I know we Twins fans always say "you don't have to worry about Joe" when he's in a slump. However, it's June 19th and Joe has a .258 batting average, and he was just dropped as the Kemps Milk and Dairy spokesman. Sorry, but I'm starting to get a bit worried.
Other people have covered the numbers and actually talked to Joe about it. I'm not very good with numbers, and I don't personally talk to Joe Mauer. What I can provide is the following non-statistical and completely speculative analysis of what is wrong with Joe Mauer.
Without further ado, my current running theories on what is possibly wrong with Joe:
1. He Misses Justin Morneau
I mean, WHO DOESN'T? Morenau currently has a .297 BA with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in his first season starting for a different team. Mauer and Morneau have not only been teammates for nine years, but notoriously close friends, roommates, groomsmen, and commiserating concussion sufferers. Mauer even called Morneau earlier this season to ask him how the heck he doesn't get bored standing around at first base. Joe is clearly craving some of that familiar interaction, or possibly freaking out about not having Morneau to help shoulder the responsibility of being the team leader.
2. The Babies
Personally, this is my number one theory (I know it's number two on this list, but I'm not very good with numbers). Ever since July 23rd of last year when Joe's twin baby girls were born, he's basically performed like crap. Sure, he had a concussion--but was his brain actually very vulnerable at the time because of the extreme lack of sleep he undoubtedly had due to having not one, but two, newborn babies? HOW DO YOU KNOW?
3. Rap Music
As is widely known, rap music is the root of all gangs, violence, drug use, and misogyny in America. Could rap music also be to blame for Mauer's terrible season? According to the player facts shown on the jumbotron at Twins games (a primary source for baseball knowledge), Joe's favorite musical artists are the Notorious B.I.G., T.I., and Snoop Dogg. Joe has used T.I.'s "What You Know" as his batting music basically since it came out eight some years ago. Could the inherent evilness of rap music have finally caught up with Joe?
4. Lingering Concussion Symptoms
5. It's His Back
How many years has Joe metaphorically been carrying the Twins around on his back? And now he's literally carrying around twins on his back? He missed time with back spasms in May if you had any doubt his back hurts these days. I mean, if it's not the knees it's got to be something. And it is probably his back. Am I right?
6. Joe is bored
First base just isn't "doing it" for Joe. As mentioned in point number one (?), Joe is bored. He doesn't know what to do with himself. He's sitting around at first base not getting to see the umpire's strike zone up close and personal all the time, and it's hurting him at the plate. He's drifting off. He's thinking about other stuff. Like his babies. Or rap music.
Personally, I think Mauer should try some role-playing to help spice things up at first base. You know, he could pretend to be Justin Morneau and the player on base is, uh, Joe Mauer? Insert some kind of Hrbek-Gant joke here? This is just getting weird.
Do YOU have a theory explaining Joe's major slump? Leave a comment below.