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

  1. #261
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
    He does. Joe Mauer has the highest average in baseball when he makes contact with the first pitch. He's just really picky because he knows he has to be right more than 40% of the time for it to pay off.

    The frustration for the Mauer supporters (and I'm one of them) is the Mauer critics keep suggesting that Mauer do things that would ultimately make him less productive and make the Twins lose more ballgames. They want him to hack more and walk less. They wanted him to move off catcher 5 years ago. They want him to throw a fit when something bad happens instead of acting like a professional. These are all terrible ideas.
    A couple things:

    1) Can you point me to where you determined that Mauer has "the highest average in baseball when he makes contact with the first pitch?" You might be right, but can you confirm that?

    2) He doesn't have to "be right more than 40% of the time for it to pay off." This is the common misperception among those who overvalue OBP. All OBP is not created equally. A walk is not as valuable as a single. A single is not as valuable as a double. Same for a triple over a double, and a HR over a triple.

    An AB that ends in a walk will, over time, contribute fewer runs than an AB that results in a single. So if by swinging earlier in the count Mauer made more outs, but hit for more power, it could very well be that it ends up creating more runs.

    3) Because of number 2, I don't think it's necessarily correct to assert that "critics keep suggesting that Mauer do things that would ultimately make him less productive and make the Twins lose more ballgames." There is a potential payoff there that is unknowable without working out actual numbers, but more power and less OBP isn't necessarily a recipe for fewer runs, it might result in more.

    4) As for moving off catcher, ignoring the simple fact that a given set of numbers from a player do not result in more or less runs scored based on which position they play when the other team is at bat, there's health and playing time to consider as well. It's pretty hard to argue playing catcher hasn't cost Mauer playing time.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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  3. #262
    I don't belive he puts in the time. He admitted he didnt pick up a bat the entire offseason, even thougj the concussion symptoms were gone by the end of October. Just looking at him he appears very frail. I don't think there's any weight training going on here. He's not young anymore. He needs to realize he cant rely on natural ability anymore. Skills
    deteriorate over time. Now he has to start working at it. I chuckle whenever FSN does a profile on him and he's working out. He's always doing cable rows or wrist curls with itty bitty dumbbells. Pretty grueling!

  4. #263
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deduno Abides View Post
    Because of his compensation, fans believe that the Twins have passed on other players because of salary requirements and may still be doing so.
    The failure to defend Mauer from at least the unfair portion of that belief rests squarely on Ryan and St. Peter.

    Mauer probably has caused them to pass at times on signing free agents or get rid of guys they couldn't afford to keep, and he probably will again before his deal is up.

    But money hasn't been an issue for three seasons now, and arguably four, based on their own guidelines for spending vs. revenue. They've consistently underspent, and whatever the wisdom of that, it's pretty compelling proof that Mauer's contract hasn't been holding them back.

    Being more up front about that might take some heat off of Mauer, and put it where it belongs, on management and ownership.

  5. #264
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    I don't belive he puts in the time. He admitted he didnt pick up a bat the entire offseason, even thougj the concussion symptoms were gone by the end of October. Just looking at him he appears very frail. I don't think there's any weight training going on here. He's not young anymore. He needs to realize he cant rely on natural ability anymore. Skills
    deteriorate over time. Now he has to start working at it. I chuckle whenever FSN does a profile on him and he's working out. He's always doing cable rows or wrist curls with itty bitty dumbbells. Pretty grueling!
    What??? You can't be serious........ Can you?

  6. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    No, Kirby would have taken a hack and made an out two thirds of the time. I watched that at bat and I didn't see any very hittable pitches. He was being pitched around with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. An out ends the game. I don't blame him for taking two pitchers pitches and four balls. It's pretty easy to play Monday morning quarterback.
    This is the AB in question.
    For the record, do you classify that 1st pitch strike right down the middle of the plate as a "pitchers pitch"?
    If that is a "pitchers pitch", then what, I ask, would you consider a hittable pitch?


  7. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    What??? You can't be serious........ Can you?
    1).He didn't not pick up a bat because he is lazy. He wants to be 100 percent sure his concussion symptoms were gone.Everyone who has had one (including me) regrets starting too soon and prolongs it.Had he done that he would get twice the criticism

    2) I am guessing you have never seen him in person. I am guessing he doesn't just touch tiny weights

  8. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    This is the AB in question.
    For the record, do you classify that 1st pitch strike right down the middle of the plate as a "pitchers pitch"?
    If that is a "pitchers pitch", then what, I ask, would you consider a hittable pitch?

    For the record, both #1 and #5 are (very) hittable pitches. Aren't "pitchers' pitches" on one of the corners, just inside (or just outside) the strike zone?

  9. #268
    I'll double down on my relatively unsophisticated fan base comment.

    If this kind of insanity exists among what is supposedly the elite of the Twins fan base then for his sake I hope he does get traded to fan base that greater appreciates his talent set. (and a team that didnt waste them)

    I'll paraphrase Bill James. People are spending too much talking about his lack of swinging at the first pitch and not enough time talking about his career .405 OBP.

  10. #269
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    This is the AB in question.
    For the record, do you classify that 1st pitch strike right down the middle of the plate as a "pitchers pitch"?
    If that is a "pitchers pitch", then what, I ask, would you consider a hittable pitch?

    So you're main beef is that he didn't go up first pitch swinging? Obviously his plan going up was to get a look at the first pitch, how do you second guess that? Obviously we would all be celebrating the greatness that is Joe Mauer if he had only swung his bat when we thought he should, hit or not, correct?

