First let me start this by pointing out I know how good Joe Mauer is. Come on!....three time batting champ, MVP, gold glove winner, the list goes on and on. Basically, if he get his crap back together, we are talking hall of fame and arguably one of the best catchers of all time! Now, let me point out what is wrong with Joe.
Joe was an unbelievable athlete at about the age of 10. Every coach he had from that point on knew they had a real special talent. Trust me, this is when the coddling began. Every coach knew that Joe was pegged for stardom and they sure in the hell did not want to be the one who derailed his career in anyway. He was a special once in a life time talent and was quickly taught that if anything, and I mean anything was wrong with him, he had to let his coaches know so they could take care of said malady and make Joe perfect again.....and what has happened is Joe never learned to play through anything. He was always first, and the team was a distant second. "I think some people take pain in different ways," Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said. "Some people have to play at 100 percent, and Joe may be one of those guys. I've seen it happen. Joe is a good player, and he wants to perform at 100 percent, not at 80 percent." Remember Torii...man I do! He was the heart and soul and the undisputed LEADER of the Twins and we lost all of that when he left. I remember back in 2007 when Torii said this about Joe. Joe had been on the DL and was due back at anytime and I remember 2 weeks before he came back. I was with a group of fans who got to go on the field before a game and we all watched Joe go through his on field rehab. He was running and stretching and jumping and doing everything. We all thought "why isn't he playing" Because Joe wasn't a 100% As a season ticket holder and an over diligent scorecard keeping dork, I have written in said scorecards 43 times over the last 5 years where Joe has needed a day off for no apparent reason. Excuses ranged from he was tired, a day game after a night game, he took a foul tip two days ago, he couldn't get loose.... It never seemed to end. Then 2011 comes around. I will wrap that year up by pointing out he took 9 weeks off to get his legs in shape.....Really?? Do not think for a minute that did not rub off on the rest of the team. If Joe sees himself clearly as above the team and sadly is the default leader of this team, why should anyone else feel differently? Another thing that drives me nuts about Joe. Has he ever got mad when the Twins lost? Has he ever been upset when we got smoked by teams like the Yankees? Has he ever thought gee we just lost the first three games of a series and are about to get swept...hmm maybe I should not take my day game after a night game off and play because the team needs me and I give them a much better chance of winning then Drew does....
Put simply, Joe is just not tough....not tough at all! He will always come first. 180 million dollars and what you get is a player who plays when he feels perfect, a player who simply is not a leader and a hell of an example for all the AAA players on this roster who are quickly going to learn what a deep tissue massage is all about.