Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer made a permanent position switch before the season. But while the move from catcher will likely extend Mauer’s career by keeping him healthy, he’s finding it’s hurting his feelings.
“The pitchers never want to play catch with me anymore,” said Mauer, sitting slumped at his locker. “I always loved just throwing it back and forth with them. There’s nothing better than a game of catch, you know? But now I know they only threw it to me because I was the catcher.”
Mauer still gets the ball thrown to him when Minnesota’s pitchers try to pick a runner off first, but the longtime catcher says it’s not the same.
“I can tell their heart isn’t in it,” he said. “It’s almost like a chore to them. I think they’re only doing it because the runner is there. It’s not for me at all. Is it better than not getting thrown to at all? I don’t know. I just know I have a lot of hurt right now. Guys I thought were my friends were clearly in it for their own reasons.”
Twins starting pitcher Kevin Correia says he hopes Mauer can move past his feelings and know that the pitchers still like him.
“I hope he knows we’re still going to get to play catch a lot this year,” said Correia. “There are going to be lots of runners on base all season, so we’ll be throwing over to first almost as much as we throw home.”
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