Joe Mauer Blames Mommy for Zero Play Off Wins / Or was it a different gentleman blaming his own mother?

I received a call the other night from somebody who would identify himself only as JM1 who wanted to tell me how sorry he was for the Twins never winning a playoff game while he was with the team. I was shocked of course, and asked why me? He said he thought he could trust me to be open minded and truly listen to his heart without judging him or his mommy. I thanked him for his confidence and asked him to continue his story.

He said he just had to unburden himself "after reading Mr. Engvall’s astute analysis of the "it" factor" on Twinkie Town the other day (sorry for the double, double quotation marks, but he insisted I place the "air quotes" around the "it", even if it was required within my quoting him). It was absolutely heart wrenching to hear the pain of all the years, not only as a Minnesota Twin, but the early formative years that laid the foundation for his futility as a leader.

It truly was traumatic, and I can’t possibly lay all of the tragic things on you that he spoke about, but the one thing that truly struck home with me as illustrative of his whole saga, and how his background shaped the rest of his life, particularly as a ball player, was the story of when he heard his grandfather use the word "scheiss" (again, "air quotes". He whispered the word as if some force would blot him from existence for saying it). Below is the transcript of his re-telling of that particular, life altering trauma.

"I still remember the day like it was yesterday, probably the worst day of my miserable existence. I went home and asked my mommy what "sheiss" (break transcript; okay, just remember when I use the "double quotes", JM1 had insisted on me letting you know they were his "air quotes"; resume transcript). Well, she went ballistic; I mean I don’t remember her ever being so pissed off, --ah -- I mean -- ticked off, (you won’t tell her I used that term, will you? (Break transcript; He insisted on making it known that was a parenthetical statement; resume transcript)). She immediately said I was grounded for the rest of the day from drinking milk and she forced me to drink a Coke; it was horrible!!! I was still so confused; I just wanted to know what Grandpa Mauer was saying. She said, ‘if grandpa Mauer jumped into a burning lake of fire, would you jump in after him?’ I only got more confused, I mean my G-d, I was only eight F(redacted)ing years old, but between the coke for milk and burning lake of fire, she scared the living H E Double Hockey Sticks out of me. Dad took me aside later and told me what it meant so I knew another English word to never say again too. Well, once I got into the junior and senior high sports scene, I started hearing about the importance of having the "it" factor to be a true leader and help the team to the next level. Well, you know, I really wanted that, but it just reminded me of that day. I mean "it" rhymes with shi…, oh I caught myself, you know, like sheis…, oh I almost said it again. Anyway, because of that, I just couldn’t bring myself to develop "it", especially after I started hearing the other words the coaches and kids were saying as they developed "it". So, like I just concentrated on being the best I could be at whatever sport I was playing, you know, like mommy told me would take me as far as I wanted to go. But now I’m starting to wonder if she was lying to me, because I wanted to play in and win the World Series, like Hrby and Kirby, and being the best didn’t get me that. [Break transcript; the pain was becoming obvious at this point, so I had JM1 take a few breaths to calm himself before continuing; resume transcript.] "You don’t think mommy will think I’m blaming her do you, or hate me for ratting out the dysfunction of the family? Maybe in your article you can put the 1 between the J and the M, you know J1M, then she might think this is actually Thome talking about his family nightmares. Ah, that probably wouldn’t fool her, she’s pretty clever, you know, eyes in the back of her head thing and what-not. Oh well, she’ll probably never know, ‘cuz I don’t think she reads TT. Oh wait, those bastards at Micro Soft constantly rip off TT content to enrich themselves through click bait at the expense of the incredibly awesome writers there, especially that James Fillmore dude, man, he’s "the bomb". Oh no, did I just use the word bastard? I did, and now again, oh my God…ahhh, I just used the Name of the Lord in vain, noooooo". (Break transcript; he screamed, dropping his phone on the floor. He retrieved the phone, and still in a panic, excused himself before he; resume transcript) "…singlehandedly bring down the rapture and wrath of God upon the earth". [End Transcript]

Well, when I heard the piercing sound of the dial tone replace JM1’s panicked, yet somehow still silky-smooth voice, I was quite shaken by the trauma that had just been re-lived in my ears through my phone. But before I could go take a drive into the countryside to seek some solitude and work through my own anxieties of the moment, my phone rang.

Hoping it was JM1 calling back I quickly picked up the call. It was somebody who identified himself only as JM2. He said he just got off the phone with JM1 but couldn’t understand him through all the bawling. Out of all the inane babbling, he was only able to make out two things, Wannabe525, and my phone number.

