Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Joe Mauer Should Not Be 2009 AL MVP

As another baseball season comes to a close, tis the season for the rumblings and grumblings of media folks and bloggers telling us which player should win what award.

Vote for Pujols for NL MVP! He is the second coming of (insert legendary player).

Vote for (Grienke, Sabathia, Verlander, etc, etc.) for AL Cy Young!

Vote for Coghlan for NL Rookie of the Year! He plays for the Marlins! Yes, they are still a team!

Perhaps the most discussed awards race so far is for the American League MVP. There is no dispute several players are having great years. Players such as Mark Teixiera, Kendry Morales, Carl Crawford, and Miguel Cabrera.

Despite the great years by these players, most columns have focused on one of two players, either the Yankees' Derek Jeter or the Twins' Joe Mauer.

Mauer has the support of numerous writers, bloggers, statisticians, and analysis web sites. He is leading in most offensive categories, from traditional stats like batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, to advanced SABRmetric measurements such as Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), OPS+, Win Shares, etc, etc, etc. He is also playing Gold Glove caliber defense at perhaps the toughest position in baseball: catcher.

Jeter has his own supporters in the baseball media, including writers, columnists, reporters, and other die-hard fans. Although Jeter's on-the-field numbers maybe not be as good as Mauer's, Jeter-backers advocate Jeter's intangibles, such as leadership, presence, and clutchiness. They even bring up the fact that he now holds the all-time record for hits by a Yankee.

From reading what has been written so far, you would think the battle is Mauer's stats versus Jeter's reputation and body of work. It is of course impossible to make this comparison. There is no way to match performance data with intangibles. None.

So far, the Mauer-backers have taken the lead in matching up the two candidates. They point out that Mauer beats Jeter in every category, bar none. It is their conclusion that because Mauer has better numbers, he should be MVP.

In response, the Jeter-backers call the Mauer-backers "nerds" and "stat geeks".

End of conversation, right?

As Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.

Where the Jeter-backers fail is that they don't level the playing field. They sit back and get destroyed by conceding that Mauer is having a better season. They never attempt to hold Mauer up to the standards they hold Jeter to. This is their Achilles Heel. They don't bring up the fact that while Jeter has led the pristine life of a living Yankee legend seemingly since birth, Mauer didn't become the man he is until after he put on a Twins uniform.

The bottom line is that Joe Mauer can't be trusted.

Before his professional baseball debut, Joe Mauer did something so heinous, so outrageous, and so destructive, it should be forever held against him during the consideration of any and all awards.

Joe Mauer turned his back on Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles.

Following his senior year in high school, Joe Mauer was the most highly recruited quarterback in the nation. According to reports, he won three national football player of the year awards, and had the poise and potential to be among the greatest ever.

One writer claimed, "it is possible that in 50 years people will sit around and talk about those who were football’s finest; they will speak of Sayers and Payton and Unitas and Montana and Marino, but they may very well save a sentence for someone else, and that someone might be Joe Mauer."

At the time, Florida State was the premier football program in the nation. They had come off three straight national championship appearances and were chock full of future NFL players. And they had Joe Mauer.

Mauer's verbal agreement that he would be wearing garnet and gold after high school made Florida State the number one recruiting class of 2001. Mauer was to fit in behind Chris Rix and compete with Adrian McPherson for future field general of the Seminoles. With hindsight being what it is, there was probably little doubt Mauer would have even taken the job from Rix before Rix's graduation. With Mauer, the Florida State dynasty was set to continue.

Then Mauer "turned down (his) football scholarship from Florida State University to enter the Major League Baseball Draft". Despite a verbal commitment, Mauer was off to play baseball. According to Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star, Bobby Bowden remained so enamored by Mauer's potential he claimed he would "keep a scholarship open for Mauer 12 years after he was done with baseball".

Would Derek Jeter dare break a verbal agreement of that magnitude? Although Jeter received a scholarship to play baseball in Michigan, there is no evidence he let the Wolverine program hang out to dry. Jeter is a class act and a gentleman. Had someone with Jeter's character and the skills of Mauer committed to FSU, there is little doubt he would have been a Seminole. He would have followed his word.

It is for that reason that I can not possibly endorse Joe Mauer for AL MVP. Mauer may have the statistical advantage, he may be the greatest player in the American League, and he may even be seven feet tall and shoot fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. But after what he did to Florida State University, Joe Mauer does not have the moral composition to be a most valuable player.

