has gotten the ball out of the infield 3 times in 4 games.
He has yet to get a ball past an outfielder.
has gotten the ball out of the infield 3 times in 4 games.
He has yet to get a ball past an outfielder.
I'm not sure what that means? You think he won't all year... or he's just off to a slow start through 4 games... as several others in baseball are?
I think UChief means that we've seen nothing from Mauer to suggest he's ever again going to be the player he was that one season. The one that got him the contract. The one that was an aberration from his entire career. I know he won some batting titles - though most people on this site discount batting average as a particularly meaningful stat. There's a reason Ichiro doesn't make $24M.
I like Mauer. He was a great story, MN hometown and all that, back when he was great. He's not today. He wasn't last year. He might be again, but that seems less and less likely. I'd say it's much more likely that he never hits a dozen HR again in a season, and might not ever even hit .325 again. I am very fearful for the Twins re: this contract.
I bet he'll hit .325 again. And I bet it'll be this year.
Yea, the power is mostly gone, or reduced to doubles, but I think it's a little early to write off his 2012.
I don't know if the power is gone, or if it's the affect of Target Field... How many times the last two years has he flown out to the warning track in LF at Target Field (probably a couple dozen)... most of those would have been HR in Metrodome. I don't think the power is gone. The HR are down because of the ball park and the type of hitter he is.
If you got into the SethSpeaks.net archives from the day that the Twins and Mauer finalized the 8 year, $184 M extension, I wrote that it would never make sense from a baseball perspective... but that was the position that the Twins were in. If they had let him walk, fans would have whined about that too.
It means I'm disappointed in the way he's started 2012.
It means in the litany of things to bitch about regarding games 1-4 of the 2012 season, I include Mauer's name somewhere on the list.
It means I found it interesting, in a bad way, to confirm through facts what my eyes have told me...he's managed to hit two, maybe three balls hard in four games.
That is all.
I love how people are down on Mauer after 4 games. Using the same logic we should be talking about the historic season Josh Willingham is going to have. He's on pace for 162 RBI and 81 homers - watch out Barry Bonds.
I like Mauer. He was a great story, MN hometown and all that, back when he was great. He's not today. He wasn't last year. He might be again, but that seems less and less likely. I'd say it's much more likely that he never hits a dozen HR again in a season, and might not ever even hit .325 again. I am very fearful for the Twins re: this contract.[/QUOTE]
Well Chuckjay, clearly the only option is to throw yourself off the nearest bridge........or wait longer than 4 games to throw the towel in completely on a former 3 time AL batting champion. Mauer can still bring to this team what few others can once he gets it going, which I believe he will.
Sometime during the Season, most Players will go through some type of slump. Everything that happens the first few weeks of a Season is magnified.
Let's give him and the other batters some more time.
Long-term multi-multi million dollar deals never make sense from a baseball perspective, or an any sport perspective for that matter. They are based on past performance that is rarely ever repeated, especially in the long term.
Seth is bang on with the reality though, it's really the fans who drive them, this board would have lit up the Minneapolis night sky if the Twins had let Joe walk at the time the deal was made. The Angels are the darlings of LA for bringing Albert and friends and the Tigers are the toast of the town by ponying up for Prince..... if they don't win the big one, visit the forums in those towns to see if the deals are still worth it in a few years.
I don't think he'll ever break 20 homers again. 28 was just an amazing year, and unfortunately for the Twins it was his contract year. I hate how people blame Mauer for the contract. If your boss came in and offered to triple your salary, you'd sign, no questions asked. You wouldn't tell your boss, "no thanks, I don't think i'm worth that much, i'll sign for less so i don't hurt the company." Just because Mauer is now making a ton of money doesn't mean he is going to be as good or better than he was when he signed. It sucks for the Twins, yes, but if anything you should blame management for offering the contract in the first place.
But, on the flip side, the Twins have been competitive and better team overall with a far less payroll than they have now, so even if Mauer is taking up too large of a % of the team's payroll, it's no excuse for the rest of the crappy team given that they've raised the payroll considerably over the last few years.
Mauer earns 24% of the teams payroll. The term Hometown Discount has been used a lot in this town whenever a high profile athlete has a contract negotiation. Rather than a discount, the Twins paid a Hometown Premium.
This contract will be an anchor to this organization for its duration. Not only is this the worst contract in baseball, it's the worst contract in sports. I doubt they could trade this guy even if they wanted to. Who would take him for the rights to pay that salary? Funny thing is, the PR disaster that was last season, and the way Mauer handled the whole thing and how out to lunch he seemed.....he could never survive in NY, Boston, Philly, Chicago, L.A., or any market other than here. How do you think the Clueless Joe act with the nice smile would go over in NY?? I don't think he ever intended to go anywhere else, and he and his agent got every nickel they could get from the Twins.
Hindsight is 20/20, but his value is worth about half of his current contract.
