In case you haven't noticed -- and judging by the attendance you haven't -- Joe Mauer is hurt again. As of today, he's hitting .314 and putting up a better year than the last, but it's still not enough for the Homer Hanky-less crowds at Target Field this season. People are getting impatient, bitter, and some are downright angry at the Kemps spokesman.
But let's be real. Joe Mauer will never have another year like 2009. Never, and fans should know this. Its just good ole Minnesota luck that the Twins finally figured out how to hit dingers in the Homerdome the last year they were tenants in the inflatable fortress. Now the Twins have moved into a stadium that is only built for Jim Thome and Jose Bautista. Neither of them are teammates of Joe Mauer. Now that Michael Cuddyer is gone, can we at least bring back the trees in center field?
The power is gone and maybe now the love? You hear more boos now when Mauer gets his name called. It's faint and drowned out by all the kids and all the Annie Savoy's in attendance. But the front office would be lying to say it's not a concern that hating on the hometown hero is at an all time high. Maybe dumping T.I. is the answer?
Baseball is full of superstitions, and this is one of the better known ones around baseball. Joe Mauer loves some Clifford Harris and they have been together since 2006 with "What You Know" as his walk-up music. Did you know that these DJ Toomp-produced synth lines come from an interpolation of Roberta Flack's version of The Impressions's "Gone Away" and of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe," as well? Hey Joe, where you going with that bat in your hand?
Photo by MLB
So do we still need Clifford Harris as a good luck charm? He has been locked up twice on illegal gun charges and arrested on drug charges once since Mauer won his first batting title. He also starred on an awful reality TV show, was a part of the dumb trend of sagging extra tight jeans, and was seen wearing lip gloss a few times -- a fad that didn't catch on like the tight jeans, thank Zeus. Besides, he's a Braves fan. Doesn't sound like much of a rabbit's foot to me. I'd rather put my faith in Jobu or sacrifice a live chicken.
But Joe, we understand long relationships and they are hard to break. Clifford has been good to you in the past and you want to be loyal to him, just roll with a new song from the "king of the south" that's more updated. "What You Know" had a short shelf life as is, but you kept it running for years. KDWB is jealous of your playlist dedication. But if you decide to part ways with Mr. Harris maybe some of these tracks will put some extra pop in your swing before every at bat?
"Mo Money Mo Problems" - Notorious B.I.G feat Ma$e and Puff Daddy
Since Joe signed the huge $184 million contract his life might be easier financially. On the baseball field, his life has had more problems than Rihanna has tattoos. The first few years of his contract have been downright pathetic numbers-wise, hitting .287 and only popping out 3 home runs last year, all on the road. But it's no surprise because with more money comes more problems, and jealously and envy come with the Twins territory man. Maybe this little reminder before every at bat will put him in check, but it would also be amazing to hear B.I.G blare over the limestone.
"Weak" - SWV
This is an ode to the year 2011 and Joe Mauer getting "weak in the knees" with his now famous bi-lateral leg weakness. Local sports reporters who were once fawning over Joe were suddenly trashing him. Even a couple former players were questioning good ole number seven's heart by only playing in an unspectacular 82 games. The soothing sounds of SWV might relax Mauer at the plate before he takes his famous million dollar inside out swing for an opposite field single.
"Double Vision" - Foreigner
Let's admit it. Joe Mauer has double vision, as in double plays. He has grounded into 14 double plays this season, which leads the league and is the worst thing for a three-time batting champ to be associated with. Denard Span and Ben Revere's dry cleaning this season must be at Kardashian levels with all the sliding into second base. It seems like this is the only time Joe turns on the ball, when it's hit right at the second baseman. Foreigner might not be a favorite with the young fans, but the same can be said for most of the music played at Target Field. Ahem, "Joy to the World."
"Devil's Haircut" - Beck
For about three quarters of men who attend games at Target Field, most of them are wearing a hat for a reason, because they haven't used Head & Shoulders in years. It's bad enough that Joe Mauer makes millions of dollars, plays for his hometown team and has legions of half-intoxicated female fans cheering his every muscle move, but he also has a full head of hair. And it pisses these guys off. They are not mad about his lackluster play or that annoying rap crap as he walks to the plate. No, they are pissed their wives and girlfriends are gushing about his brown locks while they are applying sun block to the top of their personal dome. Devil's Haircut indeed.
"Respect" - Aretha Franklin
Okay. Okay. We kid, Joe Mauer. I mean with all his leg weakness, double plays and lack of power at Target Field he still is a three-time batting champ, four-time All Star, an American League MVP, and has led the Twins to some great years. Did Tony Olivia, Rod Crew or Kirby Puckett catch this much heat from fans and press? Probably not. Mauer has never been accused of steroids, never fought in a nightclub brawl, had five kids with four different women, starred in a trashy reality Vh1 show, and never had to change his name to Ron Mexico. He's been the clean, Midwestern milk drinker we all grew to love and support over the years; maybe he has earned a little Minnesota nice from us after all.