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John Bonnes
05-01-2012, 12:40 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?495-Anatomy-Of-A-Mauer-Boo

Kneelb4zerg
05-01-2012, 12:50 PM
Wow. You lost me at "Mauer hasn't had a particularly positive impact on games this year." I know what you are getting at but this is silly.

YLT
05-01-2012, 01:11 PM
If you know what he's getting at then how were you lost? His WPA has been mediocre at best for the season thus far. I also don't agree with booing Mauer but that doesn't mean we can't look analytically at the situation and call it what it is: he's a great hitter but he hasn't impacted games the way he should be for a guy making >20% of the team's payroll and the "face of the franchise." Again, I would never boo Mauer and I think they paid him what he was worth but lets really look at his impact this year.

Jim H
05-01-2012, 01:12 PM
This is a good article and I agree with your basic points. My frustration is not with Mauer, but with a good portion of the Minneapolis media. They seemily have been down on Mauer from the time he was drafted(Prior anyone). A good part of the Mauer is soft, he needs to be a better leader, he needs to hit more home runs, comes from a vocal part of the media.

Now, the notion that anyone who plays catcher is soft, almost requires a break with reality. There is no other position in baseball that takes anywhere near the beating a catcher does. The call for more home runs is more understandable, even though Hrbek should be a good warning. Hrbek went from being a good all around hitter with good gap power and occasional home runs, to a thirty home run guy with holes in his swing.

I think the real problem the media has with Mauer is that the media likes guys like Hunter. Guys who are always good for a quote, who occasionally throw teammates under the bus in charming ways, who have a flare for the dramatic and self promotion, even if the production really doesn't quite match the flash.

Mauer is not flashy, but he is a great hitter. When he is hitting well, the gap power will generally make up for the lack of home runs. I suspect that his supposed lack of leadeship is more of a media thing than an actual thing.

Personally, I am glad we have a talent like Mauer to watch. Much like watching Killebrew, Carew, Santana and others who have performed in Minnesota, it is fun to watch true professionals with unique skill sets.

jeffk
05-01-2012, 01:21 PM
If you know what he's getting at then how were you lost?

Because, especially looking at a small sample size, WPA is as much about opportunity and luck as anything (although it a kinda fun statistic). I'm more concerned that guys hit. If they hit, decades of data show that runs will come.

Ultima Ratio
05-01-2012, 01:21 PM
You nailed it John. Insightful analysis. The apologists need to understand that the frustration and criticism with Mauer is not unique nor personal. Capps underperforms for the money, Nishioka the same, Cuddyer for years was criticized for having a great contract year, then underperformed and was hurt during most of those big pay years. These players and more have been understandably and correctly criticized for failing to live up to the expectations of their contract. Heck, I'm sympathetic with Yankee fans who begrudge the Pavano contract with the evil empire. None of this is controversial, mean-spirited, or out of place. Of course, health problems and their impact on performance and living up to a contract cannot be known with certainty at the contract's inception, but when healthy and a player still underperforms commensurate with his contract, then criticism is not only natural, it's deserved -- as is a substantial measure for the front office.


Living in Pittsburgh, you hear the Steelers philosophy which is part of the team, corporate and fan culture of Steeler nation: The bar is where the bar is. If a guy get's hurt, his replacement is expected to play at the same level as the starter, who was expected to play at or above expectations. It's all about accountability, setting the bar high and demanding it be met no matter who is in the game. It's amazing how different the fans, team and players hold themselves and their team accountable. Amazingly, the Steelers get results.

Thrylos
05-01-2012, 01:41 PM
You nailed it John. Insightful analysis. The apologists need to understand that the frustration and criticism with Mauer is not unique nor personal. Capps underperforms for the money, Nishioka the same, Cuddyer for years was criticized for having a great contract year, then underperformed and was hurt during most of those big pay years. These players and more have been understandably and correctly criticized for failing to live up to the expectations of their contract. .

Mauer, Capps and Nishioka got booed by Twins' fans. For some reason Cuddyer, even though he could never even dream about performing as good as Mauer has on a bad season, was spared. So has the manager for some reason that escapes me... Maybe it is the same reason.

Steve Lein
05-01-2012, 01:46 PM
See my post from last week if you need specific numbers in situations as to why fans are frustrated, but the point of my post was also to say that booing Mauer is stupid. There's much more going on with this team that fans should be frustrated about. If the Twins record was 16-6, or even 11-11, I don't think we'd hear any boos, but that would probably also mean Mauer has been a big part of those extra wins. I like this take on the situation a lot. Fans don't want to see a bad baseball team (and face it, the new generation of Twins fan doesn't know what losing is), and are frustrated. So, there has to be scapegoat, right? The starting pitching staff is a much better choice for that, however.

Thrylos
05-01-2012, 02:18 PM
. Fans don't want to see a bad baseball team (and face it, the new generation of Twins fan doesn't know what losing is), and are frustrated. So, there has to be scapegoat, right? The starting pitching staff is a much better choice for that, however.