(This post was of course written by an FSU alumnus.)


MCBias said...

Wow, really?! I had no idea. Jordi, send this out to some blogs--this is quite the story, more people should read it!

One More Dying Quail said...

Maybe he can still go to FSU if this whole "base ball" thing doesn't work out.

NoleCC said...

He has until he's 40 at least... we like our old QBs at FSU.

Cathy said...

You've got to be kidding me? Lets see FSU - Major League Baseball draft? Tough call. Give the kid a break , he was 18 at the time. I can just imagine the pressure he was under. He will go down as one one the best catchers of all time. Oh yea , I'm a Twins Fan.

Anonymous said...

This is by far the dumbest article I have ever read in my 25 years of breathing the nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere on planet Earth. After 5 years of being the best catcher in all of baseball (not American baseball, ALL of baseball), you back Derek Jeter on the simple fact that the kid wanted to play America's pasttime instead of taking his chances at college football. You don't deserve to write anything on any subject matter. Your article has no discussion on Mauer's contribution to the Twins and his dedication to the game. I give Jeter all the credit in the world, but in 2009, Mauer is blowing Jeter out of the water. And for a Twins team that would be six feet under without him, that seems pretty valuable. Give me a f'n break. The Yanks would be just peachy without Jeter. They always make the playoffs. They always have 100 million fans. Give Joe some credit. He's the best hitter in baseball and has been the best hitter in baseball for the better part of the 21st century. You will never find a more humble, kind, and overall dedicated player than Joe Mauer. You should be ashamed. I'm not arguing he should be MVP. He's impressive, and he deserves to be in the chase, but this article mad me cry a bit. Seriously.

TJ said...

Above answer is spot on. If you're going to babble on about why Jeter deserves the MVP over Mauer let's go ahead and say that the decision to play baseball seems to be working out pretty well for Mauer. Also, Jeter has just slightly more media exposure and slightly better talent surrounding him....(NOTE THE SARCASM) If Mauer played in New York he would be the face of baseball itself. I'm sure he isn't looking back thinking damn if only I'd spent four years getting beaten into the ground for free..... Your argument is beyond idiocy. If Mauer doesn't win the MVP this year there should be riots in the streets of Minneapolis. That would be like handing Pujols' MVP to ... anyone else. Absolutely ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

... and that's how the sports world works. It's not as heinous as you make it out to be. Mauer was covering his bases (no pun intended). If in the end he decided football was his best option, he knew he had a place to play - and a good one at that. He chose to play baseball instead. When you are hands down the best player in each sport - it's YOUR decision to make. You hold all the cards.

Bowden is to be blamed for taking a risk on Mauer, knowing full well that he could at any time choose to play baseball instead, despite whatever verbal agreement he made as a high schooler. It's just like NBA teams who draft foreign players - they may or may not actually ever play for your team! But if the upside is good enough it's a risk often worth taking. Bowden did... and I can't fault him for it.

Again, this is just how the sports world works. You can't call Mauer out for making sure he had options in both sports - and you especially can't claim that this event should have any bearing on his obvious advantage in the AL MVP race.

His numbers are fantastic, but that isn't a nerd thing, it's baseball. We all know that Ichiro is a freak hitter. And Mauer has him beat in Batting Average by .016 and third place (Jeter) by .034. He's a catcher. That's insane! And they're not just numbers. You can see it on the field. He is always on base, pitchers don't know how to pitch him, he now hits for power, he walks, and he does it all on a team that doesn't have A-Rod, Texiera, Jeter or very good starting pitching. The Twins would be nowhere without Mauer. He's the best player in the AL and is more important to his team's success than any other player is to any other team in the AL. That is the definition of MVP.

Greg S said...

Definitely the last time I visit this page. I wish I had the time back I spent reading this stupid post.
Dear author, you're a moron. Though, I shouldn't be so harsh. I'm not too certain you aren't mentally retarded.

Sean said...

I second the last few're f'ing retarded and just wasted valuable internet surfing time out of my day. I hope you're happy...

