Oh, and there was plenty of negativity around Michael Cuddyer (despite his smiling countenance). But since he was never "deified" the way Mauer was, he wasn't "villified" quite as much eitehr.
I don't have a lot of feelings about Mauer -- one way or another. As I've said several times before, I didn't understand the deification and I don't really understand the viliification. Mauer has just always left me pretty cold. I can admire his professionalism and his accomplishments -- but I don't (and never have) felt any particular emotional connection to him.
But I really think that a lot of the "backlash" as you characterize it, is due to the "deification" that he enjoyed during his first 8-9 years with the organization. And no, he didn't ask for that either. But honestly, people were treating him as though he was God. There is no human being who could continually live up to the image that a lot of people (mostly Minnesotans) ascribed to him.
When he was going through his troubles last summer, I remember posting elsewhere that all Mauer could do this year to "rehab" his image was to come out and play almost every day this year and put up numbers that are in keeping with his career averages. He hasn't quite done that in the sense that he is catching in only about 1/2 the games (I think and maybe not even that). But at least this season saw a return to productivity (although he will probably never approach the stats of 2009).
But even as I posted that, I added that I didn't think he could EVER regain the elevated status he once had. If he continues to be productive -- and if he can get back to catching 100 games or more a year as Terry Ryan envisions -- I think a lot of the "backlash" will fade. But I don't think he'll ever be "Saint Joe" again. And I don't think that's all bad. Overall, I think people will end up with a more realistic picture of him and a more realistic perception and appreciation for his accomplishments. And, to me, that's a good thing.