You got Reusse, who wonders if the concussion a few years ago is really the cause of Joe Mauer’s decline….
The young turks of daily interweb baseball writing object. Reusse as a dinosaur makes an inviting target but another thing is, the young turks are temperamentally progressive and are staking out some territory around the whole brain injury thing like it’s this era’s Triangle Shirt Waist fire of sports.
I agree with Reusse, I don’t think it was the concussion that diminished Joe Mauer. Which is not to say the concussion wasn’t serious.
It’s that it seems more medically implausible to assume here that lingering effects of a concussion would diminish him from elite major league hitter to pedestrian major league hitter rather than cripple his ability to be a major league hitter at all. Now granted, I’m not a neurologist. But there would seem to be some wisdom in saying that such that he’s playing at all, Joe Mauer completely recovered from his concussion.
A coinciding thing that happened to Joe Mauer last few years that might explain a bit is he turned 30. Ya know in our minds eye these guys are all great until they are 39, 40 years old but that’s not true. Universally, players best years are between about 25-28, and it goes downhill subtly or significantly thereafter unless you are David Ortiz. Joe Mauer is getting old for a pro ballplayer.
Such that Mauer deals with quad problems these days we seem to have forgotten also that about 4 games after he debuted in 2004 he had a significant cartilage tear in his knee, the fix for which was to remove almost his entire meniscus there. It’s hard to hit with sore knees because they are more inflexible and hurt more as you get older. But it can be done. Probably easier to hit some with bad knees rather than a bad brain.