I will actually say that the new generation of the Twins' fans do not really know also what real winning is (and I mean World Series) so they are complacent with winning divisions every other year or so... So they like mediocrity and boo when it drops below the mediocrity level. Ultima Ratio said it well above when he gave the Steelers' example: A winning organization sets the bar high. All the way high. The Twins do not do that and the fans are used to it...

whydidnt
05-01-2012, 02:20 PM
This is a good article and I agree with your basic points. My frustration is not with Mauer, but with a good portion of the Minneapolis media. They seemily have been down on Mauer from the time he was drafted(Prior anyone). A good part of the Mauer is soft, he needs to be a better leader, he needs to hit more home runs, comes from a vocal part of the media.

Now, the notion that anyone who plays catcher is soft, almost requires a break with reality. There is no other position in baseball that takes anywhere near the beating a catcher does. The call for more home runs is more understandable, even though Hrbek should be a good warning. Hrbek went from being a good all around hitter with good gap power and occasional home runs, to a thirty home run guy with holes in his swing.

I think the real problem the media has with Mauer is that the media likes guys like Hunter. Guys who are always good for a quote, who occasionally throw teammates under the bus in charming ways, who have a flare for the dramatic and self promotion, even if the production really doesn't quite match the flash.

Mauer is not flashy, but he is a great hitter. When he is hitting well, the gap power will generally make up for the lack of home runs. I suspect that his supposed lack of leadeship is more of a media thing than an actual thing.

Personally, I am glad we have a talent like Mauer to watch. Much like watching Killebrew, Carew, Santana and others who have performed in Minnesota, it is fun to watch true professionals with unique skill sets.

I think you hit a homerun with this reply. I agree that people focus more on what he hasn't done that all the good he has. I include myself in this, because I get very frustrated watching him hit another grounder to 2nd or watching him take the first pitch even thought it's a fat one right down the middle. My frustration isn't so much that he hasn't been good, because he has, it's that I think he could be better if he'd be willing to make adjustments. I mean isn't that what separates the truly great from the very good? When guy comes up and has a fast start, don't all the "experts" tell us to wait until the second time through the league, to see what kind of adjustments are made and how the player adapts? It's seemed at times Joe AND his manager have been too willing to say, "it's working, don't mess with it" instead of "let's see if we can take this to the next level".

Steve Lein
05-01-2012, 03:11 PM
I will actually say that the new generation of the Twins' fans do not really know also what real winning is (and I mean World Series) so they are complacent with winning divisions every other year or so... So they like mediocrity and boo when it drops below the mediocrity level. Ultima Ratio said it well above when he gave the Steelers' example: A winning organization sets the bar high. All the way high. The Twins do not do that and the fans are used to it...

Also good points.

JB_Iowa
05-01-2012, 06:39 PM
To add to what I said in the "blog" commentary section (I wish there was a way to integrate that and article comments),

I think that the Mauer boos last year were directed at Mauer but my gut feeling is that this year while still somewhat directed at Mauer, they are also directed at the organization as a whole.

How often does Jim Pohlad come out on the field? Or Terry Ryan? Or even Gardenhire in a boo-able situation?

Mauer is the most visible symbol of the franchise as a whole. The highest paid player. The "deity" who was idolized by fans. I don't find it surprising that his miscues are booed -- and I suspect many of those boos are directed what is happening with this team as much as they are directed at him.

CDog
05-01-2012, 07:35 PM
You nailed it John. Insightful analysis. The apologists need to understand that the frustration and criticism with Mauer is not unique nor personal. Capps underperforms for the money, Nishioka the same, Cuddyer for years was criticized for having a great contract year, then underperformed and was hurt during most of those big pay years. These players and more have been understandably and correctly criticized for failing to live up to the expectations of their contract. Heck, I'm sympathetic with Yankee fans who begrudge the Pavano contract with the evil empire. None of this is controversial, mean-spirited, or out of place. Of course, health problems and their impact on performance and living up to a contract cannot be known with certainty at the contract's inception, but when healthy and a player still underperforms commensurate with his contract, then criticism is not only natural, it's deserved -- as is a substantial measure for the front office.


Living in Pittsburgh, you hear the Steelers philosophy which is part of the team, corporate and fan culture of Steeler nation: The bar is where the bar is. If a guy get's hurt, his replacement is expected to play at the same level as the starter, who was expected to play at or above expectations. It's all about accountability, setting the bar high and demanding it be met no matter who is in the game. It's amazing how different the fans, team and players hold themselves and their team accountable. Amazingly, the Steelers get results.

First, I'm wondering why being a fan of someone and enjoying watching him play baseball makes someone an apologist. People who get off on being miserable and holier than thou throw that around with the Kool-Aid idiom so often it pains me. God forbid someone actually think differently than you.

Secondly, the quoted post made me wonder if it was written as an exercise in point-counterpoint or maybe by two different people. Or possibly someone just wants to be complain about something, so to cover the bases decided to complain about two different and opposite things. The first paragraph is devoted to the concept that Mauer, Capps, Nishioka, and Cuddyer are rightfully booed because they make too much money (without well-demonstrating that). The second paragraph says that the expectation placed on the players should have nothing to do with who they are or outside factors: only their performance matters. Which is it?

