As reported after the Twins swept the Chisox behind Joe Mauer's two hit, two RBI outing, Brian Dozier gave fair warning to the AL. ''When Joe Mauer heats up, you watch out around the league,'' Dozier said.
Others also decided to chime in on Mauer's 6-16, 6 RBI series. Manager Gary Gardenhire opined, "When Joe-Joe starts getting gritty, his bat gets hitty. Let him put that in one those rap thingies he does."
Former teammate Justin Morneau had a less sanguine view of Mauer's change of fortune. "It's my turn to have a good year. Let's get that straight," Morneau said through clenched teeth with tears in his eyes as he drank maple syrup right out of the bottle. "I rubbed Joe's little babies on me before I left Minnesota and took his luck with me. But I had this bad feeling when I watched three runs score on a wild pitch -- like it could all be a house of cards, and . . . But I say again," he said in that weird Canadian accent, "--MY turn!."
Aaron Hicks, on rehab assignment announced he wasn't really going back to switch hitting, but rather moving over to the left side. "He made it look so easy. Gary said I should watch more tape, so I watched some of Joe's at bats this past week, and I learned some things. Just watch -- I can hit like him now."
Retired slugger Kent Hrbek was unimpressed. "How many ding-dongs did he hit, ey? That's the measure of a man, and he puffs up those noodle arms and hits the top of the wall and people are peeing their pants like he's freaking Barry Bonds. He hits like Tony Gwynn or something, like he likes having to run fast. I mean, I guess if that's the best you can do . . . " His rambling dropped off as he was distracted by a passing waitress. "Beertron! Bring me some more here!"
Tom Brunansky, watching Hrbek warily from across the room muttered, "I kept telling people I didn't break him. Stupid Gardy with his 'Wadja do to my All-Star?' Like it was my decision to confuse him with a new glove and no mask. Did anyone blame Gardy and his leatherman-brain-trust? Nope. JUST the new guy. And now maybe he'll hit .340 for the rest of the year. Think I'll get any credit if THAT happens?" He snorted derisively and mumbled something like "bagsnorterhotcheesehomeyhomerhitterhosehead," then wandered away as if looking for pennies or watching his shoelaces flop around.
"I'LL tell you what thish is awl aboud!" ranted a slurring and wobbly looking SFB Tom Hanson. "It's about $23 million that coulda bought a whole buncha liddle rice-burners like Kent Surzuki, THAT'S what it's all abouwd. If he doesn't hit at least one homer every game on aberage, we should get rid of 'im. Maybe now is the up season on trading over-paid rap stars."
The dumbfounded silence that followed seemed to end the comment-fest, but Hanson's friend Uncle Randy grinned so loud it almost made a squeaking sound as he gave a big thumbs-up to the crowd within earshot of Hanson's buffoonery.
As fans and players headed home to wind up their week-end, Joe Mauer was rubbing his bat and intensely whispering something in bad alter-boy Latin. Another week was less than two days away.