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CDog
03-15-2013, 02:37 PM
ESPN article about Mauer on the WBC team...

Joe Mauer and Team USA set to face Puerto Rico in WBC elimination game - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2013/story/_/id/9055461/joe-mauer-team-usa-set-face-puerto-rico-wbc-elimination-game)

I thought he wasn't perceived well around the league and the national media? Huh.

ThePuck
03-15-2013, 03:11 PM
Nice article...not surprised by the accolades. He deserves all of them.

The quote below is my favorite:

'"I think that's the way he carries himself on the field. He's a really big guy with a big target. When he gets in the box, he has pretty good confidence and he's a tough out. When I want to see a baseball player that has confidence and leadership abilities, he's the total package for me."'

And here I keep being told by so many Twins fans he has NO leadership skills. Hmm, if his leadership skills are evident to players not on his normal MLB team, imagine what he shows his Twins teammates.

Too Much Twins
03-15-2013, 03:59 PM
God I love Joe Mauer.

Halsey Hall
03-15-2013, 04:04 PM
Spot on, Puck.

ashburyjohn
03-15-2013, 05:13 PM
And just to be clear, the quote Puck chose is from Jeremy Affeldt, not Crasnick. That bumps the value of it up quite a bit (with no slight to Crasnick intended).

ThePuck
03-15-2013, 05:29 PM
And just to be clear, the quote Puck chose is from Jeremy Affeldt, not Crasnick. That bumps the value of it up quite a bit (with no slight to Crasnick intended).

I did say that a player said it. Hopefully people know Crasnick isn't a player. :-)

Pius Jefferson
03-15-2013, 06:46 PM
ESPN article about Mauer on the WBC team...

Joe Mauer and Team USA set to face Puerto Rico in WBC elimination game - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2013/story/_/id/9055461/joe-mauer-team-usa-set-face-puerto-rico-wbc-elimination-game)

I thought he wasn't perceived well around the league and the national media? Huh.

That was a b.s. story that Joe Cowles told when he was on with Mauer hater Dan Barreiro.

twinsnorth49
03-15-2013, 08:25 PM
I remember this garbage column from last year, I think it's all BS he made up.
Jim Souhan: Clueless Joe not cutting it any more | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/139592093.html?refer=y)

You contrast this POS to the story Tim Keown wrote for ESPN last year and wonder how Souhan even has a job.

The basic idea some people have of a leader in sports is so tired and cliche. You don't get as good as Mauer without being a tireless worker, willing to put in the hours it takes to be the best. That's an example to his teammates on what it takes to succeed, leaders set an example and it' obvious Joe does. The fact he does it with grace and humility is even more impressive to me, those are the most appealing traits of a leader in my mind. If I was around a guy like Mauer, I'd definitely be doing everything I could to be my best, I'd feel like I owed it to him.

Seth Stohs
03-15-2013, 10:11 PM
No, I think nationally fans and media see the numbers Mauer puts up. Players on other teams see it. It's just a small percent of Twins fans and media that just don't get what he is and what he does. Too bad. Players like Mauer don't come along real often. Should appreciate it.

D. Hocking
03-16-2013, 09:30 AM
Figures Barriero would have had someone who said Mauer was not respected nationally. While Souhan's columns seemed to be more calculated to sell papers (after he wrote the article linked above he toned down his anti-Mauer stance a bit), Dan B. seems to have some real personal grudge and dislike against Mauer. Although I have not listened to him for a good year, so maybe that has changed.

Whenever I have heard Mauer discussed by the national media they almost come across as fanboys. I think he is very respected nationally. I think the most interesting articles about Mauer I have read have been by national writers. The local reporters are kind of lazy and tend to ask him predictable questions which he has pre-canned Mauer type answers ready. When a non-local reporter asks him something different, his answers aren't quite as generic. I give Mauer credit for acting like he was not savaged in 2011 when he deals with the press now.