BD57
05-01-2012, 09:06 PM
@ Jim H ...

Amen to all that.

Mauer is a catcher and one of the best hitters in baseball - a rare combination.

As far as "contribution in 2012" ....

Joe's been in the lineup, he's hitting .325, 2nd in OBP, 3rd in slugging, 2nd in OPS, 2nd in RBI .... the only thing he's not doing with the bat is hitting HR's. And we've just finished the first (short) month of the season.

Is Mauer any good at all? Let's see - - - there's a HOF guy who hit .338 (Mauer's only batting .324 for his career) who hit less than 7 HR a season (Mauer's averaging 10 or so), OBP .388 (Mauer, .404), SLG .459 (Mauer .470), OPS .847 (Mauer .874), OPS+ 132 (Mauer 134) ... WAR 68.4 over 20 (Mauer 40.3 over 7) ...

And Mauer's a catcher ... the HOFer wasn't.

At some point, folks need to understand that Mauer is DAMN good ... and players who are DAMN good get paid.

Ultima Ratio
05-01-2012, 10:42 PM
First, I'm wondering why being a fan of someone and enjoying watching him play baseball makes someone an apologist. People who get off on being miserable and holier than thou throw that around with the Kool-Aid idiom so often it pains me. God forbid someone actually think differently than you.

Secondly, the quoted post made me wonder if it was written as an exercise in point-counterpoint or maybe by two different people. Or possibly someone just wants to be complain about something, so to cover the bases decided to complain about two different and opposite things. The first paragraph is devoted to the concept that Mauer, Capps, Nishioka, and Cuddyer are rightfully booed because they make too much money (without well-demonstrating that). The second paragraph says that the expectation placed on the players should have nothing to do with who they are or outside factors: only their performance matters. Which is it?

I use the term apologist as a defender, as in Plato's "Apology" -- The trial of Socrates and his defense. If you think this is insulting, it is not. I don't know why you feel attacked. Perhaps you don't take others' arguments well in stride, taking disagreements personally and writing sarcastic and snarky comments to get back them for not seeing things as you do. This is a petty exercise.

You charge me with (further) demonstrating that Nishioka is worth 3million/year, Cuddyer's 24 million/3year contract was a great deal for Cuddy, no so much the Twins, that Capps has pitched below expectations of a setup/closer making 5 million/year? It isn't a question of whether Mauer or anyone above make too much money, it's a matter of not performing at the level the market valued your production to be when you signed the contract. Do you think there's ever been a bad contract (for the team, I mean)? I suggest that Nick Punto was overpaid for his production on his 2 year/8 million contract. I also submit that Mauer is thus far being overpaid for his performance. I given the numbers several other places. Mauer's career/season OPS+ is between David Wright and David Ortiz... they are both making 14-15 million/year. Someone else gave Jaun Pierre's season stats lines and they were very similar to Mauer's. He does catch and is the fan favorite, yours too I'd guess. So this may increase the salary, but not to the level that he's producing. The point I'm making (demonstrating, very well thank you) is that there have been several other players who've not performed commensurate with their pay. Is this something you wish to argue? I don't find that controversial at all.

Last, separate paragraphs indicate separate topics (usually) and this is true for my separation. The point here is that some sports franchises noted for winning and getting good results from players -- and their fans -- hold their players accountable, such that when they are not performing to a level commensurate with their pay or the internal expectations of the team for each player at each position no matter who it is.... they are roundly critiqued, and correctly so. So, if you think Mauer is has performed at a level that is commensurate with his pay and beyond critique, by all means shout it from every hilltop, just don't misrepresent or insult your detractors.

CDog
05-02-2012, 09:50 AM
I use the term apologist as a defender, as in Plato's "Apology" -- The trial of Socrates and his defense. If you think this is insulting, it is not. I don't know why you feel attacked. Perhaps you don't take others' arguments well in stride, taking disagreements personally and writing sarcastic and snarky comments to get back them for not seeing things as you do. This is a petty exercise.

You charge me with (further) demonstrating that Nishioka is worth 3million/year, Cuddyer's 24 million/3year contract was a great deal for Cuddy, no so much the Twins, that Capps has pitched below expectations of a setup/closer making 5 million/year? It isn't a question of whether Mauer or anyone above make too much money, it's a matter of not performing at the level the market valued your production to be when you signed the contract. Do you think there's ever been a bad contract (for the team, I mean)? I suggest that Nick Punto was overpaid for his production on his 2 year/8 million contract. I also submit that Mauer is thus far being overpaid for his performance. I given the numbers several other places. Mauer's career/season OPS+ is between David Wright and David Ortiz... they are both making 14-15 million/year. Someone else gave Jaun Pierre's season stats lines and they were very similar to Mauer's. He does catch and is the fan favorite, yours too I'd guess. So this may increase the salary, but not to the level that he's producing. The point I'm making (demonstrating, very well thank you) is that there have been several other players who've not performed commensurate with their pay. Is this something you wish to argue? I don't find that controversial at all.

