NEW YORK – The All-Star lineups were announced today, and it’s a surprise Joe Mauer didn’t take a bat to American League manager Jim Leyland’s door.
The three-time batting champion and six-time All-Star will bat eighth in Tuesday’s Midsummer’s Classic.
“I’m mad,” Mauer joked.
Actually, it’s not the first time Mauer has batted eighth in the game. He batted eighth in 2008. Here’s Mauer’s All-Star history:
• 2006: 0-for-2 after replacing Ivan Rodriguez.
• 2008: 1-for-1 while batting eighth.
• 2009: 1-for-3 with a RBI double while batting third.
• 2010: 0-2 while batting seventh.
• 2012: Replaced Paul Konerko at first base and singled in his only at-bat.
Mauer said you can pull names out of a can and it wouldn’t matter with all the hitters that surround him.
“I haven’t seen [Leyland] yet but I think that is probably the thing,” Mauer said. “Who are you going to bat eighth? Who are you going to bat first? It could go any way.”
Mets third baseman David Wright has become the unofficial ambassador of the All-Star Game and has handled promotional duties with aplomb.
Mauer might want to take notes. With the game coming to Target Field next season — and being in his prime of his career — Mauer should be part of the team with an average season, by his standards. Being a St. Paul guy makes it even more logical.
“One, I hope I’m in the All-Star Game. It is never promised,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to go to six and next year, that would be the one that I would really want to go to. If that happens, I’ll take on that role, for sure.”
Mauer also confessed to wanting another shot at the Home Run Derby after his poor performance in 2009, in which he hit five homers in the first round and lost in a swingoff for a berth in the second round.
“I had a lot of fun in ’09 in the Home Run Derby,” he said. “I kind of know what to expect now. I don’t think I hooked that many balls foul in a whole season. I think seven of my 10 outs were foul balls. I think I would know how to prepare for it a little better.”
Looking ahead II
About 30 Twins officials are at the All-Star Game to observe the Mets staff in how they handle such a massive event in which events are held at several locations. For instance, the annual All-Star gala was held on Sunday night at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum — a former aircraft carrier. Where can such an event be held in Minneapolis?
Twins President Dave St. Peter and Matt Hoy, senior vice president/operations, are part of the group following Mets staffers around.
Perkins in play?
Indications are that the Twins prefer to keep closer Glen Perkins, but that won’t stop his name being floated in trade rumors this month. Perkins, in his first All-Star Game, is taking the July trade rumors in stride.
“What are you going to do?” he said. “I can’t let it affect what I do on the field. Everyone knows where I want to be. The only thing I worry about is pitching.’’