Josh Donaldson Retires in Row The Boat Shirt but Keeps Minnesota Twins Talk Very Very Brief

Josh Donaldson Minnesota Twins
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Donaldson played for the Minnesota Twins for two seasons (2020, 2021), but only managed 163 total games because of injury struggles and a pandemic shortened 2020 season. And while he was far removed from his MVP self during his time in Minnesota, Donaldson still managed a very respectable .244/.355/.474 slash line (.829 OPS, 128 OPS+).

Upon being traded to the New York Yankees prior to the 2022 season, the 2x silver slugger and 3x All Star’s career hit the skids. In 182 games between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, the now 38-year-old’s slashed just .204/.293/.386 (.678 OPS, 90 OPS+).

So on Monday, with the MLB now a couple weeks into 2024 spring training, Donaldson announced he is officially hanging up his cleats and calling it a career. He broke the news on “The Mayor’s Office” with Sean Casey, sporting a Row The Boat t-shirt.

But that was pretty much the extent of how much Minnesota was featured during Josh’s nearly 1-hour retirement announcement, in which he went team-by-team through his career timeline. If Donaldson spent two years with the Twins and his retirement show/announcement went through his entire career in that much detail, why was time with the Twins cut short?

Josh Donaldson wears Row The Boat t-shirt but keeps Minnesota Twins talk short

Well, the obvious answer to that question is the show he was on, which is a national baseball talk show style podcast hosted by former MLB player turned MLB Network analyst, Sean Casey, who has no affiliation with the Twins outside of his time in Cleveland during his playing career.

I can’t blame the shortened Twins segment fully on the mainstream media constantly looking down on little old us, though. When the timeline of Donaldson’s career reached Minnesota, he started talking about how the 2020 season (his Twins debut) was postponed right before teams were wrapping up spring training.

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That prompted questions about what it was like to play for a new team while dealing with all of the COVID restrictions in place at that time. Donaldson was frank about how difficult it was to really build team comradery when you were never allowed to hang out as a team.

“From a team aspect, it just made it very difficult because we weren’t allowed to be around each other for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, you got to be wearing masks, we were gone for four months and then, within two weeks, like, ‘hey let’s go play’. It made it difficult for myself and guys that weren’t there prior to it, to really be like… in it, like [bonding] and ‘in the trenches’ with everybody. Because were weren’t allowed to hang out. We were barely able to eat lunch together.”

Josh Donaldson during retirement announcement on “The Mayor’s Office” with Sean Casey

And that was about it. Casey’s co-host, Rich Ciancimino, asked a more general question about what it was like and how the entire shutdown happened and how it was communicated to the players at the time. After Donaldson answered Ciancimino’s question, Casey took back over and moved the conversation to Donaldson’s time with the Yankees. Classic.

I think the Minnesota Twins were mentioned a total of four times during the nearly hour-long show. In other words, Twins talk today during Josh’s retirement announcement was even shorter lived than his time wearing a Minnesota Twins uniform.

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Don’t twist my words, though. I appreciate the time JD spent as a Twin and he gave us some pretty memorable moments while here. I will always appreciate him for that. There aren’t a lot of players in this franchise’s history who constantly searched for a fight night-in and night-out like Josh did. And he hit his fair share of big time missiles too.

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