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Article: Why is Joe Mauer Such a Lightning Rod?

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#21 cmathewson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:09 AM

I totally disagree with cmat, I don't think there is a hatred of excellence at all. Totally generalizing about people. Maybe we should be glad MN don't hero worship something so trivial as sports figures, maybe that's a good thing. They also booed Butera, and cheered Mauer. The games I've been to, Mauer gets more love than any player on the roster right now. I couldn't disagree with more parts of your post if I tried.


Just a gestalt. No science behind it. Being excellent is like being holier than thou. Minnesotans hate that.
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#22 blindeke

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:10 AM

I'm just worried about concussions. The last few years have made me extremely pessimistic on that subject.

Other than that, criticisms of Joe just reveal how out of touch many Twins fans have become.

#23 cmathewson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:10 AM

New Yorkers also hate AROD, even though he's one of the best players in MLB history.....so that whole "MN hates excellence, and NY loves it" thing doesn't fly well, imo. I've never, not once, heard anyone say Peterson is greedy, btw. No idea who you hang out with.


Maybe I spend too much time reading Strib comments, and listening to comments on KFAN.

I have been to games where Mauer was booed and Drew was cheered. I was at games where Wilfong was cheered and Carew was booed. I was in sections where Punto got more cheers than any other player on the team. When I asked them, they said he did so much with so little talent.

Edited by cmathewson, 09 April 2014 - 10:14 AM.

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#24 tobi0040

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:15 AM

I feel talent w/o leadership is the same as leadership w/o talent. .



I think talent outweighs leadership almost all the time, especially in baseball. 95% of this game is batter versus pitcher, man versus man. Mauer could give a great Herb Brooks like speech to Pedro Florimon before his at bat, but when he stands in the box he is going to strike out 25% of the time either way.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

Of course I've heard Mauer booed. I've been to games where he went 0-5 and left runners all over the place. How does that prove anyone hates him? They cheer when he does well, they boo that rare game where he sucks. that doesn't prove they hate him at all. sometimes people are "commenting" on the moment, not the person/history. I think people forget that, a lot.

And yes, reading the comments on the STrib is probably not a good indication of how most MN feel, I'd guess. They make me look like a glass 150% full guy.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#26 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

People still clamor for Moss, and Chris Carter, and others. People LOVE Adrian Peterson (he can carry a whole team, btw), even with his personal warts. CMAT is just plain wrong, imo. The issue with Mauer isn't his excellence, it is that his excellence isn't as obvious as some others, and the team SUCKS, and he's supposed to be the promised one, and things aren't working, so it must be partially his fault. phew.


I come down on your side. He's obviously the face of the franchise but I think the Mauer-hate phenomenon is whipped up by the media. Barriero was talking about it again yesterday and it's easy to nod your head when someone on the radio says "a $20 million guy is not being paid to hit singles" and that's a little bit true but Mauer is not a "singles hitter" he's got some batting titles under his belt. Also he was a great backstop, too, just a cut below the Molina/Pudge types but far ahead of the average catcher.

What he doesn't have under his belt is something edgy about him. He doesn't have a profanity-laced tirade to his teammates after a Game 1 loss. There's no video of him owning a gatorade cooler after whiffing on an important at bat. The worst thing about him is he's as exciting as a glass of milk. So I think the media likes to stake out contrary positions and get him going just for the sake of doing it.

#27 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:23 AM

I think the injury was a big turning point that made people dig in their heels even more. Like it or not, that quacky diagnosis and bizarre handling of the injury reinforced the idea that Joe is soft and doesn't want to be a superstar in anything more than pay. It deepened the idea that he's just as content to get 0-1 as a basehit, or just as content winning 60 as he is a World Series, or just as content sitting for a Dr. Nick Riviera diagnosis as he is for gutting it out to help the team.

I don't think it's fair and I totally disagree with it, but that's what it is.

#28 cmathewson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:28 AM

Of course I've heard Mauer booed. I've been to games where he went 0-5 and left runners all over the place. How does that prove anyone hates him? They cheer when he does well, they boo that rare game where he sucks. that doesn't prove they hate him at all. sometimes people are "commenting" on the moment, not the person/history. I think people forget that, a lot.

And yes, reading the comments on the STrib is probably not a good indication of how most MN feel, I'd guess. They make me look like a glass 150% full guy.


