Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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A bunt? A bunt?

Posted by: Jim Souhan under All-Stars and honors, Professional baseball, Ron Gardenhire, Target Field, Twins fans, Twins offense, Vikings, Sidney Rice Updated: July 20, 2010 - 10:00 PM

So two on, one out, bottom of the seventh, Indians on the ropes, score is 3-3, your $184-million No. 3 hitter comes to the plate, and...bunts?

I don't get it. I dont' want to get it.

Even if he had beaten it out, I'd be griping. Joe Mauer bunting with the game on the line (and no Justin Morneau batting behind him, not that that really matters in this situation) is like...well, I'd come up with an analogy, but no comparisons are worthy.

He can't do it. He just can't do it. He's got to recognize where he is in his career, who he is, what is role is, what his team needs from him. He can't sign the richest contract in franchise history and then shrug off the responsibility of getting the big hit in the biggest situation in the game.

He can't. But he did.

Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. Say it ain't so.

I have a theory about sports, and competition in general in any aspect of life: Never make your opponent happy.

If you're the Vikings, don't throw to Tahi when Sidney Rice is available.

if you're the Wolves, don't hire David Kahn as your GM.

If you're the Wild, don't let Marian Gaborik get away.

If you're a newspaper, don't let your best people leave.

If you're Joe Mauer, reigning AL MVP, don't bunt. Ever.

I'd elaborate, but there's nothing more to say.

It was a brutal, dumb, horrific, mindless, mind-numbing decision. What's worst, it hints that Mauer doesn't want to be the guy to decide the game in that situation. Well, wait. I don't know if I believe that. I would like to think it was his roots as a fundamentally-sound player emerging in the wrong place and at the wrong time, causing him to momentarily think that a bunt might load the bases for Jason Kubel.

But that's no excuse for this play. With Morneau out, Mauer should be carrying this team. You don't carry a team with a bunt.

And his decision might have cost the Twins the game.


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