He is Mr. Minnesota.

The $184 Million Dollar Man. 

More importantly, Joe Mauer is the reigning AL MVP coming off one of the best statistical seasons baseball has ever seen.

Yet this season he has been just an average Joe (no pun intended). 

It isn’t the lack of Mauer Power this season or pedestrian .297 batting average that should worry Minnesota fans, but instead it should be his comments after Tuesday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians.

In the seventh inning, with the score 3-3 and one out, Mauer came to the plate with runners on first and second. What would come next would leave many wondering, what in the hell is he doing?

Mauer attempted to bunt the ball down the third baseline where Jhonny Peralta was playing back. This may seem like a smart play and if it works there is a good chance this article isn’t being written.

But it didn’t work.

The runners advanced on the play but Mauer was out at first, which put the pressure on Jason Kubel. Before I weigh in on this decision I want to get to Mauer’s comments, which appeared in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“If it works out, it’s bases loaded for Kubel—I like those chances,” Mauer said. “I’m not feeling the greatest at the plate right now, and that factors in, but that situation, you get two guys in scoring position with Kubel up and one out, I take my chances with that for sure.”


Does that sound like a man you want up with a chance to give your team a lead? 

“Perez on the mound is nasty. He throws a cutter the majority of the time. It’ll break away from a lefthanded hitter, and he induces a lot of double plays. So if I hit into a double play, you guys are probably talking about that.”


While Rafael Perez is a good pitcher—make no mistake about it—Mauer’s comments sound more like an excuse than anything. Yes, Joe has hit into 17 double plays so far and isn’t swinging a hot bat. But backing down from the challenge to put the onus on Kubel is not what the Twins are paying Mauer to do.

Maybe the increased attention coupled with the enormous contract and pressure to live up to last season is taking its toll on the Twins catcher. Maybe we are expecting too much from a man that plays the toughest position in baseball.

Either way with a chance to gain the lead, I want the $184 Million Dollar Man swinging the bat instead of squaring up to bunt.

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