Last, separate paragraphs indicate separate topics (usually) and this is true for my separation. The point here is that some sports franchises noted for winning and getting good results from players -- and their fans -- hold their players accountable, such that when they are not performing to a level commensurate with their pay or the internal expectations of the team for each player at each position no matter who it is.... they are roundly critiqued, and correctly so. So, if you think Mauer is has performed at a level that is commensurate with his pay and beyond critique, by all means shout it from every hilltop, just don't misrepresent or insult your detractors.

Wow, talk about misrepresenting! In no particular order, 1) I made no claim about any of those contracts, and certainly not any of the assertions that you asserted that I asserted. 2) Are you really claiming that catching MAY be more valuable than DH'ing? As in not for certain? Even taking two fielding positions and thinking they are the same is ridiculous. Stretching that to a DH is absurd. 3) In what crazy world are Mauer's and Pierre's numbers similar? The 130 point OPS difference? The 60+ point wOBA difference? 4) For what it's worth, fangraphs estimate of value for Punto's $8M seasons was $13.3M. Cuddyer outperformed two of the three years of his final contract and totaled $30.1M. I think those tend to be a little high, but still bears mentioning.

I'm sure I could go on. BUT...the main point of my post that you quoted was none of that. It was that your first paragraph made the point that the contract leads the expectations. Your second paragraph made the point that only performance matters and that everyone should have the same expectations. Putting them in different paragrpahs doesn't change that the post in general is clearly self-conflicting. But I'm glad you took that in stride.

Paul
05-02-2012, 12:12 PM
I believe the anatomy of a mauer boo is, just like any other boo, a pure emotional response. It's not analytical or thought out. I happen to believe people are entitled to enjoy their emotions, as long as the outbursts don't infringe on the rights of others. Some are prone to emotional behavior. Some are not. Some seem to live their lives totally driven by their emotions. Some are seen as "cold fish" by others because they seem emotionless. From my observation, it seems our society encourages the higher emotions of enthusiasm, exhilaration and love while rejecting the baser emotions of hate and hostility. I think this is right as the higher emotions promote betterment while the baser emotions tug the opposite way.

Anyway, I find the booing annoying as hell.

Paul
05-02-2012, 12:14 PM
Oh yea, John. What does the Works Progress Administrion have to do with this?

Ultima Ratio
05-02-2012, 02:20 PM
1. Mauer's WAR in 2009 was 7.9
2. This 2009 production was valued at 23million/year
3. Mauer's WAR in 2011 was 1.6
4. Mauer's WAR in 2012 is 0.6 (interesting that this number is lower, though healthy)
5. Mauer's production in 2011 and 2012 was much lower than in 2009
-----------
6. Therefore, Mauer's value in 2011 and 2012 is and has been much less than the 23 million/year he made in 2011 and 2012

I've put the argument in standard form so it's super easy to follow. Now, this is a deductive argument, so you have to show that one of the premises is false in order to show that the conclusion is false.

Now the inductive argument: I think the booing/frustration/criticism of Mauer is undeniably linked to the argument above as well as the team's performance. I also think this criticism is understandable and warranted. This goes for any player that is underperforming and not an myopic attack on Mauer.

On an ancillary note: I don't care for narcissists or sycophants. Beat it geek.

mike wants wins
05-02-2012, 02:52 PM
It's only going to get worse, or maybe not. The only people in the stands this summer will be the hard core fans, so maybe the booing will drop. Becauase the booing is not just about Mauer, but the whole team....

CDog
05-02-2012, 02:59 PM
3. Mauer's WAR in 2011 was 1.6
4. Mauer's WAR in 2012 is 0.6 (interesting that this number is lower, though healthy)
.

I have no idea what the point of the rest of your post was, but this part made me chuckle. It's good to have documentation that you have no idea what WAR is attempting to measure. Or don't have a calendar.

wblmayo24
05-02-2012, 03:09 PM
@ Jim H ...

Amen to all that.

Mauer is a catcher and one of the best hitters in baseball - a rare combination.

As far as "contribution in 2012" ....

Joe's been in the lineup, he's hitting .325, 2nd in OBP, 3rd in slugging, 2nd in OPS, 2nd in RBI .... the only thing he's not doing with the bat is hitting HR's. And we've just finished the first (short) month of the season.

Is Mauer any good at all? Let's see - - - there's a HOF guy who hit .338 (Mauer's only batting .324 for his career) who hit less than 7 HR a season (Mauer's averaging 10 or so), OBP .388 (Mauer, .404), SLG .459 (Mauer .470), OPS .847 (Mauer .874), OPS+ 132 (Mauer 134) ... WAR 68.4 over 20 (Mauer 40.3 over 7) ...

And Mauer's a catcher ... the HOFer wasn't.

At some point, folks need to understand that Mauer is DAMN good ... and players who are DAMN good get paid.

I love you. First ballot HOFer and all the skeptics will turn on the induction ceremony and say how fortunate they were to witness one of the best players to play the game. "folks need to understand that Mauer is DAMN good ... and players who are DAMN good get paid."

jeffk
05-02-2012, 03:15 PM
4. Mauer's WAR in 2012 is 0.6 (interesting that this number is lower, though healthy)

Yeah... that's not how WAR works. Anyways, if he plays 140 games his WAR at this pace will be (140/22)*.6 = 3.8.