I'm not saying most, I'm saying some. It is a vocal minority, of which I take the Strib comments to be representative.
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#29 gunnarthor

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

I posted this in the forums section:

I like Mauer but he's never been or will be my favorite player. It just *seems* like he should be better. Part of that is because he does everything so effortlessly - really quite in the batter's box, no wasted movement. Doesn't seem excited (which is why my all time favorite Mauer play was him jumping and tagging out Gardner at home plate in NY). He's physically bigger than Morneau yet he doesn't seem to *want* to hit homeruns. He doesn't seem to let the situation affect him - usually this is good but sometimes it's bad. In a late game, I'd rather Mauer tried to get a hit of a situational lefty rather than take a walk and let the next guy face a shutdown relief pitcher, something that happens quite a bit. He also *seems* tone deaf - esp in 2011 - towards fans and teammates. I hate reading things that suggests that he's "just one of the guys." That drives me nuts.


But the guy was, at his best, one of the 5 best players in baseball over several seasons. Seems hard to nit-pick that. It'll be interesting to see if he can be one of the 5 best first basemen this year. My guess is that he puts up a series of pretty quite - high onbase, low counting stats - but solid 4 WAR seasons the next few years and that Sano/Buxton become the face of the franchise and Mauer remains under rated in Twins history. He won't be the best player on our team the next time we have a winning season.

#30 Dave_MN

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:33 AM

Barreiro is pot-stirrer #1 when it comes to getting people riled up about Mauer. The "How Long Would Mauer Milk It?" bit may have been a laugh at first, but it has become more venomous as the years have passed. I'm not sure what he's trying to do exactly, but I sometimes wonder what his reaction would be if Joe left town for another team. Would he stick to his guns, or would he go full-hypocrite on it and blast the Twins?

#31 cmathewson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

I think the injury was a big turning point that made people dig in their heels even more. Like it or not, that quacky diagnosis and bizarre handling of the injury reinforced the idea that Joe is soft and doesn't want to be a superstar in anything more than pay. It deepened the idea that he's just as content to get 0-1 as a basehit, or just as content winning 60 as he is a World Series, or just as content sitting for a Dr. Nick Riviera diagnosis as he is for gutting it out to help the team.

I don't think it's fair and I totally disagree with it, but that's what it is.


This. The first thing Ryan did was fire the head trainer, who was the gas leak that set off a firestorm of criticism from blowhards like Barreiro. He was the one who called it "bilateral leg weakness," which sounds like it's cause by a lack of training. It was really a flare up of his knee injury that caused him to favor that leg and strain the other.
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#32 slash129

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

Minnesota fans love an underdog, a guy with limited ability that makes them think they might have done that, but for some lame excuse.


... and this seeps right down from the high school to elementary baseball at least in Bloomington where I live .... I can't even count the number of coaches and assistant coaches that have told me they would "just love to take a kid who didn't have much skill and have him do something great in baseball". Rarely, but sometimes, I hear something along the lines of: "That kid has a ton of skill, if he can just get the right coaching he could do something great."

#33 D. Hocking

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

Barreiro is pot-stirrer #1 when it comes to getting people riled up about Mauer.


I have not listened to Barreiro for awhile, but I remember thinking there almost seemed to be some personal undertones (or overtones) in his Mauer criticism. He is a radio talking head, so he does always need to stay objective, but his anti-Mauer stance still seemed strangely personal at times.

#34 Cris E

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:42 AM

Barreiro and Reusse are tired, lazy and need to produce sounds for hours at a stretch almost daily. Mauer works for their purposes because he's well-liked enough to draw defenders and disappointing enough to make some people pause. When people blame individuals for team failures they are over-simplifying, especially over a series of 160+ game seasons.

#35 cmathewson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:42 AM

What he doesn't have under his belt is something edgy about him. He doesn't have a profanity-laced tirade to his teammates after a Game 1 loss. There's no video of him owning a gatorade cooler after whiffing on an important at bat. The worst thing about him is he's as exciting as a glass of milk. So I think the media likes to stake out contrary positions and get him going just for the sake of doing it.


Yep. It's bad enough that he makes it look so easy on the field, but off the field, he's so squeaky clean, he makes us all look bad. Marrying his high school best friend and conceiving twins on his honeymoon is just more evidence that he's trying to live a virtuous life. How dare he show us all up!
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#36 Willihammer

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:00 AM

Mauer is like the Lyoto Machida of baseball. Machida is a one time light heavyweight champ, currently ranked #4 in the world (as a middleweight).

What Machida does is dance around the ring for the first 4:45 of every round dodging blows and avoiding contact. Then in the final 15 seconds he picks a spot, and takes down his opponent or sticks him with a hard kick to the body, and ends up winning the round with the judges. He repeats this for the next 2 (or 4) rounds, and wins all his fights by decision. His fights are long and unexciting, but Machida is extremely successful with this strategy. But fans disdain him becuase they want to see knockouts, not smart tactics.

