Mauer is a very single's good hitter with a great one base percentage, but I think the article was about how the Twins really need him to produce at a higher level. I think that's a fair assessment.
I think, again, some people are missing the point.....Mauer is a great player. But that does not make him immune from being criticizable, it does not mean people should like him as a human being, it does not mean they should lilke him as an entertainer. It does not mean that at one game you can't boo him when he makes 5 outs. Just because some people don't appreciate him for what he is, that does not make them wrong somehow.
He's awesome at not making outs. And that is the most important thing in the game. But, that does not mean that people are obligated to like him. Part of it, frankly, is that the TWins publicize the heck out of him, and for some people, that gets old. Like how some people hate Favre for all the tv coverage, as if that is his fault somehow.
Also, Oliva hit a lot more homers than Joe but didn't get on base at nearly the same clip. They aren't really alike as hitters outside of BA and even those numbers aren't terribly similar.
I wonder how perceptions would change had Joe played most of his career in Fenway? I'd ask this because the hitter he most reminds me of is Wade Boggs. Definitely his personality does not.
I think expectations for Mauer have been raised by a few factors:
1) 1st overall draft pick
2) he joined an already competitive team
3) he has often batted somewhat "out of position" given his skill set and at times our otherwise poor roster construction
Carew suffered a bit from factors #2 and #3 too.
Add in the fact that Mauer has mostly been a catcher, and thus required more rest than other players, it made it even harder for him to deliver on the increased expectations.
And these has all been pretty much out of control.
I don't find being "present" a great leadership skill. I am in IT and if a developer on my team was "present" and had great poise and undestanding of how he attacks any given problem and great technical skills I would say he is a great developer but he isn't a leader.Quote:
“I watched Joe [Mauer] be present all the time. That’s one of the biggest things I took from last year from watching him everyday that he’s so self-aware. So self-aware. And understand who he is and what he wants to do about as well as anyone in the game. I learned a lot from that, to be able to say this is who I am, this is what I’m going to do, this is how I’m going to handle it and not stray too far away from it.”
One other interesting thing in the article is when Chris disregards Joe's practice of letting first pitch strikes go by:
Clearly modeling your style after a three-time batting champion is not a bad route to go. He already shares his patented opposite field stroke but would he consider stealing Mauer’s signature move of watching the first-pitch pass by?
“Being a guy who is typically a middle-of-the-order guy, who is going to produce runs and try to hit the ball out of the ballpark, you have to get yourself in offensive counts and I think oh-oh is as offensive of a count as we get,” he said. “So if you get the chance to do some damage on oh-oh, for me, I’m going to let it go. I certainly think it is about keeping that in reason and understand how to not doing too much with it. I think most of my success came last year in oh-oh counts or hitter’s counts because that’s when you are suppose to do damage.”
I do have to say the nitpicking bothers me. Was Babe Ruth a terrible player because he struck out so much? Was Lou Brock only good the year he stole 74 bases and then sucked all the other years? How great of a leader was Rod Carew? It seems fault finders can find there faults with all the great players. Why not just appreciate greatness while you have it?
1) Money. Everything seemed to change when he got the big deal. Some are envious, some are surprised he took the deal and did not take a discount, etc. The expectations went up and frankly, he was never going to hit .365 with 28 HR again.
2) The media gets frustrated with a guy that is a your best player, face of the franchise and is so quiet, an absolutely terrible intereview, squeky clean, etc. They went from Puckett, Moss, KG, and Torii to Mauer. They have 500 words to produce every three days.
3) Durability. This goes along with #1, when you get paid and get hurt, some are just not OK with that. As if $23M Mauer will have an immunity that $8M Mauer did not have.
4) Losing. Someone has to be to blame right? The fact is Mauer could have hit 60 HR last year and this team would have lost 85 or more games. But it would have still been his fault some how.
How much leadership do you need to say ride your bike from you house to the store or bowling etc. You don't need leadership for those things. They are skills or things that you do. Your skill at doing them is different than someone else. No amount of leadership will change your skill level. Practice will but that is about it.
If leadership had such an impact on players and skill level teams would be hiring the greatest leaders they could find. I see no such trend in all of baseball. Leadership is nothing compared to skill thus the player that developws said skill make huge amounts of money because that skill is rare. No leadership required.
Joe Mauer has a rare skill and is better than 95% of the players in baseball at avoiding outs. That is a valuable skill that teams pay large amounts of money for. What do they pay for leadership skills? and who exactly has these magical skills that are so valued by the rest of baseball?
I find it fascinating (and I could be wrong) by how emotional people are in this thread, either way.....why do people care what other people think about Joe Mauer?
I don't know if this was mentioned earlier but ruesse never once mentioned money. He only talked about talent. People who do criticize mauer because of his salary are just silly. He will very likely produce numbers to justify his d salary. But where I think people are correct is his apparent lack of team leadership. Mauer is the best player on a bad team(he'd be the best player on a good team as well) like it or not it is natural to have an expectation for the best player to lead the lesser talent players. Is it unfair? I don't think so. This is more of a team sport than most spurs. I think we'd love to hear stories of Joe engaging and inspiring the other players. With talent comes responsibility.
If you're not driving in people, getting the big hits, coming through in big spots, than other elements of your game get more scrutiny. It's not fair, but it happens all the time in sports. Guys who are highly productive on winning teams just get the assumption of leadership.
I think people are too dismissive of how Mauer's personality plays into this. The guy has been a great hitter, but his mannerisms and his near pathological unwillingness to take the mantle of "the guy" are certainly reasons to be annoyed with him at times.