SportsNation Blog Archives Joe Mauer
Big-name players are put on waivers all the time, but when said big-name player is Joe Mauer, it's time to take notice. Mauer is making a lot of money and is the face of the Twins' franchise, but would it be better for the Twins to trade him?
No-hitters are rare and nifty and come with great celebrations; we get all of that. But when you get down to it, they aren't as rare as hitters going 5 for 5 and driving in seven runs at the plate. In fact, as ESPN Research helpfully point out, Twins star Joe Mauer became the third catcher ever to do just that during Monday's 19-1 shellacking of the Royals.
This hasn't even been Mauer's best season to date (although jumping from a .295 batting average to a .305 average in one night -- especially a night halfway through the season -- will do a lot to disguise that), but with the possible exception of Brian McCann in Atlanta, he's still the biggest offensive threat at his position. And as Mauer closes in on completing his sixth full season with the Twins, it seems fair to start wondering about his place among the position's all-time greats.
Linked by the Mississippi River, the 1987 World Series and presumably six degrees of Kevin Bacon, St. Louis and Minneapolis share something else when it comes to each city's respective baseball fans. A slight sense of dread every time someone mentions the soon-expiring contract of a star player (basketball fans in Cleveland can commiserate).
Arguably the two best players in baseball play close to the banks of the Mississippi, and perhaps not coincidentally, both mid-market teams involved seem to be in contention just about every season. But both the Cardinals' Albert Pujols and the Twins' Joe Mauer could conceivably test free agency within the next two seasons (after 2010 for Mauer and after 2011 for Pujols).
The good news for fans in Minnesota is the Twins and Mauer's agent are reportedly talking about an extension before the start of the season. But if it came down to it, which player means more to a franchise?
Give me the odds, realistically, that Bryce Harper becomes a better player than Joe Mauer.
I wouldn't hang that on any 17-year-old. If Mauer's not the best player in the game right now, he's close. As good as Harper is, it would be an unfair comparison. And, for what it's worth, Mauer does just about everything easily, whereas Harper is more about the power and fury. Full Feb. 11 transcript
When it comes to the World Series, SportsNation is of one mind -- the Yankees will win but it won't come against Cliff Lee. (In fact, voters think if Lee had started Game 4 on short rest, we'd be waking up to a 2-2 series today). So with that settled, we move on to something else that happened Sunday. Namely, Derek Jeter winning the Hank Aaron Award as the American League's best offensive player, as voted by the fans.
The only problem? Jeter didn't lead the AL in batting average, hits, runs, home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, stolen bases or much of anything, really. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, one SportsNation resident, commenter MazGonzoBeckett, offered an explanation for Jeter's win.