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Thread: Article: Why is Joe Mauer Such a Lightning Rod?

  1. #181
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    I'm not sure it is "silly" or "dumb" or whatever to criticize the ridulous money athletes get. It just comes from a different place than you all who are saying that sit. Because, it might just be silly for an entertainer to get paid this much, and at some point, our society might change that....and look back on this period as oddly as some look back on the past today.
    Lighten up Francis....

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    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?
    Ultimately that's what Nick's question asks. I suppose people are trying to answer it by example.

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  4. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    To be fair, you have to understand that his leadership gets called into question because his production doesn't answer the question itself.

    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.
    You are right. I get a bit to emotional when passion and leadership get equated with skill. Those arguments bother me because there is nothing factual there. I try to stay objective but I lose it when it comes to those two things. Yours is the more balanced view. I will try and let it go.

  5. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgfellows View Post
    With talent comes responsibility.
    The responsibility it comes with is doing his job, on the field, which is being a great baseball player, which I think he is. But his talent isn't being a 'people person' in the manner of Puckett or Hunter. Just because you are one of the most talented ball players out there does not mean you have to have the skills to be the vocal leader. It'd be nice, but I don't think it's a requirement. If in his contract there is language that spells out that these are also his responsibilities, then yes, there is a problem. But assigning him arbitrary responsibilities outside of being a player on the field, then judging him by that, well, I guess I don't think that's right. My opinion.

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  7. #185
    There is so much crazy and dumb in this thread its impossible to respond.

    One thing I will say. If you have an elite hitter who catches at a gold glove level....its high octane baseball stupidity to force him into another position until you have too. Whichever, person suggested the all the good hitting catchers are moved to get them more at bats doesnt get it. While that has happened....in every case it was mostly because they sucked at catching. Joe Mauer does not suck at catching. Moving him off his natural position early would have been criminally dumb

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  9. #186
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    I disagree, chitown.....if you are the FACE of the franchise, and the marketing campaign is built around you, and you are the best player, and, and, and all the things that come with being the highest paid, he does have an obligation to do interviews, and to be accessible. It is part of the job. His job is MORE than hitting/fielding on the field. It just is. He is an entertainer, not just a baseball player.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  11. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    The responsibility it comes with is doing his job, on the field, which is being a great baseball player, which I think he is. But his talent isn't being a 'people person' in the manner of Puckett or Hunter. Just because you are one of the most talented ball players out there does not mean you have to have the skills to be the vocal leader. It'd be nice, but I don't think it's a requirement. If in his contract there is language that spells out that these are also his responsibilities, then yes, there is a problem. But assigning him arbitrary responsibilities outside of being a player on the field, then judging him by that, well, I guess I don't think that's right. My opinion.
    So Joe isn't actually Spider-Man, then? Millions of disappointed youngsters weep.

  12. #188
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Only, no. MOST IMPORTANT, yes.

    I wish people didn't suck so hard at numbers. Math is not your enemy, folks. Embrace it.
    dead on, but if there's no lead off, or cleanup hitter around you to do their job around you, what good is it? You can't "carry a team on your back" ala Kirby Puckett without hitting home runs. That's the expectation of the best player on a team. Now I disagree with it, but that's why...

  13. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Their OPS+ are similar but Joe has a considerable advantage in OBP, the more valuable of the OBP/SLG duo.

    Oliva was more like Puckett than Mauer.
    I think the big disagreement is in your statement that the OBP is the more valuable stat. What the article wanted was more slugging from Mauer, which I agree with. Yesterday, down 3 and 2 runners on base, I don't want Mauer working the pitcher for a walk and leaving it up to Plouffe.

  14. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
    I think the big disagreement is in your statement that the OBP is the more valuable stat. What the article wanted was more slugging from Mauer, which I agree with. Yesterday, down 3 and 2 runners on base, I don't want Mauer working the pitcher for a walk and leaving it up to Plouffe.
    Similarly, there is a difference between working the pitcher for a walk and being pitched around. As I watched that at-bat I mostly saw the latter; maybe that's my own bias kicking in.

    But it doesn't surprise me that Joe did better when there was a healthy Morneau hitting behind him. One wonders what impact a healthy Sano might have in the future.
    Last edited by crarko; 04-10-2014 at 10:16 AM.

  15. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I disagree, chitown.....if you are the FACE of the franchise, and the marketing campaign is built around you, and you are the best player, and, and, and all the things that come with being the highest paid, he does have an obligation to do interviews, and to be accessible. It is part of the job. His job is MORE than hitting/fielding on the field. It just is. He is an entertainer, not just a baseball player.
    And this is what I pointed out much earlier in the thread. The entertainer vs athlete conundrum. Those who want him to be the entertainer aren't getting their money's worth. Those who think that being just the athlete is fine, think he's living up to the money. There will never be agreement in this other than to agree to disagree. While it'd be nice to hear Joe step up to the mic and be the 'vocal leader' of the team, I don't expect it. To me it's not what he's paid to do.

  16. #192
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    I agree, that is a fundamental point the "two sides" will not agree on......

    Nick's question (and my followup) still remain, why do people care what other people think? Why do you (anyone answering here) care what other people think about Joe Mauer?

    I actually don't care what you all think, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind here. I'm just participating in a conversation, but it seems that some of you care.*

    *I do have a lot of opinions about Mauer, but it doesn't bother me at all that others disagree, but clearly, the use of "dumb", "silly" and other word indicate that people do care about what others think.
    Lighten up Francis....