Likewise, fans want to see Mauer, and players in general, hit home runs. Strategy be damned. Mauer obviously doesn't do that, he takes long at bats and then walks or singles (or rolls over a soft ground ball to 2nd base). Its an equally successful approach. Just, not very entertaining.

#37 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

Barreiro and Reusse are tired, lazy and need to produce sounds for hours at a stretch almost daily. Mauer works for their purposes because he's well-liked enough to draw defenders and disappointing enough to make some people pause. When people blame individuals for team failures they are over-simplifying, especially over a series of 160+ game seasons.


Really? You know they are lazy? Sounds like the unfair Mauer criticism you are saying they make.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#38 Pjmcnally

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

I agree with much of the article, Mauer is criticized far too much for silly reasons (usually).

However, I disagree with the criticism that, "He hasn't been able to stay on the field, which isn't really his fault -- a punishing position and bad luck have been chief culprits -- but remains a mark against him."

If you look at all catchers from 2005 to 2013 Joe Mauer is third on the list for games played. The only two people ahead of him are A.J. Pierzynski and Yadier Molina. If you include 2004 (The year Mauer was shut down early due to a knee injury he only drops to 4th). People don't seem to understand the difficulty of playing catcher and that no one does it every day.

I know that Mauer isn't a catcher anymore. It will be interesting to see if he can play more games this year. If he misses more time the criticism may become more valid.

#39 twinswon1991

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

As a 1b Joe is nothing more than an overpaid James Loney. As a catcher he was the best in the game.

This FO is pathetic! They coddle guys like Joe and surround him with nice guys who can't play a lick. Terry Ryan should've been fired years ago when the game passed him bye but he is nice so he will continue to make this franchise a laughingstock for years to come. I am amazed how many slow-no defense guys TR can squeeze onto one roster! JUST SAD

#40 jharaldson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:29 AM

[quote name='cmathewson']This. The first thing Ryan did was fire the head trainer, who was the gas leak that set off a firestorm of criticism from blowhards like Barreiro. He was the one who called it "bilateral leg weakness," which sounds like it's cause by a lack of training. It was really a flare up of his knee injury that caused him to favor that leg and strain the other.[/QUOTE]

This is what bugs me about Mauer, can you show me a link to where he had a sit down interview with a beat reporter and discussed this? Where did he say "I suffered setbacks from my knee surgery that prevented me from training correctly and resulted in overuse of the other leg and leg strain?"

When I look up official reports on this I find:

December 2010
http://minnesota.twi...335884&c_id=min
[QUOTE][FONT=arial]Twins catcher Joe Mauer underwent a minor surgical procedure on his left knee recently, but he is expected to be ready to go by the start of Spring Training[/FONT][/QUOTE]

February 2 2010
http://minnesota.twi...ok_min&c_id=min
[QUOTE][FONT=arial]General manager Bill Smith confirmed that Mauer received a shot of medicine on Tuesday to help lubricate his knee joint. Smith said the club will proceed slowly with the All-Star catcher during Wednesday's first full-squad workout before "getting him back to full speed on Thursday."[/FONT][/QUOTE]

April 15, 2010
http://minnesota.twi...ws_mlb&c_id=mlb
[QUOTE][FONT=arial]"They said it was bilateral leg weakness, which is causing all kinds of soreness in his hips," Gardenhire said. "He's starting to get sore in other places, both his legs, his shoulder, his elbow, so we're just going to shut him down."[/FONT][/QUOTE]

During this whole time we get quotes about how Mauer should be ready and how minor everything was and then the Bilateral Leg Weakness hits and Mauer isn't willing to explain it. The only quotes I can find from that season from Joe are at the end where he is being combative about Walking Pneumonia:

September 27, 2011
http://www.startribu.../130605028.html
[QUOTE][FONT=Arial]Later when asked about concerns that he might have something more serious, Mauer said, "You started this interview off with a term I've never heard of [walking pneumonia]. People are going to put in their own two cents. ...[/FONT][/QUOTE]

I don't care about the dingers, the passive personality, the huge contract, ect...... but I do care that he showed almost no concern that entire season that fans actually want to know what is wrong with him. I am concerned that he allowed a vaccum to be created where all this random talk about lyme disease, aids, huge knee issues, ect... was created by the media because he couldn't do a couple of simple 5-10 minute interviews with a beat reporter and keep the media and public aware of what was going on.