• Mauer Elected and "Fans" Revolt

    On Sunday afternoon, the 2012 MLB All-Star rosters were announced for the American League and the National League. There were a few different candidates that had the opportunity to be selected to be the Twins representative. Joe Mauer is near the top of the AL in a variety of batting categories and he plays a premium defensive position. Josh Willingham started off the season on quite the run and he might be the team MVP to this point. Since his promotion at the beginning of May, Scott Diamond has been the ace of the Twins pitching staff. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton have been dominant in their appearances out of the bullpen.

    In the end, the Twins will have one representative for the second year in a row. Joe Mauer was selected to his fifth career All-Star Game and he is the lone representative for his team much like Michael Cuddyer last season.
    There are three catchers on the AL roster so Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers and Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles will join Mauer. Napolit gets the start and Mauer and Wieters will be used in relief on a night where the temperature is suppose to be in the high 90s.

    When the announcement of the teams was made on Sunday, there was an uproar across the social media world that Mauer would get the only spot on the All-Star team for the Twins. Fans looked at Willingham and his high home run total and team-leading RBI total and they made the case that he should be on the team over Mauer. For the first month or so of the season, it looked like Willingham would be the only choice from the Twins roster. A rough month of May where he batted .220 brought his numbers back down to earth and might have pushed his first All-Star appearance out of reach.

    The outrage towards Mauer was painful to read in the moments following the announcement of the team. Twins President Dave St. Peter was left to defend Mauer in a few different tweets to angered fans.

    It seemed like fans were attacking a player for his rough season in 2011 and not looking at the numbers that he has put up so far in 2012. He leads the entire AL in OBP and he ranks fifth in the AL in batting out of the players that have qualified for the leaderboard. According to FanGraphs version of WAR, Mauer has been equal to Willingham but Mauer is ranked number one among catchers. In comparison, Willingham ranks ninth among outfielders and the only outfielder with a lower WAR than him to make it was Curtis Granderson.

    For the second year in a row, the Twins are off to a poor start and it would be hard to imagine the team getting more than one representative to the Mid-Summer Classic. It would take a couple of magical seasons from Twins players to get more than one representative. If the Twins had gotten better starting pitching for the duration of the season, there is a good chance the team would be out of the cellar in the AL. This could mean that players like Willingham and Diamond could have joined Mauer in Kansas City. Even Mauer himself told reporters that he was upset that he would be making the trip from Minneapolis by himself.

    During the 2012 season, it has been disappointing to read and hear the hatred toward Mauer even though he is in the midst of a very good season. There have been plenty of double play balls hit to second base off of the bat of Mauer as he enters the second year of his monster deal. Only 35 of his 69 games have been spent behind the plate and he doesn't hit many home runs or rack up a ton of RBI. So for some people that consider themselves "fans" of the Twins, there will continue to be things to pick apart for the $23 million man.

    In a season that might already be lost, there is a long list of things to be frustrated about for the Twins and Mauer shouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list. The American League needed to fill a catching spot on the roster and the Twins had a player that was more than deserving of a place in the All-Star Game. If there had been some holes to fill in the outfield, the same case could have been made for Willingham. There seems to be a portion of fan base for the Twins that don't appreciate the greatness of the player they have the privilege to witness.