Mauer probably should have handled the PR a bit differently in 2011 (the Twins definitely should have), and I understand some of the criticism, but I always felt that the fact that he might actually be dealing with a messed up knee was practically dismissed - and I think that viral infection really had some long lasting effects. When they were grousing about him not playing when he had pnemonia, I wanted to say -- look at him - he looks like death warmed over and can't even talk without coughing up a lung. I almost feel that the Twins did not simply say he tried to come back too soon and too quick after his knee surgery because it would be one more thing that could reflect badly on the medical/training staff.

JB_Iowa
03-16-2013, 12:28 PM
Not to intrude on all the Mauer-love here but IS THE USA PLAYING IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND?

He may be perceived as a leader by the national media and by all of you posting here and I will acknowledge that he is a really, really good, really really professional ballplayer but until he actually LEADS a team past the initial rounds of the playoffs, I will continue to have my doubts. (Yes, I know he did it in High School but as a non-Minnesotan, I need to see it in mlb).

I am not blaming Joe Mauer for the USA's failure to advance into the next round (that is a lot more on the pitching staff than anything else). But look at how some of the other teams played -- the enthusiasm and the energy that seemed to make them better than they really are. I mean, a DR team that has Sam Deduno as one of its two primary starters? I'm very happy for him but c'mon, he isn't even assured a starting spot on the Twins, one of the pitching-thinnest teams in major league ball.

The teams that advanced all seem to play with heart, energy and enthusiasm. I just don't know that cool, controlled Joe Mauer can ever INSPIRE his teammates to play that way. They may emulate him but will that make them CHAMPIONS? He still has a lot to prove to me on that front.

FrodaddyG
03-16-2013, 12:39 PM
Not to intrude on all the Mauer-love here but IS THE USA PLAYING IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND?

He may be perceived as a leader by the national media and by all of you posting here and I will acknowledge that he is a really, really good, really really professional ballplayer but until he actually LEADS a team past the initial rounds of the playoffs, I will continue to have my doubts. (Yes, I know he did it in High School but as a non-Minnesotan, I need to see it in mlb).

I am not blaming Joe Mauer for the USA's failure to advance into the next round (that is a lot more on the pitching staff than anything else). But look at how some of the other teams played -- the enthusiasm and the energy that seemed to make them better than they really are. I mean, a DR team that has Sam Deduno as one of its two primary starters? I'm very happy for him but c'mon, he isn't even assured a starting spot on the Twins, one of the pitching-thinnest teams in major league ball.

The teams that advanced all seem to play with heart, energy and enthusiasm. I just don't know that cool, controlled Joe Mauer can ever INSPIRE his teammates to play that way. They may emulate him but will that make them CHAMPIONS? He still has a lot to prove to me on that front.
Everyone knows that quiet guys can't win. Just ask perennial loser Mariano Rivera.

Badsmerf
03-16-2013, 12:48 PM
Not to intrude on all the Mauer-love here but IS THE USA PLAYING IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND?

He may be perceived as a leader by the national media and by all of you posting here and I will acknowledge that he is a really, really good, really really professional ballplayer but until he actually LEADS a team past the initial rounds of the playoffs, I will continue to have my doubts. (Yes, I know he did it in High School but as a non-Minnesotan, I need to see it in mlb).

I am not blaming Joe Mauer for the USA's failure to advance into the next round (that is a lot more on the pitching staff than anything else). But look at how some of the other teams played -- the enthusiasm and the energy that seemed to make them better than they really are. I mean, a DR team that has Sam Deduno as one of its two primary starters? I'm very happy for him but c'mon, he isn't even assured a starting spot on the Twins, one of the pitching-thinnest teams in major league ball.

The teams that advanced all seem to play with heart, energy and enthusiasm. I just don't know that cool, controlled Joe Mauer can ever INSPIRE his teammates to play that way. They may emulate him but will that make them CHAMPIONS? He still has a lot to prove to me on that front.
I wouldn't put it on the pitching staff, I'd put it on the terrible AB's and giving outs away. I was disgusted watching these guys play. No, this team wasn't patient and didn't even attempt to work counts or make pitchers work. That team should be able to score 4 runs on anybody, and it struggled to generate offense the entire tournament. Harold Reynolds attributed the poor performance to not playing all winter. While I slightly agree with this, I also think they don't work as a unit. There was no reason they shouldn't have been able to knock Deduno out of the game earlier. They sucked. Until the USA gets serious about this tournament they will continue to get beat.