Anonymous said...

jeez, wat a grudge holder. Ur article has absolutely nothing to convince others why Joe Mauer cant be MVP. He's a great talented guy, he can do watever he wants. Seriously, wat do u know abt him that makes u think he "does not have the moral composition to be a most valuable player"? While u r sitting here typing sth ridiculous he could be somewhere else making his hometown proud

Anonymous said...

That was the dumbest article I ever read... Good argument.. wow

Anonymous said...

Nice article you stupid fuck... you're a disgrace to Yankee fans and yourself. Joe Mauer IS the AL MVP.

Adam Chrestensen said...

As a Twins fan and a baseball fan, I'll be the first to admit I'm picking Mauer. I've sat around watching the Yankees 200+ Million Dollar a year team salary and the talent surrounding Derek Jeter suck up awards for years, but you have to ask yourself how much worse off would the Yanks be without the "DJ?"

Jeter deserves credit for a lot of things, but he doesn't deserve even 2nd place in the 2009 MVP votings (I'm not kidding just look at the stats, because that's what the MVP is all about. Even Mauer has turned a middle of the road Twins team to a division winning team and that's leadership but what do you know about baseball outside of New York).

Mauer's decision to become a professional baseball player over a college football player is really just a give in. When the Twins drafted Joe Mauer, Joe Mauer didn't even know until 20 minutes after the announcement was made to the MLBPA.

He told FSU before his verbal commitment (not a written commitment so it was legal for Mauer to change his mind)that if the Twins drafted him and only the Twins he'd take the contract with the Twins. FSU hands out scholarships and a risk of serious career ending injury. Where as the Twins can offer a 1.5 Million Dollar signing bonus and a 5 year contract, and if he gets hurt, he's got the best chance of treatment and great insurance.

So where do you get the idea that Mauer should never be able to get any award because he went pro instead of questionable success?

Post by Jordi "The bottom line is that Joe Mauer can't be trusted."

Sooooo, who the f@ck are you to judge that Mauer can't be trusted?
He's done more for his community then A-Rod would ever do with his un-teen million dollar a year conract. Mauer is active in Minnesota with children with Down Syndrom, Blindness, Childhood Cancers, and even Autism. So if he can't be trusted, why does he give his time and money to children?

Mauer went to Cretin-Durham Hall in St. Paul, MN. If your YANKEE team drafted you number 1 overall for millions of dollars wouldn't go? Difference is, you probably wouldn't fit in because you are too retarded.

Oh maybe you didn't hear. Mauer just signed a 4 year deal worth $33 Million. If Mauer wanted to play for money, he could have gotten $100 Million over 5 years or even more with the Yanks or Red Sox in 2010. But he made a promise to Minnesotan's that he would spend his career in Minnesota no matter what the cost. Sounds like a man that can't be trusted. He plays for the love of the game. Try asking Jeter for a pay cut.


soup said...

Ha. You have a lot of dumb people that comment on your blog. I don't think they realize you were being a bit facetious.

I'm a little embarrassed for my fellow Twins fans.

Anonymous said...

This article is clearly not to be taken seriously. I mean I certainly wouldn't think that anyone would ever try to imply that they know what is best for another person's life. Joe Mauer deserves 2009 AL MVP, and how dare anyone say otherwise. I would never say anyone who was up for the running didn't deserve it because that is downright disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

Dear Writer,

You are high. Did anyone ever say that Elway wasn't as good as he was in Denver because he turned his back on the baseball team that drafted him out of Stanford? No. Joe Mauer is the AL MVP for this one and only reason. What does MVP stand for? MOST VALUABLE PLAYER! Most Valuable Player to your team. Did the Twins win 100+ games like that of NYY? No. Did they have the league leading hitter, who also calls a good game behind the plate for most of the year? Yeah. They also don't have the hitters like A-Rod, Tex, Cano, Damon, and Posada. No, in MIN they have a streaky hitter in Young, good, but not great in Cuddyer, power hitting Kubel, and a one time, yet hurt toward the end of the season MVP candidate in Morneau. So don't give me all the BS that you are, about how he isn't trustworthy because he chose baseball over football. Now, with all that said, quit the debate, cuz I just stuck it to you. Give the AL MVP to the man that deserves it. Joe Mauer. He plays the most demanding position in baseball, still hit well over .340, had over 20 HR, and helped his team get to the playoffs. Thank you! Joe Mauer is your 2009 AL MVP.

