Sunday's Star Tribune included a long, front-page profile of one of Minnesota's most famous sons: Joe Mauer. (It's not online, at least not yet; I encourage you to try to find a copy of the front page from yesterday.)
Now, Mauer is the blandest quote in team history; "Hey, guys" qualifies as a major clubhouse outburst. As you might expect, Jim Souhan had to talk to pretty much everyone else that knows Joe - parents, grandparents, friends, barbers, Justin Morneau, Mike Redmond - to round out the story.
I'd be surprised if there was a single Twins fan anywhere who disliked Mauer - He's such a nice kid! Modest! One of us! He lives in St. Paul and still sees his family and hangs out with his same friends! He's such a nice boy, that Joe! - so any suggestion that he might leave for another team when his contract is up is generally met with blind terror. And this article wasn't short on such quotes, from Morneau:
"We've been so close at the deadline so many times. If he feels like we're content being that team that is just good enough not to loose, but everybody is going to have to have a career year for us to scrape into the playoffs, I think that's going to affect his decision a lot.
"It's frustrating going out every day and hearing that 'We want to win a World Series,' and then not seeing more aggressiveness. I think something like that is going to affect his decision more than the value of the contract. We've already got all the money we're ever going to need."
It's the All-Star break, which gives us a chance to step back from the day-to-day, and to speculate on the future - in this case, future events that are nearly two years off. Let's say, theoretically, that Mauer ditches Minnesota, presumably for what he feels is a better chance to win (not to mention a mountain of cash). The poll: in this case, who do you blame?