TwinVike61
05-02-2012, 03:31 PM
I have no idea what the point of the rest of your post was,

Wow, CDog, I thought you were more intelligent than that (and way more than most of us, IYO). It's obvious he doesn't think Mauer's earning his paycheck.

dwintheiser
05-02-2012, 03:47 PM
Mauer may well be a wonderful player, and he might even get into the Hall of Fame some day, but I'd be shocked if the Twins ever won a World Series with Mauer in their uniform. Here's why I think that:

- Back when the Twins let Torii Hunter leave as a free agent, I made something like the following comment (on the old Twins Territory blog, if I remember right): "The Twins would eventually have to go from being Torii Hunter's team to being Joe Mauer's team, and if this is what it takes for that to happen, I'm OK with it." Except the Twins didn't become Joe Mauer's team, they became Johan Santana's team.

Well, that's OK, you might say. Santana was a legitimate superstar and was certainly capable of being team leader. Not a huge issue, right?

- The Twins then traded Santana so that they wouldn't lose him as a free agent. At that point, you'd expect the team to become Joe Mauer's team. Except the Twins didn't become Joe Mauer's team, they became Michael Cuddyer's team.

Well...that's still OK, you might say. After all, Cuddyer was the longest-tenured Twin, and Gardy does love his veterans. Cuddy was certainly respected in the clubhouse. Not a big deal, you might think.

- Now Cuddyer is gone and...

...is this Joe Mauer's team? Maybe Mauer wants to be the quiet clubhouse leader a la Amos Otis on the early '80s Royals teams or Bernie Williams on the late 90s Yankees teams. But teams also need visible leaders, and those leaders are generally the team's best players: George Brett on the Royals and Derek Jeter on the Yankees respectively, if we're continuing that analogy. The only thing I'm certain of is that Mauer doesn't want to be that kind of leader, because if he did, he's had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate it.

And no matter how good Mauer is as a player, if he's not going to be a leader, I don't see the Twins getting the best performance out of their ballclub. Simple as that.

Thrylos
05-02-2012, 04:14 PM
1. Mauer's WAR in 2009 was 7.9
2. This 2009 production was valued at 23million/year
3. Mauer's WAR in 2011 was 1.6
4. Mauer's WAR in 2012 is 0.6 (interesting that this number is lower, though healthy)
5. Mauer's production in 2011 and 2012 was much lower than in 2009
-----------
6. Therefore, Mauer's value in 2011 and 2012 is and has been much less than the 23 million/year he made in 2011 and 2012
.

WAR is cumulative. The more someone plays the higher it is. It is good for overall career value discussions (like HOF, draft retrospects etc) but not for immediate value... I think something like WAR/100 (PAs) is much better indicator of value at a particular moment/season.

CDog
05-02-2012, 04:15 PM
Wow, CDog, I thought you intelligent .

Thank you so much.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled episode of Taken Out of Context.

CDog
05-02-2012, 04:17 PM
1. Mauer's WAR in 2009 was 7.9
2. This 2009 production was valued at 23million/year
3. Mauer's WAR in 2011 was 1.6
4. Mauer's WAR in 2012 is 0.6 (interesting that this number is lower, though healthy)
5. Mauer's production in 2011 and 2012 was much lower than in 2009
-----------
6. Therefore, Mauer's value in 2011 and 2012 is and has been much less than the 23 million/year he made in 2011 and 2012

I've put the argument in standard form so it's super easy to follow. Now, this is a deductive argument, so you have to show that one of the premises is false in order to show that the conclusion is false.

Now the inductive argument: I think the booing/frustration/criticism of Mauer is undeniably linked to the argument above as well as the team's performance. I also think this criticism is understandable and warranted. This goes for any player that is underperforming and not an myopic attack on Mauer.

On an ancillary note: I don't care for narcissists or sycophants. Beat it geek.

Oh...and just to be a good sport and to play along, #2 is not only not obviously true, but I would contend that it's obviously false.

one_eyed_jack
05-02-2012, 04:17 PM
"Iím not particularly fond of how Minnesota treats its sports stars. The Puckett-like love affair is rare. More often, we pick nits. Kevin Garnett doesnít score enough, or isnít clutch enough. Joe Mauer doesnít hit for enough power or doesnít show enough leadership. Fran Tarkenton canít win the big one, Harmon Killebrew is too quiet, Rod Carew is self-absorbed Ö the list goes on and on."

I think that first paragraph pretty much sums it up. I've lived in a number of pro sports markets. I've never seen a fan base as whiny and fixated on the negative as this one.

Not once did I ever hear a Cubs fans throw a tantrum over the fact that Ryne Sandberg was never able to deliver a championship. Bruins fans not only loved Ray Bourque but fully understood and appreciated how great he was, even though he had to go elsewhere to hoist the cup. Had either of those guys played here, all we would have heard about them is how they were overpaid and never won anything.

Jim H
05-02-2012, 05:48 PM
And no matter how good Mauer is as a player, if he's not going to be a leader, I don't see the Twins getting the best performance out of their ballclub. Simple as that.