Anonymous said...

this "writer" should probably be shot for such garbage. Not giving the best player in baseball credit when it is obviously deserved is childish and ridiculous, especially for that reason. he knew there was a chance that he would be able to play for his hometown team. If anyone of us had a chance to play for the team we grew up loving, we'd jump on the chance as well. so he chose baseball over football 8 years ago. get over it you whiny, crybaby, bedwetter.

JoeBraga said...


Anonymous said...

Oh brother, just when I thought I had read it all. Obviously this article IS well written. There are well made points on both sides, and to generate such a response from the idiot Twins fans that are trying to push Mauer as some kind of baseball demigod is ridiculous. A.) Derek Jeter is the Captain of a World Series team, B.) Mauer has what, 120 less at bats this year than Jeter?, C.) Jeter is ahead in many more major stats than Mauer came else to, like hits, games, runs, and stolen bases. For years the MVP was about home runs, and slugging percentage but in todays society has to embody the entire game. Truth is, Jeter was boned in '04, where he had far superior numbers and may apparently happen again. This year Jeter broke the all time Yankee hits record, got a golden glove, Roberto Climente award, AND a Silver Slugger award. Those are MVP credentials. Mauer is on the Dan MArino train, much as I like the guy, but career wise is probably not going to pan out. Far as being the best catcher in the AL, he certainly has put a remarkable couple years together, but longevity in the industry is what people remember. Everyone is aware of Jeter, tried and true; Mauer is just another McGuire character in the pond of MLB life, drowning on a team that literally sucks.

Anonymous said...

Mauer was hurt in the beggining of the year, so of course jeter would have more games in which he'd get more at bats and hits and runs, and MVP isn't won by stolen bases. And besides, you call these the major stats?? Not batting avg. or obp or slugging %- those are not important stats.... Oh yeah Mauer ALSO got a gold glove and a silver slugger award. And cool if jeter is #1 in all-time hits for the Yankees- that doesn't win MVP either. Its based on 2009 not the previous years. Not sure how you tie Mauer with Mr. steriods McGuire.. i think your thinking of A-Fraud.

Anonymous said...

I think Jeter wrote this article- and it sucks

Bryz said...


This is why I created a disclaimer on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

RACHEL said...

Wow.. you are an idiot.
Something he did 8 years ago affects his chances for the 2009 MVP? What the hell man?!
And FYI.. he told FSU that if the Twins drafted him, that's where he'd go, hence, it wasn't a signed contract.

Kyle Jahner said...

Wow. The way I read it, seems like commenters here have no idea what tongue-in-cheek is. HE'S NOT SERIOUS PEOPLE, just trying to have a little fun with an angle not many know about.

You people look for way too much wisdom in blogs, and if this is the dumbest thing on the internet you have ever seen, you need to look harder.

Now, on the other hand, and if you ARE serious, then yes, it's retarded. Mauer is the MVP, he will win and he should. Anyone else would be a travesty.

Eddie said...

i'm a jeter fan but you are either high or stupid or both

Cathy said...

The article may be tongue and cheek - but the writer must still harbor ill feelings or he wouldn't have bothered to write about it. I say save the tongue and cheek for fame/money hungry players like AROD. By the way - Have you heard who the AL MVP is?
And I guess sucky teams make it to the Palyoffs?????? What are all the teams that didn't make it?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the author of this story took a few hard hit line drives to the head when he was a kid. Nobody could write such garbage without a good excude.

Anonymous said...

wow i was on google and came accross this article. you are an idiot, thats the bottom line. who could turn down being drafted to their home town team even if they got a football scholarship? in case you haven't noticed mauer is probably the best player in the american league still. so he decided to ditch florida state, he still completely deserved that award. ya guess what i'm a twins fan and ya i would've done the same thing a million times over

Anonymous said...

Rather than sending this story to other blogs, please delete it from this one, as it's the second dumbest article I've ever read, right after the one that claimed no one cares about Dallas Braden's perfect game because real baseball fans would rather see an offensive showcase with a bunch of monster home runs. This is maybe the stupidest reason I've ever heard that someone shouldn't receieve an award. What the writers saw were his outstanding numbers. Not the fact that he backed out of a verbal agreement to play football somewhere. Who cares. Please do the world and yourself a favor and never write again.