FrodaddyG
03-16-2013, 12:52 PM
Until the USA gets serious about this tournament they will continue to get beat.
And since there's no real point in taking it seriously, it will continue, and nobody in the US will care. As they shouldn't.

JB_Iowa
03-16-2013, 01:19 PM
I'm not saying quiet guys can't win. But as important as Mariano Rivera was the Yankees, I don't think anyone would call him the primary leader of that team. (That was probably "The Captain's" role but they obviously had other leaders as well).

I am not saying that Joe Mauer isn't a valuable player. But can you look to Joe Mauer to be the PRIMARY leader on your team?

I have a lot of doubts on that front. But when his salary takes up 25%-30% or more of your payroll, can you (or will you) have another player (or two) who can demonstrate a more active, enthusiastic leadership style? (And, keep in mind that it also has to be a leadership style that doesn't undercut Joe Mauer in any way given his position on the team).

I've thought in the past that perhaps Morneau could do it but of course, his injury situation over the last few years makes it more and more unlikely. And despite what anyone may think of his skills, I think that Cuddyer did serve that purpose in earlier years.

But as Mauer ages and as this becomes more and more HIS team, it seems to me that it becomes harder to bring in anyone else who DOES have leadership skills that are different than Mauer's.

I am not knocking Mauer as a ballplayer. And I don't expect him to change his personality. But I do seriously question whether he can be the primary leader of a championship team.

(As for the WBC, I've enjoyed it thoroughly -- and I really appreciated the intensity and heart demonstrated by the DR, Italy and Puerto Rico. I'm also looking forward to watching the Dutch and Japanese. My understanding is that the WBC is partially owned by the players -- if they can't get "their own" American players to take it more seriously, then shame on all of them).

Willihammer
03-16-2013, 01:21 PM
Team USA, and every other country's team, will never be a perennial powerhouse because of the WBC's tournament structure. Not because of lack of leadership or effort or fan support. Its a basketball tournament with baseball teams.

Seth Stohs
03-16-2013, 01:32 PM
Mauer hit nearly .500 in the WBC. He did his part... Nothing he can do to help the other guys hit better. Rah Rah is great and looks good, but it doesn't make people better.

ashburyjohn
03-16-2013, 01:42 PM
I did say that a player said it. Hopefully people know Crasnick isn't a player. :-)

I guess this explains the yearly "teh reading comprehension skillz need improving" comments on my report cards at school.:whacky028:

Seth Stohs
03-16-2013, 01:42 PM
If it was about the USA winning and always winning, maybe MLB should force all players to play. They could say that players must be citizens of the country they play for. Puerto Rico could be part of the US, the same way that Curacao is part of the Netherlands. Adrian Gonzalez could have played 1B for the US.

mike wants wins
03-16-2013, 01:56 PM
Mauer hit nearly .500 in the WBC. He did his part... Nothing he can do to help the other guys hit better. Rah Rah is great and looks good, but it doesn't make people better.

lots of snark in this thread, and I was going to avoid posting......but I hope everyone reads this from Seth, and remembers it next time Ryan talks about what a great clubhouse some guy is.

D. Hocking
03-16-2013, 02:12 PM
I am not saying Mauer could not be more vocal in the club house, but the team leader arguments always seem a little speculative to me. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. I could see someone who has all the right quotes for the reporters being different when it is just the team, and someone who seems reserved to the public might be different in private. That being said, I suspect Mauer does not take on the persona of Orlando Hudson in more private situations. For better or worse, Mauer is probably always going to be a lead by example type.

Seth Stohs
03-16-2013, 03:46 PM
lots of snark in this thread, and I was going to avoid posting......but I hope everyone reads this from Seth, and remembers it next time Ryan talks about what a great clubhouse some guy is.

