Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
Page 4 of 18 FirstFirst ... 2345614 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 350

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

  1. #61
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    2,676
    Like
    303
    Liked 218 Times in 138 Posts
    I really don't think anyone resents Mauer because he's too good at baseball. It's because he seems aloof/insulated from reality. He hasn't had a good postseason yet, he doesn't seem overly bothered by the losing. He wants to be Joe Average.

  2. #62
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
    Posts
    2,271
    Like
    241
    Liked 461 Times in 290 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    I really don't think anyone resents Mauer because he's too good at baseball. It's because he seems aloof/insulated from reality. He hasn't had a good postseason yet, he doesn't seem overly bothered by the losing. He wants to be Joe Average.
    I don't see it that way. He's one of the most driven athletes I've ever followed. He has had to dial back his offseason routine because he was finding himself worn out in September. A lot of what seems like nonchalance is just conserving energy. He seems cool at the plate because it just works better for him. I think a lot of this body language gets misinterpreted by people.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  3. #63
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    2,676
    Like
    303
    Liked 218 Times in 138 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I don't see it that way. He's one of the most driven athletes I've ever followed. He has had to dial back his offseason routine because he was finding himself worn out in September. A lot of what seems like nonchalance is just conserving energy. He seems cool at the plate because it just works better for him. I think a lot of this body language gets misinterpreted by people.
    Very likely but that's still the perception of him.

  4. #64
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
    Posts
    8,105
    Twitter
    @rocketpig76
    Like
    48
    Liked 1,585 Times in 823 Posts
    Blog Entries
    6
    I just wish people would stop believing Joe's attitude stems from him not caring. In my opinion, everything he does stems from just how much he cares. He's a baseball machine. Nothing good comes from screaming and yelling; good comes from preparation and learning from mistakes.

    I honestly believe that Joe Mauer might be the smartest player in baseball. People are too distracted by antics and bravado to see just how nearly perfect he is as the player he *wants* to be.

    He has done things that NO PLAYER has done before. What, and we're going to dig at him for not hitting more dingers? Grow up and look at the modern game. Seriously.

  5. These 2 users like Brock Beauchamp's post and want to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    benchwarmerjim (04-09-2014), cmathewson (04-09-2014)

  6. #65
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    2,676
    Like
    303
    Liked 218 Times in 138 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    He has done things that NO PLAYER has done before. What, and we're going to dig at him for not hitting more dingers? Grow up and look at the modern game. Seriously.
    I mostly agree with you BUT he hasn't finished in the top 10 in WAR since 2010. Now he's moved from catcher to first. At this point he's probably a .312/.400/.436 132 OPS+, 3-4 WAR guy. That's nice but it's not ideal.

  7. #66
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
    Posts
    4,172
    Twitter
    @thrylos98
    Like
    36
    Liked 446 Times in 273 Posts
    Blog Entries
    200
    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Reusse's piece was written the day that the Twins decided to celebrate their manager's personal achievement on the tail of 99, 96, and 96 loss seasons? Nothing like adding insult to injury...

    If the Twins' fans need a scapegoat or 2 about the lack of World Championships after 91 and the free fall the last 3 seasons, they should look at the dugout and at the suite where the front office sits.

    Mauer has been playing fine. He does not hit home runs. Would the people who criticize him, rather have Adam Dunn at 1B? I never remember Wade Boggs or Tony Gwynn, very similar hitters, get any grief for not hitting HRs.
    -----
    Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
    http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/
    twitter: @thrylos98

  8. This user likes Thrylos's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    Sconnie (04-10-2014)

  9. #67
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
    Posts
    8,105
    Twitter
    @rocketpig76
    Like
    48
    Liked 1,585 Times in 823 Posts
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    I mostly agree with you BUT he hasn't finished in the top 10 in WAR since 2010. Now he's moved from catcher to first. At this point he's probably a .312/.400/.436 132 OPS+, 3-4 WAR guy. That's nice but it's not ideal.
    Absolutely. His value has taken a hit due to position change.

    I'm not sure why that means he should become a different player, though. He has gone from great to very good. I'll live with that. Most defense-oriented players move to a less demanding position in their 30s.

  10. #68
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
    Posts
    6,601
    Like
    3,670
    Liked 3,159 Times in 1,351 Posts
    I think it's possible to have reservations about just how great Mauer really is. He's had one elite full season--2009. One. 2006 was very very good. The rest of his career he's what he is...an .870-ish OPS guy with a high OBP but not enough power to push himself into elite, or even very very good status. Good. Maybe very good. Not great.