  11. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    So you're main beef is that he didn't go up first pitch swinging? Obviously his plan going up was to get a look at the first pitch, how do you second guess that? Obviously we would all be celebrating the greatness that is Joe Mauer if he had only swung his bat when we thought he should, hit or not, correct?
    No, I'm simply refuting cmat's argument that he didn't get any hittable pitches in the AB.

  12. #271
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    No, I'm simply refuting cmat's argument that he didn't get any hittable pitches in the AB.

    Ok,but to what end? Ok, the first pitch could have possibly been hit, great thanks.

  13. #272
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    Personally, I think Mauer could be an even better hitter than he already is if he went up there with the plan of swinging at the most hittable pitch he gets, regardless of which pitch it is.

    As someone else said earlier, all OBP is not created equal. In general a single has more value than a walk, a double more than a single, etc.
    If Mauer is passing up pitches right down the middle so that he can coax a walk, I think that is a perfectly reasonable thing to debate.
    Just because he is a great hitter, does not make him perfect, jeez man everyone has flaws. I don't understand why someone is beyond critique just because he's really good.
    I think some people in here assume that anyone criticizing an aspect of Joe's game they don't agree with equates to them saying they don't think he's a good hitter. I don't get that impression, I guess.

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  15. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    Ok,but to what end? Ok, the first pitch could have possibly been hit, great thanks.
    Because cmat twisted the facts to fit his argument. He claimed that Joe looked at 4 balls and 2 pitchers pitches.
    So let me get thsi straight, now we can not only NOT criticize Joe, but we also can't even call into question anyone who is making an argument for him?
    If I just made up "facts" to support an "anti Joe" argument, I'm guessing you wouldn't be giving me as much of a pass.

  16. #274
    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    So who else saw this thread becoming a train wreck back on page one?

    I have a feeling Nick did.

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  18. #275
    I found some things shocking when I looked around because of this thread.

    Mauer's WAR7 is freaking 5th EVER among catchers. Thats Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguz kind of rarified air.

    Also his JAWS score is 13th RIGHT NOW and the only one even close career-wise at 1180ish games and 11 seasons is Thurmon Munson.

    In my opinion, he just has to perform marginally well for a few seasons regardless of position and he almost is a hall of fame shoo-in.

    Of course, he might make the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown but he apparantly wont make the Twins fans hall of fame because he didnt swing enough at first pitches.

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  20. #276
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    Yes, because people who find ONE thing to nitpick about Mauers game therefore think he's a terrible baseball player.

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  22. #277
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    Yes, because people who find ONE thing to nitpick about Mauers game therefore think he's a terrible baseball player.
    You have not only a probable hall of famer and probably one of the 5-8 greatest catchers to play the game EVER on your favorite team and people are complaining consistently about his plate approach. Thats the equivalent in relevancy of bitching because he adjusts his cup in the batters box.

    In fact one poster said that they would give him away in a salary dump

    I'm sorry but I find half the "complaints" in this thread to be preposterous.

    Again, too much time talking about meaningless crap and not enough time talking about his career .405 OBP

  23. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    A couple things:

    1) Can you point me to where you determined that Mauer has "the highest average in baseball when he makes contact with the first pitch?" You might be right, but can you confirm that?

    2) He doesn't have to "be right more than 40% of the time for it to pay off." This is the common misperception among those who overvalue OBP. All OBP is not created equally. A walk is not as valuable as a single. A single is not as valuable as a double. Same for a triple over a double, and a HR over a triple.

    An AB that ends in a walk will, over time, contribute fewer runs than an AB that results in a single. So if by swinging earlier in the count Mauer made more outs, but hit for more power, it could very well be that it ends up creating more runs.

    3) Because of number 2, I don't think it's necessarily correct to assert that "critics keep suggesting that Mauer do things that would ultimately make him less productive and make the Twins lose more ballgames." There is a potential payoff there that is unknowable without working out actual numbers, but more power and less OBP isn't necessarily a recipe for fewer runs, it might result in more.

    4) As for moving off catcher, ignoring the simple fact that a given set of numbers from a player do not result in more or less runs scored based on which position they play when the other team is at bat, there's health and playing time to consider as well. It's pretty hard to argue playing catcher hasn't cost Mauer playing time.
    I guess I don't understand why a walk would be less valuable than a single on the first pitch. Isn't the idea to make the pitcher work by taking pitches and then still get on base. If you ascribe to the theory of taking pitches which most teams do then isn't taking pitches more advantageous than not taking pitches? I am not sure I understand can you elaborate?

  24. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHtwins View Post
    You have not only a probable hall of famer and probably one of the 5-8 greatest catchers to play the game EVER on your favorite team and people are complaining consistently about his plate approach. Thats the equivalent in relevancy of bitching because he adjusts his cup in the batters box.

    In fact one poster said that they would give him away in a salary dump

    I'm sorry but I find half the "complaints" in this thread to be preposterous.

    Again, too much time talking about meaningless crap and not enough time talking about his career .405 OBP
    I guess I just fundamentally disagree with you that just because he is a great hitter means he is perfect and cannot ever be criticized for any reason, at any time.

  25. #280
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    For the record, both #1 and #5 are (very) hittable pitches. Aren't "pitchers' pitches" on one of the corners, just inside (or just outside) the strike zone?
    I think this chart is deceptive. Maybe he should have taken a hack at the first pitch, like Plouffe did, and made an out. The second strike was a pitcher's pitch. It had Deduno type movement. Even though it crossed the front of the plate there, it was caught outside and low.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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