Dwintheiser, how do you know that Mauer is not a leader? This is a serious question. It maybe that he is not, but he may very well be a rather quiet but important presence in the clubhouse who only speaks up when it is necessary.

My point would be, we don't know. We probably will never know, but I certainly wouldn't take the word of media members, especially those who are seldom in the clubhouse.

I don't really think the Twins were ever Hunter's team. I don't know, of course, and he was a spokesman of sorts. But, I don't think leaders who throw teammates under the bus, are generally considered leaders by those teammates.

Ultima Ratio
05-02-2012, 09:49 PM
Yeah... that's not how WAR works. Anyways, if he plays 140 games his WAR at this pace will be (140/22)*.6 = 3.8.

Thrylos said "WAR is cumulative. The more someone plays the higher it is. It is good for overall career value discussions (like HOF, draft retrospects etc) but not for immediate value... I think something like WAR/100 (PAs) is much better indicator of value at a particular moment/season."

:confused: Yeah thanks guys, I concede that using WAR was not the best stat, though as you both show, we can get a season's approximation from it with some calculations, though this depends on games played and at bats... unknown variables. The reason why I used WAR to begin with was because it includes defense and base running -- to head off the objection that I'm not taking into account and appreciating the full value of Mauer's performance (besides just hitting by using wOBA or another stat like OPS).

http://twinsdaily.com/webkit-fake-url://5F9336BE-A507-472F-9E82-62D5DB442650/image.tiffLet's just say this, in almost every statistic (I can't find one), Mauer is not performing like he did in 2009. It was his performance in 2009 that lead to his current contract. Therefore, I again conclude, in agreement with the author of this thread, that the anatomy of the boo/criticism of Mauer is not that he's playing poorly, but that he's not playing at the level he is being paid to perform at.

Ultima Ratio
05-02-2012, 09:54 PM
Well, it's not going to let me post a screen capture.

Jim H
05-03-2012, 10:42 AM
"Mauer may well be a wonderful player, and he might even get into the Hall of Fame some day, but I'd be shocked if the Twins ever won a World Series with Mauer in their uniform"

dwintheiser, My guess is that whether the Twins win a World Series with Mauer in the linup, will hinge more on the Twins finding or developing decent starting pitching than Mauer's leadership.

Puckett was universally lauded for his leadership but he "led" the Twins to far more losing seasons than winning ones. The winning seasons of 87, 88, 91, and 92 were all hallmarked by at least decent starting pitching. Interestingly enough, the Twins actually had a better record in 88 than 87, also a better record in 92 than 91, they just didn't win the divisons those years. I don't know if Puckett's leadership was better in those winning years than the losing ones or not.

I don't want to be a total smart ass here, but I don't think Mauer's leadership has much to do with the losing last year or this year. If the starting pitching somehow gets straightened away this year, we could very well see the Twins make a run back toward contention. We also we likely get to read how Mauer and Morneau helped "hold the team together thru all the early losing". That will be especially true if both start hitting good.

Paul
05-03-2012, 11:07 AM
...And no matter how good Mauer is as a player, if he's not going to be a leader, I don't see the Twins getting the best performance out of their ballclub. Simple as that.

"And no matter how good Mauer is as a player" there will be no end to the blame we will heap on him.

StormJH1
05-03-2012, 11:35 AM
Mauer may well be a wonderful player, and he might even get into the Hall of Fame some day, but I'd be shocked if the Twins ever won a World Series with Mauer in their uniform. Here's why I think that:

- Back when the Twins let Torii Hunter leave as a free agent, I made something like the following comment (on the old Twins Territory blog, if I remember right): "The Twins would eventually have to go from being Torii Hunter's team to being Joe Mauer's team, and if this is what it takes for that to happen, I'm OK with it." Except the Twins didn't become Joe Mauer's team, they became Johan Santana's team.

Well, that's OK, you might say. Santana was a legitimate superstar and was certainly capable of being team leader. Not a huge issue, right?

- The Twins then traded Santana so that they wouldn't lose him as a free agent. At that point, you'd expect the team to become Joe Mauer's team. Except the Twins didn't become Joe Mauer's team, they became Michael Cuddyer's team.

Well...that's still OK, you might say. After all, Cuddyer was the longest-tenured Twin, and Gardy does love his veterans. Cuddy was certainly respected in the clubhouse. Not a big deal, you might think.

- Now Cuddyer is gone and...

...is this Joe Mauer's team? Maybe Mauer wants to be the quiet clubhouse leader a la Amos Otis on the early '80s Royals teams or Bernie Williams on the late 90s Yankees teams. But teams also need visible leaders, and those leaders are generally the team's best players: George Brett on the Royals and Derek Jeter on the Yankees respectively, if we're continuing that analogy. The only thing I'm certain of is that Mauer doesn't want to be that kind of leader, because if he did, he's had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate it.

And no matter how good Mauer is as a player, if he's not going to be a leader, I don't see the Twins getting the best performance out of their ballclub. Simple as that.
This is kind of a new take on a well-beaten topic, and I like it. You can beat down his argument and say things like "he's just one guy" or that the charges about his "leadership ability" are either unfair or irrelevant. But I think this point exactly captures why people are so frustrated with this guy. It's not the single-digit home runs or the defensive approach at the plate. The injury issues are a part of it, but even the most ardent Mauer hater probably believes that Mauer wants to be in the lineup and helping his team whenever he can.