    I also think while it's fair for people to love the way Mauer plays the game, it's also fair for people (full disclosure...I'm in this group) to find his style of play somewhat boring. I'd rather watch Kirby take a hack at a pitch at his eyes and K--or occasionally lace a double off the LC field wall--than watch Mauer let two good FBs go buy. Walks are boring. I'd also rather watch Kirby's face light up, than watch Mauer's stoic response to every situation. I also get the impression he doesn't really want any part of being the guy responsible for deciding a game, whereas Kirby lived for it, and that often bugs me when I watch a game. But that's just me, YMMV.

    I also see that while it's a small sample size, there's a "favorite 2014 Twin" thread on this page right now, and I think only one person listed Mauer as his favorite player. I don't know what that means, but it's at least interesting.

    As to Ruesse's column...right on Pat.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

  11. #69
    Senior Member Double-A
    Posts
    107
    Like
    50
    Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
    I don't think anyone ever said he wasn't a solid hitter with an elite swing. For me it's only about the money to the extent of what you get for the money.

    Mauer only is truly elite at one thing, getting on base. He gives you zero power, doesn't drive in runs, doesn't raise his game as the stakes are raised (useless in the playoffs) and doesn't give the team any of the intangibles like durability or leadership. Throw in the fact that he is basically passable defensively at 1st base and I think it becomes fair to ask that he provides more. He's paid basically a third of the payroll. He should be giving the team more.

  12. #70
    [QUOTE=
    Its an equally successful approach. Just, not very entertaining.[/QUOTE]

    Depends upon your definition of success. With the lineup we've run out there the last few years it's a recipe for stats, not wins.

    Mauer reminds me of Warren Moon. Tons of talent, but when your team needs a fire lit under it he's hanging his head on the end of the bench. QB is obviously more of a leadership position than "highest paid player", but that shot of Warren sitting quietly alone when the team needed a spark has never left me.

  13. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
    I don't think anyone ever said he wasn't a solid hitter with an elite swing. For me it's only about the money to the extent of what you get for the money.

    Mauer only is truly elite at one thing, getting on base. He gives you zero power, doesn't drive in runs, doesn't raise his game as the stakes are raised (useless in the playoffs) and doesn't give the team any of the intangibles like durability or leadership. Throw in the fact that he is basically passable defensively at 1st base and I think it becomes fair to ask that he provides more. He's paid basically a third of the payroll. He should be giving the team more.
    Agreed. His apologists have insisted for years that we have to measure his value by his position, he "hits well for a catcher" and the complete lack of HR power is excused. We'll see if that's still the refrain by the end of the year. This is a team sport, and this team needs more from their highest paid player than a guy who leads the league in being LOB. I think he can be a power player if he wants to, he just needs to recognize his role has changed and this team needs more.

  14. #72
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
    Posts
    2,271
    Like
    241
    Liked 461 Times in 290 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Here's the thing that drives me crazy about the whole value for the dollar discussion. Some of the same people who complain that he does not bring in the ROI also complain about how the Twins don't sign people because they're so cheap. Which is it? You can't have it both ways. And, if you want them to sign guys, why would you complain about them signing the hometown hero to a hometown discount? And, yes it's a discount when you compare it to contracts of that time, like Teixeira's.

    If you're going to sign players, you're going to overpay for some of them. You'll also get a few bargains in for the, um, bargain. But to expect every player to play up to the expectations set by his contract is ludicrous.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  15. This user likes cmathewson's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    benchwarmerjim (04-09-2014)

  16. #73
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
    Posts
    4,825
    Like
    176
    Liked 662 Times in 374 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    He has done things that NO PLAYER has done before. What, and we're going to dig at him for not hitting more dingers? Grow up and look at the modern game. Seriously.
    I'm on the record in this thread as being against the Mauer hate, but your post isn't fair either.

    I think there are some that boil it down to the homeruns, certainly. But I think you're sticking your head in the sand to dismiss the issues to simply that. With Mauer, there is a certain....persistence....(Arrogance? Stubborness?)....that says he's going to do things his way regardless of the circumstances surrounding him.

    This goes for how he handled his injuries and the questions about it. If I was a player perceived as quiet, borderline diminutive, I probably wouldn't have stood for the awful way in which the organization portrayed my injury. It made him look soft and....he didn't dispute that, which exacerbated the issue.

