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Mauer on Twins: We can contend

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It might be 45 degrees a week from Monday at Target Field, but Twins catcher Joe Mauer sounds like he's ready to get the baseball season started.

Eric Nelson, from, chatted with Mauer about the upcoming season. Mauer says he definitely thinks Minnesota can contend in the American League Central in 2013 -- despite back-to-back 90-loss seasons.

"I don't see why not," Mauer said. "Teams (like the Detroit Tigers) might look good on paper, but you always have to get out there and compete."

As for the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Twins, bottom-feeders in the AL, Mauer isn't living in the past.

"What happened happened. It's a new year ... we're excited for a new season."

On other topics, Mauer was just as direct (he doesn't say much, unlike Brett Favre, who could go on for days on a simple question):

-On center field prospect Aaron Hicks:

"He's a guy who's got a lot of talent."

-On playing in the World Baseball Classic with Team USA:

"Any chance you get to represent your country is a good thing."

-On having twins with his wife, Maddie:

"It's pretty cool, we're pretty excited."

To hear the entire Mauer interview, via GamedayGold, CLICK HERE.

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