No, the problem with Mauer is that he doesn't WANT this to be his team. And like it or not, we paid him to make it his team. Everything from the St. Paul pedigree to Kemp's commercials with his mom, we looked at the numbers and the uneven track record and everyone KNEW we were overpaying him. And everyone, including me, came to the conclusion that "you gotta do it anyway".

Mauer can't get develop mystery illnesses and disappear from the media for two months, like he did in 2011. If he had a stronger presence in the media and in the community, and took ownership of this team, good and bad, we wouldn't be having these discussions. There are problems with Mauer that you can't measure with sabermetrics.

Paul
05-03-2012, 11:40 AM
"And no matter how good Mauer is as a player" there will be no end to the blame we will heap on him.

But if he would only give back some money...we could ease up.

StormJH1
05-03-2012, 11:50 AM
WAR is cumulative. The more someone plays the higher it is. It is good for overall career value discussions (like HOF, draft retrospects etc) but not for immediate value... I think something like WAR/100 (PAs) is much better indicator of value at a particular moment/season.
And I see your point about WAR, and raise you with the argument that "WAR is complete and utter garbage". The whole point of the Mauer defenders on this thread is that "Mauer is a very good player, but he's just 1/9 of a lineup". Then they throw out a WAR number which is synthetic number translating individual contributions into a team accomplishment: WINS.

I'm a fan of statistic that take good outcomes of things hitters are supposed to do and measure them. "Hits" does that. So do home runs, or batting average. I'm also a fan of statistics that take desirable outcomes of hitters and try to weight them for how desirable they are. Slugging percentage and OPS would be examples of that.

Where I struggle is when you show me two numbers like 2.2 vs. 1.7 and tell me that Player A has the higher "WAR" and is therefore the better player. Really? We know how many wins the Twins have. So why do I care about a number that tells me how many more wins the Twins should have playing Mauer as opposed to "replacement player X", when you didn't even use WINS to calculate the stat in any way? Sorry for the rant, but WAR has become like the "currency" on Twins Daily, and it needs to stop. At least the quoted poster acknowledges that it's worthless for determining "immediate value".

WAR....*huh!*....what is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

JB_Iowa
05-03-2012, 12:02 PM
Leadership is something that is very difficult to judge from the outside but the defining moment for me in Joe Mauer's leadership (or lack thereof) was when he rehabbed in Florida last year.

Gardenhire wanted him to get some rehab days in Rochester. And, to me, it would have been a nice way for Joe Mauer to acknowledge the importance of Rochester to the organization and to reward Rochester's fans for putting up with the misery of last season.

But Mauer seemingly wouldn't do that. We'll never know, I guess, about the exact discussions between Bill Smith and Joe Mauer about a rehab stint in Rochester. On the other hand, does anyone think that if Ron Gardenhire and Joe Mauer both thought Mauer should spend a few days in Rochester, Smith would have prevented it?

Of course not. It is just proof to me that Mauer doesn't understand his leadership role within this organization. They aren't paying him just for his production on the field.

CDog
05-03-2012, 12:08 PM
It's not the defensive approach at the plate. The injury issues are a part of it, but even the most ardent Mauer hater probably believes that Mauer wants to be in the lineup and helping his team whenever he can.

No, the problem with Mauer is that he doesn't WANT this to be his team.

Mauer can't get develop mystery illnesses and disappear from the media for two months, like he did in 2011.

The "defensive approach" that yields ridiculously offensive output? As for the second part quoted in the first paragraph above, you haven't read or listened to a lot of morons that I have. Many, many people believe exactly that (or at least pretend to, in my opinion, for the sake of their own ego).

How do you know what Mauer wants?

I never felt any sense of mystery over why Mauer was out in 2011. If you could read and not get caught up in mob mentality, it wasn't that hard. His legs didn't recover strength after knee surgery. The end.

CDog
05-03-2012, 12:10 PM
And I see your point about WAR, and raise you with the argument that "WAR is complete and utter garbage". The whole point of the Mauer defenders on this thread is that "Mauer is a very good player, but he's just 1/9 of a lineup". Then they throw out a WAR number which is synthetic number translating individual contributions into a team accomplishment: WINS.

I'm a fan of statistic that take good outcomes of things hitters are supposed to do and measure them. "Hits" does that. So do home runs, or batting average. I'm also a fan of statistics that take desirable outcomes of hitters and try to weight them for how desirable they are. Slugging percentage and OPS would be examples of that.

Where I struggle is when you show me two numbers like 2.2 vs. 1.7 and tell me that Player A has the higher "WAR" and is therefore the better player. Really? We know how many wins the Twins have. So why do I care about a number that tells me how many more wins the Twins should have playing Mauer as opposed to "replacement player X", when you didn't even use WINS to calculate the stat in any way? Sorry for the rant, but WAR has become like the "currency" on Twins Daily, and it needs to stop. At least the quoted poster acknowledges that it's worthless for determining "immediate value".

