MicroThoughts - Joe Mauer
by, 09-16-2012 at 03:41 PM (1558 Views)
My Father-in-Law sent me a text yesterday afternoon. Here is what it said:
"I see iron man Mauer has missed five straight. Most overpaid player in the game. Have a great weekend."
The "have a great weekend" part was much appreciated, but the rest of the text just made me shake my head. I want to address each part of this text, as I think these are common sentiments expressed by Twins fans.
1. Iron Man quip.
Mauer plays a lot of games for a catcher. He has had years when he has missed time due to injury. That does not make him an uncommon player. A lot of guys get hurt. However, in the years when he has been relatively healthy, he has played the following amount of games:
2005 - 131 games, 116 at catcher
2006 - 140 games, 120 at catcher
2008 - 146 games!!!, 139 at catcher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2009 - 137 games (MVP season, didn't play until May), 109 at catcher
2010 - 137 games, 112 at catcher
2012 - 131, on pace for about 140, 68 at catcher
I realize he doesn't play 162 games per year, but no catcher does. Now, I will admit that his games played figures should rise as he transitions from a catcher to more of a catcher/1st baseman, but the other years, he was primarily catching. Those games played figures are pretty in line with the figures put up by most starting catchers.
2. Most overpaid player in MLB quip.
My Father-in-Law doesn't know who Vernon Wells is. It makes for a hard argument, which is why I didn't simply respond. However, Wells, Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira all make more money than Joe Mauer. At this point in their careers, all are inferior players to Mauer.
3. Nothing in particular
Joe Mauer still gets on base at a higher rate than any other player in baseball. While he may not be a 162 game catcher who puts up 30 homeruns per year, he is still an extremely good player. The value he may give up as a player, he brings back to the franchise in marketability. He is far from overpaid.
Joe Mauer is a rare player. This type of franchise player comes around about once in a generation. This is not to say that he cannot be criticized, but the criticisms should be founded. Just enjoy him while you can.
I think this response might be too many characters for a text.