life transition. And, there's no more typical way to spend a gap year than backpacking in Europe. More than other players, Mauer would be well-suited to such a gap-year adventure.
Back in 2012, Mauer hitched a ride on a plane to the All-Star Game with the Texas Rangers. Despite the inherent dangers of hitchhiking, Mauer made it safely. "It was a little different, but we made it here safely," he said.
If he can manage that, he can certainly muster the resourcefulness to hitch a ride or find a hostel after midnight during his gap-year expedition to Europe.
'Dancing with the Stars'
Retired catchers have enjoyed recent success on "Dancing with the Stars," with David Ross making it all the way to the finals in 2017. If Mauer wanted, he could certainly follow in Ross' nimble footsteps. If this doesn't look like a guy who could break it down on the dance floor, I don't know who does.
Be a family man
In his letter to Twins fans, Mauer reflected on how his desire to be there for his family influenced his decision to retire. Luckily, spending time with his family will also involve spending time with the twins ... his twin daughters Emily and Maren, that is.
What do you think Mauer should do now that he's retired from baseball?