Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spit-take! Mauer's MVP.

Baby Jesus wins MVP with crazy good numbers.  Here's some of the latest from around the world on our hometown hero's big award:

  • Patrick Reusse at the Star Tribune presents a hat-in-hand apology for his accusations in 2001.  Sort of. While Mauer's 2006 season should have satisfied even the stubborn of defenders of the draft-Prior crowd, the MVP award finally allows the crusty columnist to offer up a sincere apology...but then quickly disguised his folly in the same camp as those that insist on relocating Mauer from behind the plate: "You betcha, we members of the draft-Prior crowd were morons, although no more so than the na├»ve media types and masses of civilians insisting the wise course for the Twins was to move Mauer from behind the plate." Mr. Reusse, you drink your medicine and you drink it alone! 
  • It is an amazing turn around for Mauer from a year ago.  According to John Shipley's write-up at the Pioneer Press, Justin Morneau told reporters that his back was in such rough shape last November that Mauer could not get out of his car.
  • ESPN Rise, a magazine dedicated to all things high school sports, proclaimed Mauer the best high school athlete this decade in spite of playing just two years of sports (2000-2001).  
  • Confident that SI columnist Joe Posnanski has a man-crush on the Twins organization in general, starting with a bromance with manager Ron Gardenhire, Pos submits one of his patented curiously long posts dedicate to anointing Mauer the most coveted players on the planet - more so than Albert Pujols, but for good reason.  
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweeted that the lone reporter that did not view Mauer as the league's MVP was Keizo Konishi. Konishi, a Seattle-based writer who declared Miguel Cabrera to be the league's most valueable player, will forever be known as the guy who did not understand what he was voting for.  Apparently, he was voting for "Most Likely to Get in a Drunken Knife Fight with Wife".
  • CBS Sports baseball writer Scott Miller heavily encourages the Twins to lock up Mauer now.  Like many national columnists, Miller placates the locals and resorts to Minnesota cliches like "when in the name of Lake Minnetonka...", "more Minnesotan than ice fishing..." and "maple-syrup coated voice".  That said, I would describe Miller's writing as "less substance than all of the CIS shows combined".  
  • Joe Christensen explores Mauer's current contract extension atmosphere with the Twins' front office.  Reportedly, the Twins are in contact with his agent, Robert Shapiro (father of Indians' GM Mark Shapiro), and are driving to get a contract in place before Christmas.  While Mauer's annual average salary could easily hit the $20 million mark, Christensen compares the Twins plight to that of the Rockies where they signed first baseman Todd Helton to a dehabilitating nine-year, $141.5 million contact chewing up 30 percent of Colorado's payroll.  In a very similar market to Denver, the Twins could experience the same type of handcuffing the Rockies are shackled with every free agent season, forcing a trade a Matt Holiday before his free agent year.  However, it should be noted that the Rockies have remained competitive through a very rich farm system and solid ROI's on trades like Holiday. 
  • I'm probably not the only one that has had enough of the Yankees playing the role of the guy-who-thinks-he-can-get-any-girl-in-the-bar, but if you are not LoHud Valley News's Sam Borden lusts after the Minnesota catcher in Yankee pinstripes.  Adds Borden, "Mmm. Yeah. Get me some..."
  • Meanwhile, Pioneer Press columnist and amateur psychologist Charley "Shooter" Walters plays the Endorsement Card, suggesting that the lure of added revenue on top of the AAV from the Nikes and Gatorades will entice Mauer to uproot from the plains and land square in New York City.  Shooter's unfounded hypothesis needless will send Yankees fans into a tizzy, much like this one from the Subway Squawkers.  
  • The honorable Peter Gammons at ESPN proclaims that the Twins chances of retaining Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau is "unlikely".  While a trade is certainly not off the table in the ensuing year, Morneau is locked in through 2013 and Mauer's when-not-if contract should keep him in Minnesota until at minimum until 2017 so the duo would play at least three more seasons together.  I would be very surprised to see Morneau actually finish his contract in Minnesota.  At the end of Morneau's contract, the lefty would be moving into his age-33 season which is when hitters have already begun to have broken down (especially heavier first baseman-types with no where else to move to except DH).  While he could still be a dangerous hitter, Morneau's trade value to the Twins would probably far exceed his extension value particularly if Mauer's contract is 30 percent of the payroll.