We're in the midst of an unsure and very subdued possible final week of Joe Mauer's career, which means he is getting more attention than usual but not as much as might be expected.

That said, the potential end of his career is not playing out how many of us would have imagined a decade or so ago, when Mauer was on a Hall of Fame trajectory and looked as if he might go down as one of the greatest catchers — and perhaps the greatest Twin — in history.

Concussions, age, shifting, the awfulness of the Twins since 2011 … all of them have robbed Mauer in some ways.

And, of course, the $184 million contract he signed in 2010 that kicked in during the 2011 season has undoubtedly altered public perception.

These past eight years haven't played out as anyone imagined, and maybe sad is the best way to describe that feeling.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.