On Mauer, and the elusive pursuit of .400

I have been making it a habit to read the baseball cover articles when I receive my Sports Illustrated copies. Namely, anything written my Tom Verducci. He’s pretty underrated as a baseball writer. And he’s consistently good.

His article on Joe Mauer chasing down .400 was pretty interesting. But it was also a bit premature.

As Verducci points out, Mauer won’t even qualify for the batting title until after the All Star break. The chase of .400 is impressive, but Mauer missed a lot of time to begin the season. He’s now sitting on .383, not too shabby; but it shows why the article was premature. If the guy was hitting .450 at the time of the article, it’d be an entirely different story.

Mauer has that national appeal because he’s an ‘aw shucks’ type of guy who lives in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota. That’s cool. Yes, he’s added power to his stroke this year and it would be cool to see him chase down .400 since only two men are living who even played with the last man to hit .400 (Teddy Ballgame). But couldn’t this article have waited until late July?