There's nothing wrong with great clubhouse guys. We all have jobs and want to work in a positive environment. I just think people are all different. Some are quiet. Some are louder.

twinsnorth49
03-16-2013, 03:46 PM
The teams that advanced all seem to play with heart, energy and enthusiasm. I just don't know that cool, controlled Joe Mauer can ever INSPIRE his teammates to play that way. They may emulate him but will that make them CHAMPIONS? He still has a lot to prove to me on that front.

Not to get all personal but this exactly the type of cliched nonsense that gets spewed out there about how leaders are supposed to act. I`ll add one thing, if you are a professional athlete, playing in the playoffs or the championship series and you need some other player to inspire you by being Mr. Rah Rah, you don`t belong there.

A good leader keeps his wits about him when it seems all hell is breaking loose, he`s the calm in the storm that allows everyone else to keep their focus. What does emotion do for you when the pressure is on except give you some false bravado.

mike wants wins
03-16-2013, 04:59 PM
Sorry Seth, I will try again. Numbers matter more than bad numbers but good character guy.....if he is trying to justifying signing a guy, and his numbers suck, but the interviews are all about makeup and character and hustle, well, numbers are what matter. Or did I misunderstand you?

Brock Beauchamp
03-16-2013, 05:24 PM
I'm not saying quiet guys can't win. But as important as Mariano Rivera was the Yankees, I don't think anyone would call him the primary leader of that team. (That was probably "The Captain's" role but they obviously had other leaders as well).

I am not saying that Joe Mauer isn't a valuable player. But can you look to Joe Mauer to be the PRIMARY leader on your team?

I have a lot of doubts on that front. But when his salary takes up 25%-30% or more of your payroll, can you (or will you) have another player (or two) who can demonstrate a more active, enthusiastic leadership style? (And, keep in mind that it also has to be a leadership style that doesn't undercut Joe Mauer in any way given his position on the team).

I've thought in the past that perhaps Morneau could do it but of course, his injury situation over the last few years makes it more and more unlikely. And despite what anyone may think of his skills, I think that Cuddyer did serve that purpose in earlier years.

But as Mauer ages and as this becomes more and more HIS team, it seems to me that it becomes harder to bring in anyone else who DOES have leadership skills that are different than Mauer's.

I am not knocking Mauer as a ballplayer. And I don't expect him to change his personality. But I do seriously question whether he can be the primary leader of a championship team.

(As for the WBC, I've enjoyed it thoroughly -- and I really appreciated the intensity and heart demonstrated by the DR, Italy and Puerto Rico. I'm also looking forward to watching the Dutch and Japanese. My understanding is that the WBC is partially owned by the players -- if they can't get "their own" American players to take it more seriously, then shame on all of them).

I'll never forget the time Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent fist fought each other to within 5 outs of a World Championship. That was truly awe-inspiring leadership from two of the classiest guys in baseball.

twinsnorth49
03-16-2013, 07:50 PM
I'll never forget the time Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent fist fought each other to within 5 outs of a World Championship. That was truly awe-inspiring leadership from two of the classiest guys in baseball.

But they had great intensity.

Old Twins Cap
03-16-2013, 07:59 PM
Game on the line, bottom of eight, runners on second and third, one out. Joe Mauer up. Eight pitches thrown. Some fastballs right down the middle. Joe Mauer takes a walk. That's the way this kid rolls. You have a chance to be a hero? Joe will take a walk.

I defy anyone, to look back at key situations, and I don't dispute that Mauer is a great hitter, who hits better in key situations, but I still say, for a guy with that level of talent, to take that many pitches and a walk.... well it is what it is.

It would be better for Joe is they just intentionally walked him then that he worked the walk.

But, still, how many times has Mauer walked and left the lead runs on the bases? Somebody with some research skills, can you validate what I am trying to say?

Mr. Brooks
03-16-2013, 08:18 PM
Let me get this straight, you are saying that taking a walk there is a bad thing?