    Mauer deserves to be an All-Star even if a faction of the fan base doesn't think he should be there.
    This article was originally published in blog: Mauer elected and "fans" revolt started by Cody Christie
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      Agreed - Booing Mauer is ridiculous - for the most part, it shows just how much these "fans" really know about their team, and its' individual players. But I really do think that a part of their frustration with Joe, is the perception that he doesn't get the hits when they really need them - with RISP, he grounds to second - with no one on and two out - he doubles to left. This may have happened only a handful of times, but when the game is "on the line" and their golden boy comes to the plate, the expectations for Mauer are far and above the expectations for anyone else on the team. Now I know, the argument that is usually put forth is that no one else makes the salary that Mauer makes, so the expectations should be higher for him than any of the others. Mauer's current stats - OBP = .404; SLG = .445; OPS = .859 - I mean, these stats do not lie! Thing is - he's not a HR guy - probably never will be, but he is one of the best!
    1. Adam Krueger's Avatar
      Adam Krueger -
      I can't believe how many people want to sit there and rip on Mauer, he's produced this year and has played in as many games as any other player on the roster. I agree with those who think that Willingham got snubbed, but at the end of the day, that's more a result of him being on a bad team than it is a rejection of what he's done as a Twin. Lay off Mauer people, he's been worth every penny of his $23M this year.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      We got 99 problems but Joe ain't one.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      absolutely love this post. Glad some fans actually get it. I feel like the ones that are complaining are the ones that only paid attention to the headlines last year and have been too lazy to actually watch some games this year or look up the stat leaders for this year. either that, or they are just flat out stupid.
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      I agree 100%. I was listening to a certain local "sports" radio show this morning, and they were adding fuel to the fire. There are a lot folks here who can't seem to get that HR's are not everything. Willingham has been a nice addition, but Mauer is the clear choice.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      You've got people who need a reason to feel like they're more important because they don't like themselves very much (similar to racism). And then you've got sheep.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Uproar...dont think so. Think AJ deserves it over Mauer & Willingham over Adam Dunn, thats fine....but not an uproar
    1. Crotalo's Avatar
      Crotalo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Krueger View Post
      I can't believe how many people want to sit there and rip on Mauer, he's produced this year and has played in as many games as any other player on the roster. I agree with those who think that Willingham got snubbed, but at the end of the day, that's more a result of him being on a bad team than it is a rejection of what he's done as a Twin. Lay off Mauer people, he's been worth every penny of his $23M this year.
      He's been very good this year and deserved the AS nod over Willy, but he hasn't been anywhere close to being worth every penny of $23M. Even if he was a full time catcher, his numbers are probably worth in the $18M range...and he's not a full time catcher.
    1. Highabove's Avatar
      Highabove -
      The fans on Social Media make up a VERY SMALL Percentage of the the Twins Fan base. They do not speak for the majority of Twins Fans.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Dave St. Peter should know better than to engage Twins fans on Twitter like that.
    1. YLT's Avatar
      YLT -
      I'm getting really tired of the money argument for Mauer. It's just an easy out for the booers. When a guy of that caliber comes along you almost never get the value of the long term deal that you put into it. Though, if you don't put that kind of money on the table he's likely to walk and there's no way a guy like Mauer takes on a series of 2 year contracts with the Twins for a career. Only a small percentage of $100 million plus contracts end up actually being "worth" it - particularly in the final years of those contracts. This is why I think long-term deals are not very smart from the standpoint of the front office, no matter what the caliber of player. The Twins did what they did - the money's spent. Just enjoy watching one of the better catchers in the game for the next few years and boo the starting pitching as a whole instead - that's a far more troublesome area for the Twins at this point.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      As a Mauer fan....ive come to realize he wont hit 28HRs again but i want more doubles.
      In 2009, many claim his HRs came from left field in Dome & that was true of many of his 16 dome homers. This isnt happening at Target Field & is the common HR excuse.
      He also hit 12 road homers......what happenned to that power?
      23m isnt the reason i get upset with him ..... its the ISO power numbers....mix in a double
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      He is not worth 23 million. Nobody is. Look at the contracts around the league. Fielder? Puljols? A-Rod? Granted, those are only the ones that are struggling but even for those players who are not, they are not worth it. Let that go; it’s a necessary evil. He fills the stadium and his name sells tons of stuff. That is business but let’s just talk stats.

      He has played half the games at Catcher and has only missed a handful of starts in total. As the others calm down and he quietly moves along, he will overtake the #1 spot in batting average. His OBP is the best in the AL. His OPS is slowly creeping up towards 900. He batted nearly .400 in June. With runners in scoring position his avg is approx. .350. Nevermind that he sees 4.3 pitches per PA. If a pitcher tops out at 100 pitches, Mauer will see between 17.5 and 21.5 of those pitches. That is huge. He wore Chapman down to a nub which allowed Willingham to feast.

