Twins catcher Joe Mauer is the fans’ top choice for tomorrow’s All-Star game in Anaheim, California. The two-time Gold Glove winner, three-time batting champion and reigning American League MVP earned 5,372,606 votes, the third-highest of all-time. On Monday, Mauer took some time out of his day at FanFest to talk to SIKIDS.com about baseball, the All-Star atmosphere, and the season’s second half…
SIKIDS.com: You are on the cover of MLB 10: The Show. What were you doing with the game at FanFest?
Joe: We just went to FanFest and got to play the game a little bit with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Santa Ana. I actually got to play the game in 3D, which was really cool because you get to see different things. It was really fun to do that with the fans and see how excited they are for these couple of days.
SIKIDS.com: Did the kids beat you?
Joe: [Laughing] Yeah. They are pretty good at the game. I have to brush up next time before I go back there.
SIKIDS.com: It’s your fourth All-Star game and the third one in which you have been voted a starter by the fans. Do you feel like an old pro at this?
Joe: I don’t know about that, but I kind of know what to expect coming into these couple of days. It’s a crazy couple of days. It is also a lot of fun.
SIKIDS.com You led the majors in All-Star balloting. What is it like to be the fan’s top choice?
Joe: It’s awesome. It is a very cool honor. Just to make an All-Star game is a special thing, but to be voted in by the fans and to be the leading vote getter is humbling and it is defiantly a great honor.
SIKIDS.com What is your favorite part of the whole All-Star experience?
Joe: Just getting to interact with the fans a little more. You know it is more relaxed and [I like] just being with the fans and seeing how excited they get for it.
SIKIDS.com You are living most people’s dream, walking around in a clubhouse with the biggest names in baseball. What is that like?
Joe: All of the great players are all in one place and it is a lot of fun. You play against these guys and compete against these guys all season, but you kind of get to know them on a little bit of a personal level and everybody kind of lets their hair down a little bit and has fun with it. It is a fun atmosphere.
SIKIDS.com: The Twins are 3.5 games back in the AL Central standings. What do you think the team needs to do to close that gap?
Joe: I think the break came at a good time for us. We’ve been struggling a little bit lately, but it is a long season and we understand that. We are just hoping to try to get things going in the second half.
SIKIDS.com: Will you be able to get your hitting going? Last season you had 28 home runs. This season you only have 4 and your batting average is at an all time low.
Joe: I sure hope so. I’m still working hard and trying to get going and win some games. You know, that’s baseball and the reason why we have so many games.