    It goes for his approach at the plate that seems indifferent to his role on the team as a run producer and centerpiece of the lineup. He seems content not driving the ball sometimes. Or even attempting to change his approach so he can.

    It goes for his body language which never seems to change win or lose or (worst of all) when he fails. He's paid to be the man and yet by his body language he couldn't be any further from that.

    Personally, I put more stock in his production, consistency, and the amazing successes he's had then these more intangible/questionable matters. But to deny that these things can rub a person the wrong way (and seemingly more often now than ever), isn't being fair to the other side.

  17. This user likes TheLeviathan's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    gunnarthor (04-09-2014)

  18. #74
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
    Posts
    1,038
    Like
    1,635
    Liked 488 Times in 285 Posts
    To what Chief and Leviathan just said.

    As a Mauer guy, I will say it is a little disappointing, with the game on the line, to watch him take a base on balls and pass it off to the next guy.

  19. These 2 users like Hosken Bombo Disco's post and want to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    gunnarthor (04-09-2014), h2oface (04-09-2014)

  20. #75
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
    Posts
    2,818
    Like
    1,642
    Liked 1,678 Times in 838 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Some interesting takes on Mauer, and my net takeaway is that there are a surprising number of reasons (and of varying legitimacy) for disliking Mauer. Will throw one more into the mix.

    In a discussion of the hand-wringing over Mike Piazza's defensive issues in his prime, Bill James posited that there's a very strong tendency for bad franchises to blame their struggles on their best player.

    Whether it makes them 'bad fans' or not aside, it seems to me like there's a similar tendency among fans. Nowhere was it more clearly on display than in a thread somewhere several years ago debating the relative value of Joe Mauer and, I swear I'm not making this up, Nick Punto.

    While on some basic subatomic level Mauer and Punto had the same exact job, to help the Twins win baseball games, every fan was free to make up any job description for them they wished.

    And there was a fair-sized contingent whose job descriptions went like this:

    Punto - Field multiple positions, use up bushels of outs at the plate, and turn his uniform brown (from the outside, not the inside).

    Mauer - Carry the team to a championship.

    Defined by those terms, Mauer was virtually guaranteed of "failure" due to odds alone, with only the details of how he failed (too little power, not 'aggresive' enough, lack of leadership, etc.) being argued amongst them. Meanwhile Punto was absolutely assured of "success" as long as his defense remained passable.

    Although that school of thought utterly baffles me the way breaking stuff baffled Greg Gagne, like I said, everyone is free to define a player's role and their expectations however they want.

    That said, the people who define Mauer's career in the terms above seem to me to have been missing some of the enjoyment of what was until the concussion almost certainly a Hall of Fame career.

  21. This user likes LaBombo's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    Sconnie (04-10-2014)

  22. #76
    Senior Member Triple-A
    Posts
    401
    Like
    68
    Liked 69 Times in 48 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I'm on the record in this thread as being against the Mauer hate, but your post isn't fair either.

    I think there are some that boil it down to the homeruns, certainly. But I think you're sticking your head in the sand to dismiss the issues to simply that. With Mauer, there is a certain....persistence....(Arrogance? Stubborness?)....that says he's going to do things his way regardless of the circumstances surrounding him.

    This goes for how he handled his injuries and the questions about it. If I was a player perceived as quiet, borderline diminutive, I probably wouldn't have stood for the awful way in which the organization portrayed my injury. It made him look soft and....he didn't dispute that, which exacerbated the issue.

    It goes for his approach at the plate that seems indifferent to his role on the team as a run producer and centerpiece of the lineup. He seems content not driving the ball sometimes. Or even attempting to change his approach so he can.

    It goes for his body language which never seems to change win or lose or (worst of all) when he fails. He's paid to be the man and yet by his body language he couldn't be any further from that.

    Personally, I put more stock in his production, consistency, and the amazing successes he's had then these more intangible/questionable matters. But to deny that these things can rub a person the wrong way (and seemingly more often now than ever), isn't being fair to the other side.

    I tend to agree with you here. I see both sides of Mauer and although I line up on the pro side there is some validity to what the other side says. In other words they aren't all wrong about him and many, many fans share that negativity. I just choose to focus on his positives and quite frankly he is one of the best players in baseball even if he doesn't hit a ton of home runs.

