So Long Super Joe

Joe Mauer has announced his retirement in a letter to Twins fans.

https://www.mlb.com/twins/fans/joe-mauer

The Person

Joe debuted with the Twins in April of 2004, about a week before his 21st birthday. At the time I was the first manager of a group home for three particular cognitively disabled teens with aggressive behaviors so extreme that all their previous community placements had failed. I needed physically stout young men who wouldn’t get mad when they got hit, bitten, their hair pulled, kicked or spit on but would instead respond by risking personal injury to hold our boys down until the rage passed using as little force as possible. All of them were recent graduates of Cretin Durham High, Joe’s school. I think I’ve already told you guys how Joe sat with a mentally retarded girl every day at lunch so she wouldn’t be picked on.  My boys were just a year or two younger than Joe and they wanted to be like him.  They were.

The Player

Joe Mauer struck out exactly once in his four year high school career. USA Today named him the best high school baseball player and…the best high school football player in the country.

When Joe won his first batting title in 2006 he was the first catcher in the history of the American League to have done so and the first in MLB since 1942. His three batting titles is equal to the total number of other times that a catcher has won a batting title since 1901. In 2009 he became the only catcher in MLB history to lead the league in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage in the same year.  He received 27 of the 28 votes for league MVP. He also won a gold glove that year (for the second year in a row).  In other words, in 2009 Joe Mauer was as good or better than any other catcher in the history of MLB.

Super Joe.

 

Life

In 2006 Joe won his first batting title. In 2006 my son’s son was born.

In 2018 Joe retired. In 2018 my son is in a tent city for the homeless and refuses to come out.

It’s getting cold early this off season.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “So Long Super Joe

  1. Let’s start a new Hall of Fame that isn’t run by a clique of dumbsquat spawrtsriters and make Joe the first inductee. Then let’s make Buck O’Neil the first member of the old timer’s wing, with a special note in bronze at the entrance to the wing about what a bunch of abjectly unappreciative and blinkered morons our baseball writers are.

    Incidentally, as is my wont I am writing today from the Admiral’s Club at JFK Airport as I await my flight back to the palm trees and swimming pool of Estancia Nuevo Macondo. I was up here to see a dance recital by a dear friend, Michelle Brangwen and her esemble, and her enamorato, the great jazz trumpeter Tim Hagans and his quartet, at the trez wonderful Jazz Loft museum and performance space in Stony Brook. Since I’m on the board of directors of the dance group I kinda needed to be here, despite the onset of that unnatural meteorological aberration known as weenter.

    When I get home I am going to begin stocking up on the foodstuffs and laying out the accoutrements for my Thangsgiving cassoulet. I have already ordered two pounds of Tarbais beans from Rancho Gordo. This week, I am going to roast a couple of ducks to make the confit, then stash the jars of duckfat-embalmed breast, wing and leg meat for the final assembly process two days before the vultu…er. family arrives.

    Turkey? Been there, done that. I’ll make a couple of sweet potato and harvest apple pies, but I can make tender, juicy turkey with succulent peach chestnut stuffing in my sleep at this point in my life. I need a challenge.

    Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, but Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Andre Dawson won’t show up as long as Beep Beep owns any part of the Feesh. So it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just took a look at Joe at baseball-reference. I find stats are subjective; the 60’s favored pitchers and the 90’s favored hitters (my opinion). Some guys last, and play well, but not great. They can end up with serious counting stats. So I looked at Mauer’s career page From the right side first. “Six time All Star” was on the headline of a story I saw, but those six seasons covered the first eight full-time seasons he played. He had two years among the eight that had fewer games and reduced stats. Injuries, probably. In the eight years he had the 6 all-star games. He was also Silver to Slugger five times, Gold Glover three times (at the most demanding and crucial defensive position). How does he stack up against his era’s players? In the same eight year period his MVP placements are first, fourth, sixth, eighth, and 19th (not chronologically). The way I see it he played the most demanding position well, was among the very best of players for almost a decade, and succumbed to the decline of age more quickly than some players.

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      • He went from elite to average about 2013 when his concussion problems started. Killebrew probably had the better career, but Joe meant more to people in this area, and not just Twins fans. The sort of person he is is what we like to think we stand for.

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      • Ackcherley, I don’t eat corn anymore, even organic corn. It’s loaded with simple sugars and lectins and it can’t be pressure cooked, or rather, its toxicity is unaffected by pressure cooking. Beans, on the other hand, can be pressure cooked to destroy the lectins in them, even the ricin in pinto-family beans. Ergo, I prep all my bean dishes by pressure cooking the bean components.

        As far as Rancho Gordo, they’re a hop, skip and a jump ahead of commercial bean suppliers. Their beans are strictly organic, grown without pesticides, and just plain delicious. They’re all heirloom beans, collected throughout North, Central and South America, many of them cultivars that haven’t been seen here before, and others that are usually seen no longer. My favorites (so far) are the Christmas lima beans, the Ojo de Cabras and Rio Zapes. I check their web site periodically for new cultivars and cultivars coming back into season.

        The Christmas limas are terrific. Their nutlike flavor, size and texture distinguish them from the usual run of green limas. They’re also beautiful; they resemble little boluses of jasper, agate or jade:

        I make a breakfast pilaf with millet, diced onion, diced garlic, the bean broth from the pressure cooker, and the limas. I also just saute them (after pressure cooking) in olive oil and garlic and eat ’em straight.

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        • Love the limas and many of those others. And now, thanks to your first paragraph I have now done some enlightening research on lectins (albeit on Wikipedia, sorry). Interesting. At this moment, I think if I avoid the GMO corn and consume moderately, I choose to believe I’ll be OK. After all, several million Mayans and Aztecs, Toltecs, Olmecs, etc. can’t be wrong, can they? Even if they’ve all died???

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  2. Surely you jest. Or you’re trying to block out the early-80’s editions of the team from that magical land of Cleve. But if not, Joe was their AL Rookie of the Year in 1980, and he had unusual talents off the field as well as on. You could look it up.

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