Joe Mauer criticized by his honest grandfather Jake

Joe MauerJoe Mauer is struggling through his worst season as a pro, and even his own family members are being critical of him.

Mauer’s grandfather, Jake, a former baseball player himself and someone who has guided and been a fan of his grandson forever, understands the frustration of the team’s fans. Joe is the team’s highest-paid player earning $23 million and batting .271/.342/.353 all of which are by far career-low marks.

“He’s getting a big salary, he should produce,” Jake Mauer said in an interview with David Shama’s Minnesota Sports Headlines. “That’s what the fans think and that’s what the fans want. He’s trying but it just don’t happen (yet). But I don’t blame the people.”

Jake has even thought his struggling grandson needed to be benched at times, but the team couldn’t do that because of the All-Star’s huge salary.

“But they can’t bench him because he’s making so much money. They gotta have him in the lineup.”

Jake Mauer told Shama that he believes the concussion Joe suffered last year threw him off. He says Joe even told him his timing has been off.

Despite the timing problems, Joe was beginning to come out of his season-long slump. Prior to going on the DL with an oblique injury, Mauer was working on a 12-game hitting streak that included six doubles and 12 RBIs. The injury came at a bad time.

Jake Mauer recognizes his grandson has been struggling, but he still believes Joe will end up hitting over .300 as he has most of his time as a career-.320 hitter.

Joe certainly was heading in that direction — and we would have agreed with Jake — but the injury may have thrown things off too much. I still would definitely love to have Mauer on my team, but that $23 million price is definitely high.

H/T Sportress of Blogitude

Joe Mauer got booed at home by Twins fans (Video)

Joe MauerA rare thing happened at Target Field in Minnesota on Wednesday night: Joe Mauer was booed by the home fans.

This was an unusual occurrence for two reasons. One, Mauer usually doesn’t play poorly enough to deserve boos. Two, he’s a hometown kid from Minnesota and the fans really like him.

But Mauer hasn’t produced like usual this season. After he struck out with a runner on third in the seventh inning in a 1-0 loss to the Texas Rangers, the fans booed him. Mauer took the collar in the loss and went 0-for-4 with the one strikeout.

In Thursday’s loss to Texas, Mauer went 1-for-5. He’s batting .276/.353/.352 this season — which isn’t terrible — but surely isn’t up to his standards. And the slugging percentage being lower than his OBP indicates he’s not hitting for much power this season; he has 6 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs.

When asked after Wednesday’s game about the boos, Mauer focused on what he isn’t doing.

“I don’t even really have a comment for that,” Mauer said via the Pioneer Press. “Just a tough night. Runs were at a premium. I’m probably a lot more frustrated than those people that were booing.”

Though many people couldn’t recall Mauer previously being booed at home, he said it wasn’t the first time that had happened.

Both Mauer and manager Ron Gardenhire believe there is some bad luck working for the former AL MVP. They say he is hitting the ball hard but just not getting much to show for it. That seems to have been the case lately, so fans shouldn’t get too alarmed. What more could you want from a guy than to see him hit the ball hard? Eventually the results will start to change. Plus, playing in a big park certainly doesn’t help his efforts.

H/T Eye on Baseball

CB Bucknor strikes out Joe Mauer on terrible call off plate (GIF)

Sometimes that CB Bucknor just gets a little overeager while serving as a homeplate umpire. Thursday was one of those days.

During the top of the ninth inning in the Minnesota Twins-Chicago White Sox game, Bucknor punched out Joe Mauer on a breaking ball that was well off the plate. Mauer was already struggling entering the game, having gone hitless in his first eight at-bats to start the season. Luckily he did record a walk and hit in the game, but he struck out twice, and Bucknor did him no favors.

Here’s a little tip for you, CB: Mauer knows the strike zone better than you. If he doesn’t swing, it must not be a strike. Plus the Fox Trax showed how far off the plate the ball was:

Joe Mauer CB Bucknor

Maybe Bucknor just wanted out because of the sub-40 degree temperatures.

