MINNEAPOLIS -- When fans start filing into Target Field on Tuesday night, his name will stretch across more backs than any other. A local Catholic priest used him as an example of a modern-day hero in a homily about sainthood Sunday. He remains a central draw despite what's looking more and more like his team's third consecutive losing season.
When it comes to endearment to a community, he rivals Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky -- and none of those guys grew up just across the river from their home venue.
He's a shining example of a baseball man, a family man and a Minnesota man.
Yet his manager says it's easy to overlook Joe Mauer.
"He does so much that I think he sometimes gets taken for granted," Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire said.
Buried among the poor pitching starts and disappointing execution with runners on base has been a resurgent year for Mauer, whether standing to the left of home plate or crouched behind it. The 30-year-old is batting like he did in 20...