      I miss his homeruns. I would be lying if I did not admit that but we need to appreciate what he brings. Mauer is awesome and we are very fortunate that he is on our team.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      As a Mauer fan....ive come to realize he wont hit 28HRs again but i want more doubles.
      In 2009, many claim his HRs came from left field in Dome & that was true of many of his 16 dome homers. This isnt happening at Target Field & is the common HR excuse.
      He also hit 12 road homers......what happenned to that power?
      23m isnt the reason i get upset with him ..... its the ISO power numbers....mix in a double

      Mix in a double? He's on pace for 35 doubles this year which would be his second highest (career high of 42). He's not only hitting singles here. Not that far below his career SLG or OPS either, even counting his MVP year.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      How to tell if you are a true baseball fan:

      Do you:
      A. Boo Mauer
      B. Don't Boo Mauer.

      If you answered B congrats, you are a real baseball fan.

      If you answered A, then I plead that you consider never breeding.
    1. SwainZag's Avatar
      SwainZag -
      Quote Originally Posted by SRP View Post
      He is not worth 23 million. Nobody is. Look at the contracts around the league. Fielder? Puljols? A-Rod? Granted, those are only the ones that are struggling but even for those players who are not, they are not worth it. Let that go; itís a necessary evil. He fills the stadium and his name sells tons of stuff. That is business but letís just talk stats.

      He has played half the games at Catcher and has only missed a handful of starts in total. As the others calm down and he quietly moves along, he will overtake the #1 spot in batting average. His OBP is the best in the AL. His OPS is slowly creeping up towards 900. He batted nearly .400 in June. With runners in scoring position his avg is approx. .350. Nevermind that he sees 4.3 pitches per PA. If a pitcher tops out at 100 pitches, Mauer will see between 17.5 and 21.5 of those pitches. That is huge. He wore Chapman down to a nub which allowed Willingham to feast.

      I miss his homeruns. I would be lying if I did not admit that but we need to appreciate what he brings. Mauer is awesome and we are very fortunate that he is on our team.

      Great post. The entire thing. Wish more people would just sit back and appreciate how special of a player Mauer is and feel fortunate he is on the team instead of judging him under a microscope for the contract he has.
    1. jessellsworth's Avatar
      jessellsworth -
      Quote Originally Posted by Crotalo View Post
      He's been very good this year and deserved the AS nod over Willy, but he hasn't been anywhere close to being worth every penny of $23M. Even if he was a full time catcher, his numbers are probably worth in the $18M range...and he's not a full time catcher.

      No athlete is worth 23 million a year. Period
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by jessellsworth View Post
      No athlete is worth 23 million a year. Period
      Just like no CEO is worth 200 million, Zuckerberg isn't worth 2 billion or whatever etc etc etc, this type of thing could go on all day. Mauer got paid a fair market wage, end of story.

      It's a completely separate argument and has little to nothing to do with how Mauer preforms.
    1. Paul's Avatar
      Paul -
      "He is not worth 23 million."


      To me, this statement statement is the epitome of the Maurer non-love. At best this statement is completely subjective and ignores the marketplace reality.

      I happen to think Ferraris are not worth 280 grand.
      And Harleys are not worth 25K.
      And softball bats are not worth $350.
      And $180 is too much for a baseball bat for my 11 yr old grandson.
      And gas is not worth $3.30.
      But in the end I buy some of this stuff. Begrudgingly, but with an understanding of the market reality.
    1. jessellsworth's Avatar
      jessellsworth -
      I'm so tired of people hating on Mauer. After last season everyone complained about the number of games played and his low production in those games - well deserved. But this year he's played in nearly all of them, he's #1 in OBP, and 5th in hitting. He's been great this year! But now people are complaining he shouldn't be an All-Star?! Are you crazy!? Mauer is never going to have a high homer total - his 28 performance a few years ago was an outlier. He's been really good this year, just as good as he was in 2010 when the Twins won 90 games - don't blame him for Bill Smith's terrible decision making that resulted in a Triple A pitching staff, trading Hardy away for a slice of PB & J sandwich. Here is what Keith Law said today in his Insider article "I would have taken Joe Mauer over Mike Napoli to start behind the plate."

      This team isn't winning - people are frustrated. I get that. But be fans - support your team and our players. Joe is playing hard and playing well. I was all for the questioning last year but this isn't the Mauer of last year.
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