Previously: Umpire CB Bucknor punches out Seth Smith on strike two (GIF)

GIF via @cjzero

Joe Mauer moving to first base in 2014

Given how valuable Joe Mauer is to the Minnesota Twins franchise, it was only a matter of time before his catching career ended. Catcher is the most taxing position in baseball. It’s no surprise that there are hardly any above average hitters behind the dish. There will be one less in 2014.

The Twins announced on Monday that Mauer will be making a full-time transition to first base next season. The reason for the switch is obvious.

“After consultation with doctors from Mayo Clinic and team doctors, and given the inherent risks of future injury at the catcher position, the organization and Joe determined that it would be in the best interest of both him and the Twins for a position change,” the team said in a statement, via Eye on Baseball.

Last season, Mauer was forced to miss a month after he suffered a concussion when a foul tip hit him in the mask. He has also had back and knee problems and will turn 31 shortly after the 2014 season begins. He hit .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 113 games last season.

Mauer appeared in 54 games at first base between 2012 and 2013, so he is not a complete stranger to the position. He has five years and $115 million remaining on his current contract. You can understand why the Twins would rather have him at a position that he can — in theory — remain healthier and not take such a beating every time he’s in the lineup.

Joe Mauer breaks up no-hitter in 9th for third time in his career

Joe Mauer hitJoe Mauer broke up Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid in the ninth inning on Friday night, marking the third time in his career that he has spoiled a no-hitter in the ninth.

Mauer singled on a 1-1 pitch with one out in the ninth inning of a 6-0 game. It was a clean line drive up the middle, so it was nothing anyone could complain about. Sanchez still pitched a complete game one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts as his Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-0, but what Mauer has done is pretty remarkable.

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, Mauer has broken up a no-hitter in the ninth three times in his career.

The first time came on May 6, 2008, when Mauer doubled off Gavin Floyd with one out in the ninth inning of a Chicago White Sox 7-1 win over the Twins. Mauer also walked earlier in the game and was the only Twins player to get a hit.

The second time was on Aug. 23, 2010, when Mauer singled off Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz with one out in the ninth inning of a 4-0 Rangers win. Rich Harden and three relievers were attempting to combine on the no-hitter. The Twins were also one-hit in the game.

All three times Mauer has broken up a no-hitter have come with one out in the ninth inning. His team was one-hit each time.

Right before he got his single, I tweeted “No way a team with Joe Mauer in the lineup gets no-hit.” I didn’t realize he was such a no-hitter killer, but it was just a natural thought; Mauer is a pure hitter. He gets on base, hits to all fields, and he is one of the toughest outs in baseball. It’s awfully tough to shut him down every at-bat in a game.

Credit to Sanchez, too, who threw the one-hitter five starts after setting a franchise record with 17 strikeouts in a game. Sanchez was also attempting to throw the second no-hitter of his career. He no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks as a rookie in 2006.

Minnesota Twins C Joe Mauer and wife expecting twins

Get your puns ready, because Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer and his wife, Maddie, are expecting twins.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the news Wednesday.

“Obviously, we’re both really excited and couldn’t be happier,” Mauer told Walters. “Everything so far is good.”

Mauer is the Twins’ franchise icon and a hometown player from St. Paul, so it’s fitting that he is having twins.

For those asking whether Mauer is the first Twins player to father twins, the answer is no. Our friend Denny Hocking, who played with the Twins from 1993-2003, fathered twins while he was playing for the team.

Mauer and his wife knew each other in high school, though they reportedly didn’t begin dating until a few years ago. They got engaged in Dec. 2011 and were married a year later.

Joe Mauer Is off the Market – Engaged to Maddie Bisanz

Sorry ladies, but one of the most eligible bachelors in sports is off the market. Twins catcher Joe Mauer reportedly proposed to his girlfriend Maddie Bisanz over the weekend and she said yes.

“We couldn’t be happier, and we’re both really excited,” Mauer said.

The proposal took place at Sanibel Island, near Fort Myers in Florida, which is where Mauer lives in the offseason.

Mauer and Bisanz were high school classmates at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul. They didn’t date in high school, but they reportedly reconnected about a year and a half ago.

We’re 99% sure this is Maddie in the picture below.

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