Let me start this post by saying I’m a big Joe Mauer fan. I like his bat, I like his sideburns, and I like that he even had twins of his own. I love imitating him in fake radio interviews, mostly because it pisses everyone off (Minus Dan and Jake [@Stubby2Cents]).
I also love his stats. He’s never hit below .287 for a season, and owns a career .321 BA through 2014. His batting average was good enough for him to win 3 Batting Championships, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and an MVP award in his 10 years as a professional baseballer.
While he was catching, he was one of the best around. Sure, injuries limited his playing time, yet more often than not, he was trying to do something to help the team. Mauer’s biggest knocks are that he’s not outspoken enough, and that he’s fragile.
I’ve never understood the hatred so many fans show towards Joe Mauer. You guys turn on him faster than a Minnesota winter. He’s a nice guy who’s actually quite good at baseball. He never gets into trouble, and says and does all the right things. He’s a team player, plain and simple. He wanted to stay here, and he did. Had he left, all of you would be screaming that the Twins made a huge mistake by letting him leave!
"Well he’s always hurt!" Okay, so are a lot of other players. Look at the amount of high caliber players that have been injured in their careers. Some even younger than Mauer, yet they command a high price tag and teams are still willing to pay it.
"He doesn’t lead the team like I want!" Yes, and you’re in the clubhouse how often? Don’t project your idea of a "team leader" on Mauer. If players are unhappy with him and his leadership, let them be the ones to say it.
"The Twins paid way too much for Mauer!" New York and Boston would’ve paid more. Let’s remove Mauer’s name from his credentials. By a show of hands: How many of you would salivate uncontrollably at the chance to get a player with 3 Batting Championships and an MVP Award? If you didn’t raise your hand, you’re just being an ******* for no reason.
"He doesn’t hit home runs, and we’re paying him how much money?!" The casual fan and rubes alike are guilty of this thought process. Home runs are fun to watch. They’re exciting, and most everyone equates loads of home runs to World Series championships. For example: Chris Davis led the league in home runs last season. He was 3rd in MVP voting, and the Orioles didn’t win the World Series. One guy mashing taters more often than not, does not a World Series bring.
The Twins are a work in progress. Joe Mauer is not the problem. Many of the guys around him are. How long did we try to Colabello experiment before it should’ve ended with his demotion? How long has Aaron Hicks toiled as a mediocre outfielder and hitter? The usual platoons of Parmelee, Florimon, Plouffe, etc. have been given more than enough time to prove themselves with the Twins, and have yet to impress. Terry Ryan and co. brought back Kubel, Bartlett, and Guerrier to play as well as some of our minor leaguers for a lot more money.
The issues with the Twins goes deeper than Mauer. Don’t nitpick one player when there are truly inept moves, and sub-par play going on around him.