Quit the Joe Mauer hatin’

Posted on August 12, 2011

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As I read Jim Souhan’s column on August 10th I was mightily impressed he included evidence and stats. Everyone needs to start sometime, even a nationally syndicated columnist, right? That said, as usual, I still had my issues with it and the piece’s anti Joe Mauer message – calling the reasoning behind the excessive signing of Joe Mauer to be the cause of ‘fan pressure’ and a front office that crawled into the fetal position when it came towards negotiating with Minnesota’s hometown hero. While that may all be in fact true, what people like Souhan fail to realize is that the Twin’s had to sign Joe Mauer. They had no other option. That is, unless you consider stabbing your fan base in the heart an option, the Twins had to sign Mauer. And to ridicule the franchise for signing Mauer is downright idiotic when you measure the consequences that would have turned up had the Twins not signed him.

I laugh when Twins fans say we shouldn’t of signed Mauer because I don’t think hardcore Twins fans understand the importance of Joe. To the casual fan, Joe Mauer is the first person that pops into their head when someone says, ‘Minnesota Twins.’ During the months when we didn’t know if Mauer was going to sign or not, my mom and grandma would ask me how close they were to getting a deal done. I vividly remember my grandma saying, “ if the Twins don’t sign him I don’t think I will ever support them again.” My mom would ask me, “What happens if the Twins don’t sign him?” like the world was gonna end. Casual fans like my mom and grandma don’t care as much as the Twin fanatic does about how good the team is doing. Today my mom asks, “Oh, it is too bad they aren’t doing well. How much longer till Mauer comes back from injury?” Had the Twins fans not signed Mauer, financial speaking they would have lost a boatload of money. And when you consider they were moving into a new park, the last thing they needed was for casual fans like Grandma to say, “ I am done supporting the Twins.” You see it is with the casual fans the Twins look to make the real money, because they know the hardcore fans that look up Denard Span’s on base percentage at baseballreference.com and other sabermetric stats, will always be there – be that in the stadium or watching at home. It is the casual fans the Twins try to gain the attention of, and had they not signed Mauer, that attention would have disappeared faster than a line of cocaine near a living Amy Winehouse.

Also don’t think for a second you hardcore Twins fan wouldn’t have been in an outrage either. I can see it now – thousands of angry blog post sounding like a scorned girlfriend who just came back from a date which they had to pay for that call the Twins as cheap and dead beet as the boyfriend they are currently seeing. Also, for as far as I know, some idiot may have rioted or vandalized Target Field. The consequences of the Twins not signing Mauer are so extreme that I don’t blame the Twins for crawling up into a fetal position and falling under fan pressure to sign a man whom had they not signed, the entire fan base very well could have imploded.

As most evident by Souhan, the only negative effect of signing Mauer is stupid Twins Fan saying we shouldn’t have signed him. All you get is complaint after complaint after complaint. Just look at what Souhan wrote in this paragraph below:

The Twins front office discussed the high risk of signing Joe Mauer to a gargantuan deal without any assurances that he would remain at catcher long term, and yet felt compelled, more because of public relations than sabermetrics, to get the deal done before the first game in Target Field.

My reaction to this paragraph: And is that a problem? As I talked about above, the negative effects of not signing Mauer far out way the current negative effects of signing Mauer – an idiotic middle columnist making bogus statements. What Twins who think like Souhan don’t understand is, THE TWINS HAD TO F^CK%N$ SIGN MAUER BEFORE THE FIRST GAME AT TARGET FIELD!!!! Also so what if he can’t play catcher? Sure it would be nice if he could, but I don’t see what is so bad about having a former MVP and 3 time batting champ in your lineup? Also I don’t think anyone expected him to play a catcher his entire career when you consider how tough it is on your legs and his past history with leg injury’s. And when Souhan implied the Twins through Sabermetrics out the window he must have forgotten the stat ‘wins above replacement’ (WAR- which basically tells you how many wins a players contributes to) which Joe Mauer has a compiled total of 40.2 according baseballreference.com, and that ranks him as the 32nd best active player when it comes towards WAR. Within that, he is the only active player under the age of 30 to be ranked inside the top 35. Also, according to fangraphs.com between the years 2005 and 2010, he is the second best WAR player in the American league, falling only behind Alex Rodriguez. So hey, Souhan and other Twins fans that think the Twins completely threw sabermetrics out the window, it turns out they didn’t. just sayin’.

However, the stupidity doesn’t end there. Check out this paragraph below:

He is performing like a banged-up $10 million-a-year player but is costing the Twins $23 million a year. Mauer’s contract kept the Twins from bolstering their bullpen this winter, and it might keep them from re-signing Michael Cuddyer, who has vastly outperformed Mauer over the past two years.

Really? Being the second best player (and if we are saying winning is what matters most, WAR is arguably the most important state in sabermetrics) in the American league over the span of 5 years doesn’t deserve 23 million dollars, when the only player ahead of you is making 32 million this year and also scored the highest contract in sports history? I would think otherwise. Also, Souhan’s proclamation that Cuddyer has vastly outperformed Mauer over the past two years is wrong. It is really only one year, and that is this year, and when you consider Mauer has been injured the entire year, the comparison is inappropriate. However last year is not, so let’s compare Souhan. Last year Mauer had a greater WAR, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. Meanwhile Cuddy grounded into more double plays, and when came towards total runs attributed too (RBI +R) Cuddy only holds a 11 point advantage at 174, with Mauer at 163. But when you consider Mauer only had 510 at bats and Cuddy had 609, if you give Mauer those 99 at bats, Mauer more than likely is beating Cuddy in total runs. So hey, Souhan I guess Mauer actually vastly outperformed Cuddy last year, and thus to make the statement Cuddy has outperformed Mauer over the past two is extremely inaccurate and incorrect.

I don’t understand how people and Twins Fans can make statements like Souhan saying the Twins decision to sign Joe Mauer was the wrong choice and that Mauer himself has been deeply underachieving and not making up for his large contract. If you look at the stats, when he plays Mauer is one of the best players in the MLB, be that at Cather or any position. His WAR doesn’t lie, neither does his On base percentage or his slugging. And while it is disappointing when he gets hurts and he sits for a period of time, to make brash comments about him saying he stinks is idiotic. Even more idiotic is when during those times fans make statements like Souhan and say the Twins shouldn’t have signed in the first place. Remember if the Twins hadn’t signed him, you’d more than likely be a lot more disappointed with the Twins than you already are.

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