Joe Mauer on Tuesday talked about the blurred vision he occasionally dealt with last season. While he maintains that he feels good now, he will experiment with sunglasses during spring training.
Mauer, who reported to camp three days before Twins position players are required to, wanted to make it clear that he's currently experiencing no problems and is in good spirits heading into the season.
``I said what I said. I think there are times where people take things and run with it,'' Mauer said. `` I'm not going to lie, there were times it was difficult but I feel great now and I think that message got lost. And I don't want that message to get lost because I've come a long way and worked to hard to focus on that.''
Mauer batted a career-worst .265 last season with 10 home runs, 66 RBI, 67 walks and a career-high 112 strikeouts. It was his second season at first base since giving up catching because of concussion concerns. Yet the Twins and Mauer did not experience the desired effect from being in the lineup for 158 of 162 games.
It was pointed out to Mauer that his good friend, Justin Morneau, won a batting title in 2014 - three years after he suffered a concussion. Mauer is headed into his third season following his episode in 2013.
``It's the same case. It would be great to have a good year here,'' he said. ``We talk quite a bit. We are very close, and he was a good person to lean on with some of the things that I experienced. When he experienced it I was trying to relate and couldn't really relate. Well, I (now) know a lot of what he was talking about. He's a good friend and he's helped me out a lot and a feel pretty good going into this year.''
What gives Mauer hope that his troubles are over: His workouts this sesson have not been affected like they were a year ago.
``It's like night and day,'' he said
Mauer will experiment with sunglasses at some point this spring, although he said the problems also occurred at night. But he said he's had a good offseason and feels he can put last season behind him.
My take on this is that he said something he thought was harmless and it blew up on him more than he anticipated. But he took ownership of it. He never thought it was a big enough problem to alert the medical staff. As someone who has had multiple eye surgeries, I can't believe he would put himself at risk by digging into the batters box if he couldn't pick up the ball. If it was serious, he would have shut himself down.
Mauer, by the way, has worn contacts since he was a sophomore in high school.
``My natural vision is terrible,'' he said. ``I don’t know. I’ve had corrective lenses and my eyesight has not changed in that sense. in a long time. i don’t have readers yet, if that’s what you’re asking.''