All-Star Game notes: Spotlight shifts to Target Field and Mauer

 

– Twins catcher Joe Mauer ran into David Wright on Tuesday during brunch, and the Mets’ All-Star third baseman had a message for him.

“Have fun next year,’’ Wright told Mauer, who will be the key player for the team that will be host to the next All-Star Game.

“I have to make it first,’’ Mauer replied.

“I said the exact same thing [last year],’’ Wright said.

The countdown to the next All-Star Game can officially begin — the game will be July 15, 2014 — and the Twins will get to show off Target Field. The stadium is broken-in after four seasons, but the baseball world will get an up-close look at the facility next year. Mauer already is imagining what it will be like to have an All-Star Game at Target Field, the first in Minneapolis since 1985.

“I think it will be a great venue, right downtown,’’ Mauer said. “Downtown and First Av. will be buzzing. It will be a lot of fun. Minnesotans, I know, they will come out. It will be a great atmosphere.’’

Twins officials followed Mets officials around Citi Field this week to get a feel for what it takes to organize such a massive event.

Closer Glen Perkins is seeing Citi Field for the first time and said over and over how, “cool’’ All-Star week is. But he can’t wait to see how everything looks in Target Field next year.

“I think Target Field, just the way it is set up, it will be an awesome spectacle,’’ he said. “Whether I’m on the team or not, I will try to be around. I look forward to seeing it.’’

Taking it all in

Tuesday marked Mauer’s sixth All-Star appearance, fourth as a starter. Perkins was making his first trip.

So Perkins experienced what it’s like to have to autograph everything that the league asks players to during All-Star week.

“There had to be 18,000 balls, 20,000,’’ Perkins said with what was believed to be some exaggeration. “It’s just a lot. Like a regular game times 100. Instead of 10 media members, there are a thousand. Everything is just bigger and busier.

Mauer was there to help Perkins navigate through all the requests.

“Gotta keep my eye on him and make sure he’s where he needs to be,’’ Mauer said, “but it’s fun.’’

More on the Twins

• Mauer caught the first six innings for the AL and went 1-for-2 with a fifth-inning single off Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee. Perkins did not enter the game.

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