The Kid Who Struck Out Joe Mauer

His name isn't the answer to a trivia question—not yet

"Baseball felt that way to me in all my childhood and teenage years. It felt untouchable and escapist in a really natural and healthy way. Baseball will always represent this perfect green grass, cards-in-the-spokes, bubble-gum-and-Beckett-in-the-summer slice of growing-up Americana. Joe has become the all-American boy. I heard he is even dating Miss Teen America—I find that appropriate. Good for him. He's quiet and strong and graceful, like a baseball robot.

"He's sheepish with interviews and very polished to never say anything to keep Joe Common's eyes open at his work desk as he picks his paper up and reads about last night's game. [Mauer's] quotes range from, 'I just hit it where it was pitched' to 'Been having a little luck lately, I guess.' Hardly. Powerball is luck. Meat Raffles are luck. Joe Mauer is calculated. He's a natural, but he knows what he is doing.

"I admire his swing and attitude toward the game for the exact reason turning his bland public persona over should be a publicist's senior thesis: He's redundant and effective. His swing is like a machine—like a machine that you can buy by calling the number on the screen.

Photo illustration by City Pages

"Joe Mauer Haiku

"Swing like a machine?
call in now at the bottom
of your t.v. screen"

Jim Walsh can be reached at 612.372.3775 or jwalsh@citypages.com

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