Souhan: You can't ask for much more out of All-Star and proud dad

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2013 - 11:45 AM

It’s tough to gauge public sentiment these days. Online, anger dominates.

What you hear from angry voices about Joe Mauer is that he is overpaid, fragile and powerless. That he should have left his newborn twin daughters last week to return to Seattle in time to help his team over the weekend.

Whether that’s what most people think or not, that’s what you hear from the loudest voices, and they’re wrong.

Mauer deserved criticism at times early in his career when he wasn’t always eager to play. He deserved criticism in 2011 when he looked reluctant to rush back onto the field following his so-called “bi-lateral leg weakness.” He failed that summer as a franchise player either by appearing less than eager to play, or by refusing to satisfactorily explain his absence.

Between those lapses, and since the latter, Mauer has been everything the Twins expected him to be. He has won three batting titles, the first three by an American League catcher. He has won a Most Valuable Player Award, one more than Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.

He has honored his St. Paul roots and St. Paul brethren like Paul Molitor, Jack Morris and Dave Winfield, by playing with intelligence and skill. He has played in six All-Star Games, two more than Justin Morneau and one more than Earl Battey.

When the Twins took the sideburned kid from St. Paul with the first pick in the 2001 draft instead of celebrated college pitcher Mark Prior, they could not have hoped for much more than Mauer has given them. He should play his entire career in his home state and enter the Hall of Fame wearing the cap of the team he cheered as a boy.

Now, the foremost Twin has fathered twins, just to show off. His wife, Maddie, delivered Maren and Emily early Wednesday morning, after Mauer had flown home from the Twins’ series against the Angels in Anaheim, Calif.

“My plane touched down at 3 in the morning and they were born at 3:44 and 3:46,” he said.

Did he thank Maddie for waiting? “I think it was more Maren,” he said. “She was the first one out, and she was the one who decided to come out when I was halfway across the country. I’m glad all three of them held on until I got there.”

His mother drove to the hospital at a speed he would not reveal. “I got to talk to Maddie for about five minutes, and then off we went,” he said.

Emily and Maren were born about five weeks before Maddie’s due date. They were about 18 inches long and weighed about 4 pounds, 15 ounces.

They are still in the hospital. Mauer said he would visit after the game Tuesday night. They were able to breathe on their own, Mauer said, but required incubation. “It’s so hard to see them in that incubator,” he said.

He and his wife didn’t go home to rest until Saturday. Was it a tough decision, staying home all weekend? “Not really,” he said. “It was the right thing to do and what I needed to do.”

Anyone attacking Mauer for missing games while his daughters were in an incubator has probably spent the last few years attacking Mauer for not living up to his contract. In 2011, he deserved the criticism. Since then, he has played as much as a 6-5, 230-pound, offensive-minded catcher should be expected to play, and has performed near his career norms.

In fact, Mauer’s is one of the few enormous deals in baseball that has not been a disaster. On the free-agent market, he would probably fetch about what he signed for with the Twins: $23 million a year.

Tuesday night, Mauer came to the plate with a runner on second and one out in the first inning. On the first pitch he saw as a father, he lined an RBI single to left-center.

Mauer didn’t blow kisses, but, for once, we knew what he was thinking.

  • related content

  • Mauer returns, but Twins' bats disappear against Royals

    Wednesday July 31, 2013

    The All-Star catcher drove in a run in his first at-bat after paternity leave, but got little help from Twins teammates against Ervin Santana.

  • Souhan blog: Time for Twins to deal

    Tuesday July 30, 2013

    Here are the players I'd trade.

  • Joe Mauer batted third and played catcher in his first game back with the Twins after six games off.

  • True to form, Joe Mauer hit a first-inning RBI single to left field in his first at-bat since becoming a father last week. Mauer’s twin daughters are still in the hospital.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Dallas 6:30 PM
Detroit
Utah 6:30 PM
Miami
Orlando 6:30 PM
Boston
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Toronto
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 51 2nd Half 10:30
St Francis-NY 44
James Madison 6:00 PM
Ball State
SIU Edwardsville 6:00 PM
Campbell
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
Florida State
Catawba 6:00 PM
George Mason
Ferrum 6:00 PM
High Point
Hampton 6:00 PM
Illinois
Gardner-Webb 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Longwood 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Miss State
Tennessee 6:00 PM
NC State
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Robert Morris 6:00 PM
Toledo
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Wofford
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Barber-Scotia 6:00 PM
NC Central
Detroit 6:30 PM
UCF
Liberty 6:30 PM
UNC-Wilmington
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
Denver
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
Houston
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Milligan 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
USC Upstate 7:00 PM
Memphis
Alcorn State 7:00 PM
Murray State
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
SMU
Texas State 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
SC State 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Chicago State 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 37 2nd Half
UCF 30
Richmond 41 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 37
Montana 11 1st Half 13:38
Seattle 10
(7) Stanford 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Florida A&M 5:30 PM
Southern U
Oklahoma 5:30 PM
(13) Duke
Savannah State 5:30 PM
Auburn
Northern Colorado 6:00 PM
South Florida
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Siena 6:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Vermont 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
(1) South Carolina 6:00 PM
Hampton
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Texas Southern 6:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Northwestern 6:00 PM
UNLV
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
NC Central 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Drexel 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cincinnati 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Alabama State 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Morehead St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Kent State
American Univ 6:00 PM
Manhattan
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Arkansas-Monticello 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Prairie View 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(3) Texas
Yale 7:00 PM
Wagner
Oakland 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Eastern Kentucky 7:00 PM
Alabama A&M
SIU-Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
McMurry 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close