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

  1. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    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.
    You miss my point; his position has changed. Will his game change? He's now filling a run-producing position with little defensive value.

  2. #162
    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    He was indesbutably an elite hitter as a catcher. He's not at first until the prognostications about big silver lining jumps in offensive quantity and quality about the switch come true for the next half decade.
    But being an elite hitter at the worst offensive position is not saying much. The reason there are not many elite hitting catchers is because it a catcher can hit they move them to a position where they can play 155 games.

    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.

  3. #163
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Was Rod Carew a great hitter?

    I really don't understand why we don't accept that not making an out is the key to offense.

    Yeah, some hitters don't make outs AND hit homers. They're rare.
    Why do people try to compare Mauer to Carew? Carew had 7 batting titles, a better comparison would be Oliva. And Oliva wasn't voted into the HOF, so can we call him an elite hitter?

  4. #164
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    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.
    Lighten up Francis....

  5. #165
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
    Why do people try to compare Mauer to Carew? Carew had 7 batting titles, a better comparison would be Oliva. And Oliva wasn't voted into the HOF, so can we call him an elite hitter?
    Oliva would be in the hall if not for a freak injury and should probably be in the hall anyway. I'm not really sure how that makes the other side's case. He was absolutely an elite hitter before the injury.

    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.

  6. #166
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Oliva would be in the hall if not for a freak injury and should probably be in the hall anyway. I'm not really sure how that makes the other side's case. He was absolutely an elite hitter before the injury.

    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.
    If you judge by OPS+, they're similar, particularly if you ignore Oliva's last couple years when he was playing on one leg. The 60's were a different time for offense.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

  7. #167
    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    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.

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  9. #168
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    If you judge by OPS+, they're similar, particularly if you ignore Oliva's last couple years when he was playing on one leg. The 60's were a different time for offense.
    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.

  10. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    If you judge by OPS+, they're similar, particularly if you ignore Oliva's last couple years when he was playing on one leg. The 60's were a different time for offense.
    Yeah, Oliva's not a horrible comparison in value. Both, over 10 years, had about the same WAR and OPS+. Mauer was probably slightly better, esp with position taken into account, but it's close. And Oliva's career was mismanaged - he should have been in the majors for good before he was 25.

  11. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    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.
    Great question. His swing seems like it would be ideal for that park.

  12. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    It is flat-out embarrassing for any rational human to twist that PA into a detriment.

    The guy had a double stolen and STILL turned it into a walk.

    What, and you're complaining that he walked it off?

    Brain hurts.
    He didn't cite it as a "detriment." He cited it as one of the most famous plays Mauer has had. And he's right. Mauer's signature moment in the playoffs is a blown call that pressured MLB to get instant replay.

  13. #172
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    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.

  14. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    All you have to do is read one little line from Parker's excellent Colabello article to know all you need to know about Joe Mauer's "leadership".
    I had skipped reading the Colabello article previously so after reading this quote I went back to it to see what this was about. Did Joe take Chris under his wing? Did he provide batting advice? Did he work with Chris in the field or in the cage? Did he work with Chris outside of baseball to figure some personal things out? Did Joe have a hand in convincing Chris not to go to Korea? I was genuinely interested to see what the leadership in question was. Here is the 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.”
    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.

    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.”

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  16. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    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.
    As much as I hate to admit it I think you are right. Personally I Vehemently disagree with the Mauer detractors but you are right he is not immune to criticism and people are entitled to see things a different way and that doesn't make them wrong.

    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?

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  18. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    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 think it boils down to 4 things.

    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.

  19. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
    I had skipped reading the Colabello article previously so after reading this quote I went back to it to see what this was about. Did Joe take Chris under his wing? Did he provide batting advice? Did he work with Chris in the field or in the cage? Did he work with Chris outside of baseball to figure some personal things out? Did Joe have a hand in convincing Chris not to go to Korea? I was genuinely interested to see what the leadership in question was. Here is the quote:



    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.

    One other interesting thing in the article is when Chris disregards Joe's practice of letting first pitch strikes go by:
    This leadership thing seems so bogus to me. First can you name me a player that does what you describe. I haven't heard a story where players do that. Typically those things are the job of the hitting coach on the team. That is why all teams have position coaches. As for leadership in baseball the direction should come from the manager he is after all the leader of the team.

    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?

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  21. #177
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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. I haven't heard a story where players do that. Typically those things are the job of the hitting coach on the team. That is why all teams have position coaches. As for leadership in baseball the direction should come from the manager he is after all the leader of the team.

    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 agree. Pep talks are overrated. Plus, Mauer leads by example every day. He plays the game right.

  22. #178
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    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?
    Lighten up Francis....

  23. #179
    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.

  24. #180
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dman View Post
    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?
    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.

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