I absolutely agree with cr9617. Mauer's contract is arguably the worst in the history of professional sports, and it's becoming increasingly difficult seeing the Twins ever winning a championship with him on the roster. You just don't see too many elite teams paying $23 million a year to a first baseman who isn't going to break 10 homers or 90 RBI in a season. And I'm sick of hearing the "Target Field isn't hitter-friendly" excuse. Plenty of players have had success hitting the ball over the fence there, and most of them make a fraction of what Mauer makes.
The power goes when the legs go. If Mauer's legs are 100%, and he finds the right technique or actually tries to hit for power, he'll hit for power.
Yes, the Fans were adamant about signing Mauer, but no one ever imagined that the Contract would be as huge as it was. The spin was, winning meant everything to Mauer and it was essential that the Twins would retain the ability to to build a Championship Team around him. It caught people by surprise that the Contract amount was so large and resource draining. Some of us were foolish to think that their would be a Home Town discount.
I'm 99% with Chuckle Jay here, I felt strongly at the time of the contract it was an overpay due to him just coming off a career year. Did i think 2009 was going to be his career year? NO. But I felt strongly as if it was going to be in his top 2 or 3 season of his career (which looks absolutely true today) Giving a guy a contract RIGHT after they have a HUGE breakout year is always tough for the team, but usually turn out to be decent for both sides. And in Mauer's case its not like he was a schulb before 2009. He was a very good player from 2004-to 2008. Healthy always? No. Productive always? Yes. 28 HR power potential Always? No. I'm a big PRO Mauer guy and think he'll bounce back big if not in 2012, then in 2013 but will he ever be worth 23 Million dollars a season Strictly on the Field again? I think not at this point....but the value he as to this team and Twins territory is invaluable.
As you can probably see I felt he was worth apprx. 20 Million a year (or so) And not 23 Million. But no one can put a price on just how much the Mauer Deal WITH the TWINS means to the state of Minnesota, the fans, and the MLB and baseball as a whole.
Was Ryan Howard worth 25 Million a year? NO
was Joey Votto Deserving of the mega deal he just got? Absolutely Not. (if he wasn't a exclusively 1B , and coming off recent depression issues than maybe)
Mauer is only a couple of seasons away from that point, yet all we ever hear is how he's going to be better later on. But he's already transitioning away from being a "full-time catcher" (which is the right approach), which means we really should be thinking about him as a first baseman. We're so hard on Mauer because he's our guy, and greatness was expected of him. But compare his career so far to, say, Victor Martinez, and I'm sorry, but V-Mart's career is far superior:
Both have had their share of injury problems, as do many catchers, but when he played, V-Mart was a consistent .300 hitter, but a constant power threat in the middle of the lineup. It isn't about the "legs" or Target Field - Mauer isn't "overswinging". His approach is to put the ball into play making contact at all costs, and that leads to a lot of ground balls and opposite field liners. Which, yes, can lead to a .300 season, but also makes him fairly worthless as a #3 hitter.
It's not about whining or throwing myself off a bridge. Everybody knew the Twins had to pay him. I didn't say I thought it was a bad contract. I said I am fearful for the Twins re: this contract. Who on this board isn't??
But in fact, I do have an interesting theory/question: Why don't teams just NOT pay their superstars? I honestly don't think it would lead to the doom that everyone says it would have if the Twins had let him walk. What would have happened? Would everyone on this site simply have stopped following the Twins? Stopped going to games? Sure - attendance at the new house would have dropped. Certainly. But how much, and for how long? Longer than the contract is going to hamper them? I seriously doubt it.
I think the Cardinals did absolutely the right thing in letting Pujols walk. Ditto for the Brewers. If I were a GM, I like to think that I would've done the same thing. Short term pain when the fans and writers go nuts, but 3 years later they're all still following the team and then you're not saddled with a $24M part time catcher who slaps singles.
And I have to say, everyone who is talking about how it's only four games into this season seem to have forgotten 2011.
That may be a valid point, but calling Mauer's contract the "worst in the history of professional sports" seems an odd way to try and make it, doncha think?
I do find all of the Monday Morning Quarterbacking of the decision to pay up for Mauer pretty amusing. When the time for a contract extension arrived, I didn't hear anyone suggest that it if he wanted too much money and/or too many years, we should just let him walk. Virtually all of Twins Territory demanded he be re-signed. And you had to know it was going to be a fat, long deal because that's what he would have gotten had he hit the open market. Had the Twins allowed him to walk away and sign with, say, the Yankees for Red Sox, there would have been a torch-and-pitchfork mob heading down Hennepin Avenue demanding the blood of everyone in the front office.
Also, it was, ironically, precisely the type of move that Twins fans spent years whining about the team NOT making because they were too cheap.
But familiarity breeds contempt, I guess. When the Twins don't spend money, the fan base whines about ownership being unwilling to invest in talent. When the Twins do spend moeny, they whine about guys being overpaid. It's like listening to little old ladies at restaurants who complain that the food is terrible and the portions are too small.