Mr. Brooks
03-16-2013, 08:22 PM
If Joe flails away at bad pitches in that situation, the same people are saying, "dont try to be a hero Joe, take what they are giving you!"
Guaranteed.

Willihammer
03-16-2013, 08:38 PM
Somebody with some research skills, can you validate what I am trying to say?
No. Mauer hasn't been perfect in every situation but in general the statistics say exactly the opposite.

twinsnorth49
03-16-2013, 08:51 PM
Game on the line, bottom of eight, runners on second and third, one out. Joe Mauer up. Eight pitches thrown. Some fastballs right down the middle. Joe Mauer takes a walk. That's the way this kid rolls. You have a chance to be a hero? Joe will take a walk.

Ok, 8 pitches thown, 4 were obviously balls, only 2 could have been straight down the middle that he took for strikes, so my limited math tells me Joe took a couple of cuts there. How do you criticize a guy for not swinging at bad pitches and more than likely worsening the team's position as opposed to loading the bases with still just one out.

BHtwins
03-16-2013, 09:07 PM
Of qualified hitters he led the team in 2010 and 2012 for OPS with runners in scoring position. He consistently is among the Twins best or THE best in those situations throughout his career. For example last year he had one fewer RBI than Willingham in those situations in 9 fewer chances last year.

He is an elite hitter. Period. People rarely hit markedly different situationally Some hit a little better some hit a little worse but rarely is there a striking difference. That is simply a subjective bias.

adjacent
03-16-2013, 09:16 PM
I have a basic disagreement on the subject that a leader has to be all outgoing, screaming, cheerleading. My best boss in my long years of work was areally quiet, shy guy. But he was a leader by example, and a guy that you knew that when he said something he meant it. That made everybody around him take things seriously, and put a good effort. You can do that being quiet, or being more outgoing. But the emotion show many times is for the cameras and nothing else.

Old Twins Cap
03-16-2013, 09:46 PM
Point is this: If you are the best player on the team, maybe the best in baseball, at what point is it incumbent on you to be The Decider in a big game, versus taking a walk and letting some one else be the decider?

Criticize me if you want, call me names if you must, but the point remains: Does Joe Mauer want to be the kind of player who makes the big play, or is he content to take a walk and let it fall to someone else? And, again, his batting average with runners on base in not the issue. In fact, it magnifies the issue. Take a swing, Joe.

By not swinging, if things don't turn out well, it's not Joe's fault. But, on the other hand, didn't Joe have an opportunity to win the game? And, isn't he one of baseball's best players?

When was the last time that Albert Pujols, Mark Texeira, or Miguel Cabrera make their name by taking a walk in key situations?

I'm not a Mauer hater, far from it. But, it does surprise me that in key situations, with the game on the line, he takes strikes instead of trying to be a hero. Not the way one would script it, but it is the way Mauer plays it whether the game is on the line or not.

FrodaddyG
03-16-2013, 09:58 PM
Point is this: If you are the best player on the team, maybe the best in baseball, at what point is it incumbent on you to be The Decider in a big game, versus taking a walk and letting some one else be the decider?
Yeah, and even if he isn't actually up at that point, he should go up and hit when someone else is facing the situation to be the "Decider". That's what "Deciders" do. They "Decide". And on the completely unlikely 8 out of 9 chance that they aren't even the one who gets the chance to "Decide" the game, they should "Decide" that they get to hit when they want and go to the plate, with a fake nose and mustache if they have to. That's what "Deciding" is all about.

Willihammer
03-16-2013, 10:01 PM
I'm not a Mauer hater, far from it. But, it does surprise me that in key situations, with the game on the line, he takes strikes instead of trying to be a hero. Not the way one would script it, but it is the way Mauer plays it whether the game is on the line or not.
You mean, swinging at good pitches and not swinging at bad pitches? Yes, Mauer does that consistently.

