On Monday, we wrote a blog post about the crazy 15-game stretch Joe Mauer just had in which he struck out and had a hit in every single game. We also pointed out that despite hitting only two home runs this season, Mauer appears to be swinging harderl more often -- as evidenced by a higher BABIP, a higher slugging percentage and that strikeout streak (Mauer didn't whiff last night, stopping a string of 16 games with a K. His longest previous streak was six games).

What this means, of course, is that it gave MAUER HATERZ a chance to hit on a lot of their key themes. Here, then, is a priceless piece of e-mail correspondence we received from a reader:

Hello Mike:

I do not understand why a independent newspaper has to defend Joe Mauer's performance? Are you and the Tribune on the Twins payroll now also?

The facts speak for them selves.

1. Mauer makes 29% of the twins payroll, $ 23 million out of $ 80 million. With the big money comes the big leadership responsibility.

2. The Twins are in last place again in the AL Central division. That is three years in a row. Joe has a professional agent that has told him with the big money comes big responsibility.

3. Ever since the Twins signed Mauer to his big contract the Twins have been in last place in the Central division. Joe's pay, his performance and his leadership have the Twins in last place again. Twins are going for three in a row, last place finishes that is.

4. Miguel Cabrera, A POWER HITTER of the Detroit Tigers, makes less money than Joe Mauer. Cabrera has 47 RBI Joe Mauer has 13 RBI. Joe Mauer has 39 strikeouts and Cabrera has only 23 K's. The only statistics Mauer leads Cabrera in is doubles and strikeouts. This is why Joe Mauer makes more money and you kiss his behind and make excuses for him?

Just for once have you and the tribune finally say Mauer is the twins problem. The Twins made a mistake signing the singles hitter to a $23 million a year contract, Power hitters, home run hitters and RBI producers make over $ 20 million a year ... not singles hitters who strike out A LOT.

Put these facts in your paper also. If Mauer was in New York the press would be ripping him


To reiterate: Mauer is not perfect. He is who he is, and it is not his fault the Twins paid him $23 million a year. Also: He is not a singles hitter. He is in the top 10 in the AL in doubles, on base percentage and WAR. If anyone was on base when he batted, Mauer would have many more RBIs. He is, in fact, batting .360 with runners in scoring position this season. But he only has 32 plate appearances in such situations all season. Miguel Cabrera, also a terrific hitter, HAS 67 PLATE APPEARANCES with runners in scoring position.

Thank you for your time.