  17. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    The responsibility it comes with is doing his job, on the field, which is being a great baseball player, which I think he is. But his talent isn't being a 'people person' in the manner of Puckett or Hunter. Just because you are one of the most talented ball players out there does not mean you have to have the skills to be the vocal leader. It'd be nice, but I don't think it's a requirement. If in his contract there is language that spells out that these are also his responsibilities, then yes, there is a problem. But assigning him arbitrary responsibilities outside of being a player on the field, then judging him by that, well, I guess I don't think that's right. My opinion.
    I completely agree. Mauer's best asset is his eye at the plate, which leads to a ton of walks, respect from the ump's, and better pitches to hit. It is not his fault that he is by far the best player on the team. If he would feel pressured to change his game, I am not sure we would be better for it. Could Joe Mauer hit 35-40 HR a year if that was his sole focus? I think we would be kidding ourselves if we thought he is not capable of doing that. The question is, what would that do to his average, OBP, walks, k rates, etc.

  18. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I'm not sure it is "silly" or "dumb" or whatever to criticize the ridulous money athletes get. It just comes from a different place than you all who are saying that sit. Because, it might just be silly for an entertainer to get paid this much, and at some point, our society might change that....and look back on this period as oddly as some look back on the past today.
    To be clear, if someone thinks that players are overpaid in general, that is an opinion that has merit. I think that anyone who thinks now that Mauer is making 23MM a year that he should now hit more Homeruns, that is silly. Joe's salary was driven by the market and he for the most part has kept his numbers up.

  19. #195
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I went and looked at the favorite Twins fan thread again and found only 2 or 3 posts out of 50 or so that mentioned Mauer as a favorite.

    Brock's comment in that thread strikes me:

    It's too easy to cheer for Joe. He's inhumanly good at baseball which takes a bit of the fun out of cheering for him.

    In some ways, Joe Mauer has become irrelevant to me. I basically believe that he will produce at a certain level and that there won't be many surprises.

    With other players, I hope and dream and cheer -- and I can relate to their struggles. I simply can't relate to Joe Mauer.

    He actually may become a bit more interesting if he has some struggles at the plate or adjusting to 1B even while healthy and he may become more interesting as we see him adjusting through the aging process.

    It's ironic, really, that a player that provides so little drama ON the field has become a lightning rod -- not for anything he does but simply by being.

  20. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
    I think the big disagreement is in your statement that the OBP is the more valuable stat. What the article wanted was more slugging from Mauer, which I agree with. Yesterday, down 3 and 2 runners on base, I don't want Mauer working the pitcher for a walk and leaving it up to Plouffe.
    Certainly Mauer could be more aggressive at the plate if he chose to. You make a valid point there. From my perspective the most important thing for a batter is to not make an out. A walk, a single, a double, a HR doesn't matter the objective is to not make an out. If the pitcher is going to pitch to the corners and gives you very tough pitches to be successful you try and wait for a hitters count and get a good pitch. If that doesn't happen you take a walk.

    Given that Mauer's BA is currently worse than Plouffe and that Plouffe is a better power hitter than Mauer to me the walk makes sense in that context. Let the player with the better BA and better power get the chance to not make another out. Most coaches and athletes say that you take what the other team gives you and trust your teammates to come through. I think he did that.

  21. #197
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    I don't care about the money. If it starts hindering the team from bringing in better talent, or if it has already, that's the fault of the owners.

    I just want to see Mauer be more aggressive at the plate. When he gets a belt-high fastball for the first pitch, take a hack at it. When there's two runners on and the team is down by three in extra innings, swing. Don't leave it up to the next guy, because the next guy (no matter which guy it is) is a worse hitter than Mauer. I don't think that's asking too much.

  22. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dman View Post
    This leadership thing seems so bogus to me. First can you name me a player that does what you describe.
    Torii Hunter was a mentor to Denard Span.

    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/...=min&fext=.jsp

    "I went up there for a whole week and that week was just being around him and his family," Span said. "I paid attention to everything -- how he interacted with his kids, his wife and all the people when he would go out. I just learned a lot watching him being a professional, a true big leaguer."
    Mentoring Span has become a sort of mission for Hunter, who had a similar relationship with another famous Twins center fielder, Kirby Puckett. Hunter had always told Puckett that he would carry on the tradition that Puck set by helping another young guy coming up in system.
    The two became close right away and have spent the past few springs talking about everything from baseball to family to life in general. But there was something different about Span when he arrived at Hunter's home in Prospect, and it was something that Hunter noticed immediately.
    "In the outfield, we've been talking and working a lot," Hunter said.

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  24. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I completely agree. Mauer's best asset is his eye at the plate, which leads to a ton of walks, respect from the ump's, and better pitches to hit. It is not his fault that he is by far the best player on the team. If he would feel pressured to change his game, I am not sure we would be better for it. Could Joe Mauer hit 35-40 HR a year if that was his sole focus? I think we would be kidding ourselves if we thought he is not capable of doing that. The question is, what would that do to his average, OBP, walks, k rates, etc.

    Personally I think Joe has tried at times to hit more home runs as I saw his average drop and noticed him hitting balls to the warning track more often at certain points in past years. I don't know what it is but in my opinion I don't think his swing works for the HR. He just is who is and power is not in the cards unless he plays in a stadium more conducive to HR's. That is just my opinion no facts to back it up but he doesn't hit a lot of HR's and I don't see him changing his approach.

  25. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
    Torii Hunter was a mentor to Denard Span.

    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/...=min&fext=.jsp
    Touche'. Lot's of players have several mentor's and coaches throughout there career's. These people coach and mentor hundreds and some thousands of players in their lifetime and only a tiny fraction become successful why? Same person, same approach, same drills, Skill level was and is different. As you look it will always come down to that. Otherwise with a little Torri mentoring we all could become Denard Span etc.

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