Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Mystique of Mauer
There is something about Joe Mauer that separates him from the rest of the players in baseball. Is it his ability to hit the ball to all parts of the field? Is it his capacity to control a young up-and-coming pitching staff? Is it his defensive prowess behind the plate? Is it his mid-west background that gives him such a humble personality? The answer to all of these questions and more is a resounding YES! Mauer has brought a new dimension to a small market club. He is a legitimate superstar in a market that is not suppose to be able to keep superstars. Mauer's mystique has been growing since he was the first pick in the 2001 amateur draft and it will continue to grow as the Twins enter Target Field.
The storm gathering for the Minnesota Twins is whether or not the team will be able to afford Mr. MVP for the long-term. The news of this story has been swirling around all of baseball this off season. The larger market teams in New York and Boston have aging catchers that are in need of replacement. But the best thing for all of baseball will be if Joe Mauer stays in the market that he is currently located in.
The Twins have increased their revenue as they move across town to their new outdoor stadium. Having one of baseball's best players in a small market means that baseball is moving in the right direction. If the Twins are able to keep their superstars around and not break the bank, then why can't other teams follow in their footsteps? His contract situation with the Twins might be something that baseball historians look back on for years to come. This could be the turning point that allows future small market teams to stay competitive in a sport that greatly needs competitive balance between the weak and the strong. Mauer lasting impact might be as the best catcher to ever play the game or he may be remembered for the player that allowed small market teams to make it in the big market world. What will be the mystique of Mauer? Only time will tell...