WAR....*huh!*....what is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

This seems to be an indication that you don't understand how WAR is calculated or what it's measuring. It measures exactly what your second paragraph says you want it to.

mike wants wins
05-03-2012, 12:14 PM
"And no matter how good Mauer is as a player" there will be no end to the blame we will heap on him.

If you want to be the face of the franchise, you have to take the good with the bad. QBs get booed for the whole team's effort, not just their's, for example. If you want the big bucks, if you want the entire marketing campaing to built around you, if you want to be the face of the team, you need to realize you are going to take the brunt of the boos and badness, along with the goodness. If he didn't want that, he shouldn't have embraced it.

USAFChief
05-03-2012, 12:22 PM
This seems to be an indication that you don't understand how WAR is calculated or what it's measuring. It measures exactly what your second paragraph says you want it to.

Talk about irony.

Can you offer a single shred of hard evidence WAR does what you say it does?

I thought not.

mike wants wins
05-03-2012, 12:29 PM
USA, that's what it tries to do, no one can prove a positive....but that second paragraph is exactly what WAR is trying to do. And, it is based on hits, and slg and everything else you expect it to be based on.

Paul
05-03-2012, 01:31 PM
If you want to be the face of the franchise, you have to take the good with the bad. QBs get booed for the whole team's effort, not just their's, for example. If you want the big bucks, if you want the entire marketing campaing to built around you, if you want to be the face of the team, you need to realize you are going to take the brunt of the boos and badness, along with the goodness. If he didn't want that, he shouldn't have embraced it.

If only you were there negotiating for the Twins, Mike. Kidding aside, what makes you think the Twins didn't know exactly what they were purchasing with their 183 million?

USAFChief
05-03-2012, 01:52 PM
USA, that's what it tries to do, no one can prove a positive....but that second paragraph is exactly what WAR is trying to do. And, it is based on hits, and slg and everything else you expect it to be based on.

I know exactly what WAR claims to measure. I'd venture I know more about WAR than most everyone here who tosses it about in an attempt to sound sophisticated. And of course people are free to do that.

But I get irritated when people claim WAR has been proven to measure anything. It hasn't.

I also disagree that no one can prove a positive. I think you have that backwards.

mike wants wins
05-03-2012, 02:25 PM
you can only prove something cannot happen, not that it can happen...

No one that is a true WAR believer would claim that it has been proven to do anything, not on the Fangraphs site.

CDog
05-03-2012, 02:51 PM
Talk about irony.

Can you offer a single shred of hard evidence WAR does what you say it does?

I thought not.

Excellent argument. You've pulled off the written equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and running around the room shouting, "Lalalalalala I can't hear you!"

WAR is a mathematical combination of measurement made from recorded observations. That's what I "say it does." The documentation is available for anyone who wants it. You claim to have read it. You have exhibited that you do not understand what you have read. In another thread you made claims that imply either a) you think temperature, pressure, and time are measured on the same scale in the same units or b) that you don't get the idea of adding. In that same thread, you claimed that arithmetic is not objective. At least this time you didn't make any claims quite that embarrassing, you only acted childish and ignorant.

We get that you don't understand the statistic. It almost seems "personal," though. Did WAR do something to you? It's just math, dude. It's not the enemy.

USAFChief
05-03-2012, 03:59 PM
Excellent argument. You've pulled off the written equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and running around the room shouting, "Lalalalalala I can't hear you!"

WAR is a mathematical combination of measurement made from recorded observations. That's what I "say it does." The documentation is available for anyone who wants it. You claim to have read it. You have exhibited that you do not understand what you have read. In another thread you made claims that imply either a) you think temperature, pressure, and time are measured on the same scale in the same units or b) that you don't get the idea of adding. In that same thread, you claimed that arithmetic is not objective. At least this time you didn't make any claims quite that embarrassing, you only acted childish and ignorant.

We get that you don't understand the statistic. It almost seems "personal," though. Did WAR do something to you? It's just math, dude. It's not the enemy.

Previously you stated WAR "measures exactly" what another poster said he wanted measured.

Now you're backing away from that statement.

I'll accept that as a victory and humbly move on.

CDog
05-03-2012, 04:34 PM
Previously you stated WAR "measures exactly" what another poster said he wanted measured.

Now you're backing away from that statement.

I'll accept that as a victory.

So you tell a lie and count that as a victory? That's kinda sad.

birdwatcher
05-03-2012, 04:36 PM
Back to booing Mauer...those of you who have managed stock portfolios know that a stock can go down because investors don't know what to expect in the future. When uncertainty is prevalent, a vast majority of investors get real negative and very emotional. This is when the minority buys what the negative guys sell.

Mauer's stock has fallen because we don't know what to expect from him yet. I think the boos are from negative, uncertain fans. This WAR stuff? Nah. These boos have nothing really to do with a deep analysis by the boo birds.

Now, I've thought of booing General Soreness too. You know, I don't want him to change his swing to produce more power. But dammit, couldn't he occasionally adjust his swing in hitters counts and look to loft it out? Geez.