He said he just wanted to give a little context to what had just been shared with me. JM2 told me a story of JM1’s mommy barging into the locker room before game one against the A’s in ’06. She started ranting about how she’d gotten wind of players on the team who were trying to develop the "it" factor, but she knew what that meant. She said if she finds out that anyone; player, coach, staff, or batboy/girl, utters one of those filthy cuss words it takes to have "it", she will yank Joey off the field immediately, even if it was in the middle of an at bat. "Man", he said, "we all knew JM1 didn’t have "it", but we didn’t want that spectacle to make another sweep in the playoffs even worse, so we all cooled it. I mean we even made people pay the quarter (of a million) jar if he said crap or heckofa; that’s how bad that situation got for him and us. It was an intolerable nightmare; my God…oh, did I just take the name of the Lord in vain; I’m sorry Mrs. JM1’s mommy, I’ll never let "it" happen again, I promise". Well, he said he had to go to confession now too and hung up on me. After that I finally got to take that drive.

As it happened, I drove into Anoka. While I was there, it struck me that a certain Mr. Hansen lived there, who often had some very sage things to help Twins fans weather the soul rending experience of meteoric climbing expectations ending in a cataclysmic crash back to earth in the reality of Twins fandom. I determined to seek him out, but the first person I asked broke the news to me that Mr. Hansen had passed into the next realm, almost a year to the day after Mr. RandBallStu ended his TT writing career for greener outfields.

After expressing my condolences, as Mr. Hansen’s passing was obviously still a festering wound within the Anoka community, I introduced myself and my purpose for being there. I asked if I could get his opinion on my JM1 conversation, on the condition, of course, that he would not divulge the identity of JM1. He said he fully understood, as he himself also wanted me to keep him anonymous, so the fine folk of Anoka wouldn’t see him as prospering on the coattails of Mr. Hansen. After agreeing to identify him only as the principal of the local Christian school, I proceeded to share the main gist of JM1’s psyche crushing ordeal, and his current remorse that he couldn’t overcome "it". Below is the transcript of his response. Note: all the words that look like swear words were actually spelled out that way by this person. He said he wanted to keep it real, with the rawness of emotions that every Twins fan is all too familiar with, but as the principal of the Christian school in Anoka, he just knew he shouldn’t say them. So, for the full effect of the transcript, you need to read the words as they are spelled, not as the words they actually represent.

"Mauer isn’t getting off that easy, that little scheisskopf. Sure, Nathan gave up that soul shredding home run to ‘Roid’riguez in ‘09, but Nathan wouldn’t have let that @$$HOLE get under his skin if that Lazy-@$$ pansy Mauer would have cut the apron strings decades ago and went whole hog after the "it" factor. Johan was never really the same after that A’s series in ’06 either, and that’s all Mauer’s fault too; man, the things that team should have accomplished through those years, especially under Gary. I mean that Gary; man, he had the "it" factor if anybody ever did, but just couldn’t do "it" by himself; he needed Mauer, but that sh"it" head refused to come through for his team and his whole state. That’s when Gary went to his scrappy, gritty boytoy, LNP, to have him develop "it" to try to embarrass Mauer; I mean, why else would the kid try to fly like Super Boy head-first into first base every GD time. And then those EFFed-up wack-jobs at the World Astrology Board reclassified the planet Punto down to a dwarf planet. I think LNP took that as a slap in the face you know; he took it real personal; you could just see him suffer with the weight of that, trying to overcome the insult. The FO went along with Gary’s plan of trying to cajole Mauer into getting "it", but they finally realized that was just never gonna happen, so they cut LNP loose, just in time for him to lead the Cardinals to their eleventh title; I mean, how much more FUBAR can you get? So, I’m looking at you Kepler; you better start teaching your teammates "scheiss" and every other swear word in German. And you, Cruz and Sano, you and the rest of the Dominican’s better start teaching them to swear in Venezuelan. Even Ichiro Maeda can get into this act; every-DAMN-body on that team better get the "it" factor in every language possible. And where the H E Double Hockey Sticks was Donnie Boy? Bringer of Blizzards, really? Even without Snow Mizer, Southtown U.S.A. had bigger blizzards than that blow hard’s gimpy calf has brought so far. Minnesotans want a fuc…ah...freakin’ World Series championship and we want it now. The ‘Yankme-Spankmes are one thing, but the 29-31 Rastros, really? We’re tired of waiting on all you wimp Mauer wannabes to get the lead out of your @$$es and start getting your sh"it" together, or the next time some weaselly, out of control commissioner suggests extraction because the whole fuc…ah…freakin’ world is embarrassed that the Twins can’t win even one fuc…ah…freakin’ playoff game, then we aren’t going to give a sh"it" either…"

Well, I think the principal of the Anoka Christian school might speak for a many of us, and might even still be saying it now, I don’t know. I know he continued to rant into the evening sky even as I slunk away; I needed to leave and get back on the road to solitude once again.