y been written about Joe Mauer after his emotional final-game farewell at the end of this past season. Heck Matt Carpenter Jersey , I myself was even chiming in, describing how Mauer was my last tangible link to Metrodome baseball. After his recent announcement, letter, and press conference put the final amen to his career, however, I found myself again thinking of the memories I had watching Mauer do his thing.By the time Joe Mauer debuted at the major league level in 2004, I was already a well-established Twins fan. As such, like many others here and otherwise, I had the good fortune of watching his career from beginning to end. It’s a little astonishing for me to think that just two months after his debut, I was graduating high school. Talk about “baseball marking the times” (nods to James Earl Jones).Here are what I consider to be my top five memories from those 15 seasons...-How the ball absolutely jumped off his bat those early seasons. I had never seen a hitter, at such a young age, consistently barrel up the baseball quite like he could. Whether ground ball, line drive, or fly ball, I distinctly remember how hard he seemed to hit the horsehide sphere with such a seemingly effortless swing.Photo by Harry How/Getty Images-The good-natured (or sometimes not) arguments between myself and my brother over who was better: Mauer or Morneau. He was a die-hard Mornie guy (“those home runs and RBI!”), I was Camp Mauer (“that batting average and on-base percentage!”), and we’d go round-and-round. It’s sometimes easy to forget just how good that pairing was from 2006-2009. Essentially, we were both the winners of the argument!-His concussion experience teaching me how severe (yet silent, in terms of outright observability) those injuries can be to a player. With that one ball fouled off his catcher’s mask, he went from a perennial .320+ hitter to a .260 one in an instant. I’m not proud of this, but I soured a bit on Mauer during the 2014-2016 seasons. Not realizing that concussion symptoms were still bothering him (and he was never one to talk about such things in the public forum), I questioned his work ethic and drive for the game. Big mistake http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-marcell-ozuna-jersey , of course, as the 2017 season really re-invigorated my respect for him, having then finally realized the extent of the symptoms he had been suffering from.Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images-Giving Joe a standing ovation (along with the rest of the Target Field crowd, paltry as it may have been on a chilly early-season Thursday night) after watching him record hit number 2000. That was just the start of Mauer’s assault on the all-time Twins record books, as seemingly every week he’d pass another legendary player from this franchise’s past.-There was only one time in his career that Joe Mauer ended a game with a home run...and I was there for it! I’ll never forget the circumstances leading up to this moment, as I was at the game with my sister and actively discouraged her from picking Joe in the Pick 3 app game. Yikes. Like I said, this was roughly the time when I was in my “what happened to Mauer?!” phase. The above blast (two outs, two strikes), as well as the entirety of the exciting ‘17 campaign, changed all of that and really ushered in my “Mauer Renaissance”.It’ll be strange to not see Joe in the lineup come Opening Day ‘19, and the absence of T.I. at the ballpark will be conspicuous. But as long as he’s happy and healthy in the near future when the ceremony commences unveiling #7 along with 3, 6, 14, 29, 34, 28, 10, & 42, I’ll have a smile on my face and cheer in my heart for him. What did Mike Hazen have to say about the direction of the team now that he has brought Adam Jones on board?"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Diamondbacks Farm TeamsGameday ThreadsDiamondbacks NewsDiamondbacks Game ReportsFang FoodMike Hazen Discusses Signing Adam JonesNew,21commentsWhat did Mike Hazen have to say about the direction of the team now that he has brought Adam Jones on board?EDTShareTweetShareShareMike Hazen Discusses Signing Adam JonesJennifer Stewart-USA TODAY SportsYesterday, Mike Hazen sat in on the typical press call to give feedback about the Adam Jones signing.On the thought process going into signing Adam Jones (Steve Gilbert)With Adam out there, we felt like it was a good deal to make for us at this point in time Lou Brock Jersey , to add somebody of his caliber to our roster. He’s been an elite player in the league for a long time and we felt that by adding Adam, we made ourselves a better ballclub today than we were yesterday. And so that was sort of the big picture decision, to add him.On what Mike Hazen sees as Jones’ role (follow-up)We see him playing quite a bit. I think he’s going to play all three outfield spots for us. He obviously is a really good hitter, makes a lot of contact, has power. When we broke it down, we felt like given the days off we would give guys, in and around our team, there was a large chunk of at-bats that were going to be divided out over the course of the season. We felt like adding Adam would really help us take a decent portion of those. Then obviously, as you go through the seasons, things changes - one injury or something happens and you wind up with a lot more than that. We are just excited to add him, the quality person, teammate, leader, we feel like he is going to fit great in our clubhouse. He has a pedigree of winning. He’s been in winning environments for almost his entire career and that matters to us with what we are trying to accomplish.Is Ketel Marte still the Primary center fielder? (Zach Buchanan)I think the word primary has always sort of been taken too far. I don’t think we have necessarily categorized him unilaterally as such. We’ve said at times Ketel is going to play center field, second base, shortstop and that’s still going to be the case.Who will get the majority of time in center field, or will it be mix-and-match? (follow up)I would say center field is probably more that, mix-and-match, to some degree, but we’ll see how it plays itself out. I can’t project out too far on that - get yourself in trouble with the way the season runs and with the things that happen. But sitting here right now I think that center field will be a position that will have some splits opportunities for starts.Does Adam Jones bring more leadership and was that leadership something the team was looking to add to the roster? (Jody Jackson)I think we are always looking to add that dynamic and those types of players into our clubhouse. We aren’t always afforded the opportunity to do those things just because of the way the market goes and guys sign elsewhere. To have that opportunity, that’s why we jumped at it when we did. It is something that we are always looking to add to our clubhouse. We feel very strongly about the culture within those walls and the amount of time guys spend together and the ups and downs of a major league season, that having players like Adam only helps.How long have negotiations with Adam been going ? (Steve Gilbert)On and off through the offseason Ken Boyer Jersey , but more direct, probably within the last week.Why sign him now? (Nick Piecoro)We got a deal done. There was nothing that, I think as we looked at our team and we are constantly, even once day one happens of the season, we’re asking ourselves how we can get better. I feel this is a way to make us better. The timing within the offseason itself, I can’t really speak to that. It wasn’t that there was some concerted effort to wait for any reason, we just felt like we had an opportunity to make the team better in our minds, and that’s why we did it now.After signing Wilmer Flores, comments made indicated that the team was done adding to the major league roster. What about that equation has changed?As the offseason continued to go on, he was still out there and available. As we continued to look at our roster and to look at it further, obviously trades, and free agency are very fluid things and they change all the time. Things you’re involved with today don’t tend to be the things you’re involved with tomorrow, just depending on the market behaves or reacts. Going back to, we felt like this was an opportunity to make the ballclub better and we did.Any concerns about the defensive metrics and his running speed as it relates to him being in center field?We are aware of what the defensive metrics say. We talked to Adam about it quite a bit. We talked through how we would work positioning and things like that. He’s always been somebody who has handled center field very well. We feel like he is going to translate into the corners. Speaking specifically, we still think he is going to play a solid defensive outfield. I think we’ll continue to see opportunities to improve our defense if and when we need to at times. I think we’ve done that in the past. I think that the team, as it sets up, gives us the chance to do things in-game that may allow us to take opportunities there towards constantly shifting things in and out. We felt like the balance of the offense and the offensive profile that we have spoken about previously with regard to contact skills, power, things that sort of rounded out where I think we were a little deficient last year.