Joe Mauer Will Do Anything To Win, Including Cheating?
Total Pro Sports – There are not many intriguing playoff races left in the Majors this season. In fact, most would argue that only one remains and it is between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins for top spot in the AL Central. The two teams met yesterday in a double-header after Monday’s game was rained out Fortunately, that gave most of us the chance to get another prime time look at the new Cowboy Stadium, minus the 4th quarter bathroom stall rompfest (you can catch that here).
The Twins won the opening game in 10 innings by a score of 3-2. That brought them within a game back of the Tigers going into game two and Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer was prepared to do anything in order to get his team even by the end of the night. That included the blatant tipping of pitches to Jason Kubel.
With the Twins down 5-1 in the top of the sixth and a man on first, Mauer hit a double to put him at second and Orlando Carbera at third. With Jason Cubel up, Mauer and the Twins were desperate to drive in at least one run, and that is where the pitch tipping began.
The clip tells exactly what is going on, including how Mauer continues to touch his ear to indicate a curve ball, or touches his face to signal a fastball. Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Gerald Laird would eventually grow frustrated, calling several time outs and causing some indecision on a few pitches. The end result would be a sacrifice fly from Kubel, which would drive home a run to make it a 5-2 ball game.
The Twins would climb back to within one run in the eighth, but the Tigers added another run of their own during the bottom half of the inning and held on for the 6-5 victory.
Some may come down hard on Mauer for his tactics, but it is a common thing in baseball. Nowhere in the rulebooks does it state that a player can not tip off pitches to a teammate, and although it does seem to be among the unwritten rules within the “baseball code of ethics ,” that code will not win you games, pennants, and championships. That is what Mauer wants and he is willing to do anything to get there.
Just be sure to stay away from those steroids Joe!
Update: Oct 2/09 – Revisiting The Joe Mauer Pitch Tipping