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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.

[Read more...]

Twins Fan’s Obituary Says He Was Angry with Joe Mauer

A 22-year-old man named Josiah Abeler died recently after suffering a seizure in his sleep. I’m sure his family and friends are going through a difficult time, but that doesn’t mean the person who wrote the obituary had to take a shot at Joe Mauer the way they did:

Is that sick or what? I would think that’s the sort of thing that can be left out of an obituary. Aren’t all sins forgiven in the after life? Apparently not if you dare hit .287 with only three home runs.

Joe Mauer hasn’t played at an MVP-level since signing a monstrous 8-year $184 million extension last March. He’s dealt with injuries and he’s even switched away from playing catcher. It’s a difficult time for Twins fans, but Mauer is still a star player, so have faith. And please check your hatred at heaven’s gate; it’s not healthy.

And as long as nobody brings the casket to a Twins game, we’ll all be safe.

Thanks to The Big Lead for the story, via Hot Clicks

Joe Mauer Has to Play Right Field After Luke Hughes Goes to Wrong Airport Gate

Normally when a guy gets called up to the majors from Triple-A he is excited to join his new (or old) teammates.  Either Luke Hughes needs to do a better job of paying attention, or he was a little too excited that the Twins called him back up for their series against the Yankees.  We don’t know much about his talent level, but what we do know is that he needs to do a better job of navigating his way through the airport.

According to Hardball talk via Twin’s beat writer Rhett Bollinger on Twitter, Joe Mauer will have to play right field against the Yankees tonight after Hughes missed his flight to Minnesota.  Unlike Bojana Jovanovski whose pilot took her to the wrong airport, Hughes made the mistake himself by showing up at the wrong gate.

If this was a superstar athlete we were talking about you could probably say they are too used to having their hand held to pay attention in an airport.  The fact that we’re talking about a guy who was in Triple-A surprises me a bit.  Minor leaguers usually join a major league club hoping to contribute any way they can.  The only thing Hughes can say is that he helped Mauer sharpen his fly ball shagging skills.  Don’t worry Luke, T.O. knows how you feel.