    Is who he is and his approach worth the money he makes? I think that is debatable. Just don't try to sell me on the fact that he doesn't care about winning and that he isn't one of the best in baseball.

  23. #77
    Senior Member All-Star
    Posts
    1,490
    Like
    153
    Liked 141 Times in 74 Posts
    I tend to fall into the Mauer "apologist" category, but here are a couple things that have really bothered me.

    1) The way the whole bi lateral leg weakness bizarro injury was handled.

    As someone has pointed out before, he could have simply taken 5 to 10 minutes to issue a press release, or sit down with a local reporter every now and again, instead of all these bizarre explanations that were coming out of the organization.

    2) "The Bunt"

    Others have touched on this a little bit. "The bunt" was only one snapshot in time, but what it represents is a pattern of unwillingness at times for Mauer to embrace the "leadership" role.
    I'm not saying Mauer should be a "rah rah" leader, if he's not that person, he can't do it. Period. People would know it was phony and it would backfire.
    But, that said, he also can't ONLY lead by example. Not everyone has his talent, so simply going out there and being great at getting on base is not leadership. It makes him a great player, but it's not leadership.
    What he could do to show leadership is try to put the game on his shoulders at times, instead of being so willing to take a walk, or lay down a bunt, and pass that responsibility onto the next guy.
    Early in the game, sure, I want Joe getting on base any chance he can and let the chips fall where they may. Late in the game, I don't want my best hitter coaxing a walk.

    3) He just wants to be an "average joe".

    The contract doesn't bother me ONE BIT. At the time he signed it I thought it was a fair deal. I disagree with those who say he gave us a discount, but I also don't expect him to.
    But what does bother me is his extreme naivety regarding the consequences of signing such a big contract.
    Fair or not, you no longer get to be "just another one of the guys" after you sign that deal.
    He seems dumbfounded that the press goes to HIM when things arent going well. He seems irritated that his tip amount at a restaurant is going to hit Twitter.

    I also disagree with cmat who earlier said that Joe works as hard as anyone in the offseason.
    I've never gotten that impression at all, and in fact I'm quite sure I've often heard quotes from his saying he hasn't/hadn't done much baseball activity over the winter.

    He's never struck me as a guy with a Torii Hunter like, extreme offseason conditioning program.

  24. This user likes Mr. Brooks's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    gunnarthor (04-09-2014)

  25. #78
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
    Posts
    2,818
    Like
    1,642
    Liked 1,678 Times in 838 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by shimrod View Post
    Agreed. His apologists have insisted for years that we have to measure his value by his position, he "hits well for a catcher" and the complete lack of HR power is excused.
    If there's a primary way to value a player without taking into account his position, we're all ears. Who is not all ears is the Hall of Fame, which Mauer "apologists" rightly point out he was well on his way to before the concussion, and wonder why that requires an apology.

    Not judging a player's offense relative to the peers of his era at his a position is a practice rapidly disappearing as the voters of the Reusse/Hartmann generation retire and the sun sets on the RBI's/Wins/'Popularity with the media' Age.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 04-09-2014 at 07:54 PM.

  26. #79
    Zero HR's and zero rbi's through eight games for $23 million could have something to do with it. Or maybe that his arsenal is pretty much limited to opposite field bloops, flares, and bleeders. Or maybe that seemingly his main objective every atbat is to draw a walk and let somebody else worry about driving in runs. Pitchers fear him so much they start him off with a first pitch meatball every atbat that he takes 90% of the time. Verlander said it best last year when he said even if you make a mistake to Mauer the worst he's going to do is single.

  27. #80
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
    Posts
    2,271
    Like
    241
    Liked 461 Times in 290 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    One other thing on the home runs. He really only hit home runs at a sluggers' rate one year, in the Dome. After they removed the plexiglass from left field, the left field bleachers in the Dome was as easy to hit homers into as Yankee Stadium's right field porch. He hit something like 19 of those 28 homers to left field in the Dome, and most of those landed in the first row. Those same balls are caught on the warning track in Target.

    Fans who now curse him thought that was the dawn of the age of Mauer Power. It was really the last chance he had to hit many homers, at least at home. Even when he pulls the ball now, he's more likely to hit it off the wall than into right field bleachers. But these fans are dumb. And they're loud. And they're egged on by the chief egghead himself.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

Page 4 of 18 FirstFirst ... 2345614 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.