"I'm serious," Gardenhire said. "If they tell me I can't vote for my own people, it doesn't make it a legit vote. If they don't trust you enough to vote for the right guys, then I wouldn't vote. If you don't want me to vote for Joe Mauer as a catcher, you're an idiot, so don't hand me a piece of paper that says Joe Mauer can't be the All-Star catcher."
While Mauer is essentially a lock for yet another All-Star bid -- the sixth of his career, and the cause of Gardenhire's blunt honesty -- the manager also hopes to see closer Glen Perkins earn a bid.
"He's got my vote," Gardenhire said. "I think he should be good. His numbers match up right at the top as far as closers go."
Mauer went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run in Saturday's 6-2 win over the Royals.
In 31 appearances this season, including a scoreless ninth on Saturday, Perkins has 20 saves, which was tied for ninth in MLB entering the day and tied for fifth in the American League. The Stillwater, Minn., native has allowed seven runs in 30 2/3 innings with a 2.05 ERA, and he's blown two saves. He's struck out 43 of the 116 batters he's faced (37 percent) and issued only seven walks.
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.