There's a reason guys pitch around Joe Mauer when the game's on the line. Same thing happens to Pujols and all the other guys you listed. The best hitters in the game are always walked in key situations.

glunn
03-16-2013, 11:01 PM
You mean, swinging at good pitches and not swinging at bad pitches? Yes, Mauer does that consistently.

There's a reason guys pitch around Joe Mauer when the game's on the line. Same thing happens to Pujols and all the other guys you listed. The best hitters in the game are always walked in key situations.

Perhaps he means not swinging at strikes when the count is favorable? Or not swinging at first pitch strikes?

jokin
03-16-2013, 11:30 PM
You mean, swinging at good pitches and not swinging at bad pitches? Yes, Mauer does that consistently.

There's a reason guys pitch around Joe Mauer when the game's on the line. Same thing happens to Pujols and all the other guys you listed. The best hitters in the game are always walked in key situations.

Just for the record, and I think this is the issue that the poster is concerned about:
In the WBC elim. game, Mauer came up in the 8th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and took a 2-0 pitch for a strike, which according to gamecast, was a meatball right down the middle of the plate, a little high. Contrary to poster Oldcap's assertion, this was the only really hittable pitch in the AB, as he fouled off a couple of corner strikes before working the BB. A hit in that situation might have been significant in changing the outcome, which Torre ultimately ruined by not PHing with right-hand batters against Romero.

Alex
03-16-2013, 11:33 PM
Perhaps he means not swinging at strikes when the count is favorable? Or not swinging at first pitch strikes?


Mauer took a massive cut at a 3-1 fastball in the 8th iirc. He wasn't just sitting with the bat on his shoulder. Also, walking to load the bases gives the next hitter a far better chance to score a run and to, as a team, score more runs in the inning.

jokin
03-16-2013, 11:41 PM
I'll never forget the time Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent fist fought each other to within 5 outs of a World Championship. That was truly awe-inspiring leadership from two of the classiest guys in baseball.


Of course, you left out the Oakland Athetics first vintage 3-peat dynasty in the 70s. Neary to a man, they virtually all hated each other, except they were united in all hating Reggie Jackson worse, and Charlie Finley even worse than Reggie.

Oxtung
03-17-2013, 03:05 AM
Look Mauer's job is not to be the hero but to win the game. He is a very smart player and knows that he has MVP Morneau walking to the plate after him. So certainly if he gets a good pitch he can take a crack at it but his bigger responsibility is to not end the inning. If he takes a walk the Twins still have opportunities.

Willihammer
03-17-2013, 10:05 AM
If you look at Mauer's heat maps, he likes the ball on the outer half. He has the best batted ball rates and the highest swing percentages in those zones. Consquently, that's where he's pitched least frequently.

Everyone in baseball is aware that that's Mauer's preference. If he took a 2-0 pitch middle-up (I'd like to see the location on pitchf/x), I think that's perfectly understandable. He hits middle-up well, but not as well as away-up or middle-away.

That's what you're supposed to do on 2-0 or 3-1. Take a swing at "your pitch," not just any old strike.

Its smart hitting.

Take a look at his heat map: Baseball Prospectus | PitchFX Hitter Profile: Joe Mauer (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pitchfx/hitter_cards/hitter_card.php?player=408045&inf=&month=&year=&throws=&pi_type=&report=swing&color=&normType=)

kab21
03-17-2013, 10:38 AM
Two bones to pick in this thread regarding Mauer's not swinging the bat in crucial situations. He has a career .873 OPS and a .959 OPS with RISP. that is partly inflated due to getting IBB almost 100 times but his BA and SLG are also better with RISP.

I also disagree with the WBC example. He had Giancarlo Stanton hitting behind him. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working a BB in front of one of the best young hitters in baseball that almost never GIDP. Yes, it would be great if he was a little more aggressive at the plate but this is a luxury that a #3 hitter has. In that case he was an extra base runner for Stanton. On the Twins he's an extra base runner for Willy and Morneau.

If anything this shows great leadership to the young players. It shows that they can work a BB instead of swinging at balls in the dirt or taking big hacks. It also shows that he believes in his teammates.