There is nothing Minnesotan’s love more than Minnesotan’s who become famous. We see their movies, watch their TV shows and buy their products solely because they’re from here. It certainly isn’t a bad thing but is a niche to this area of the country. I shouldn’t even say celebrities. It should also include businesses, products, foods, anything. If it’s Minnesotan, it’s the greatest thing in the world.
Need proof of our infatuation with all things Minnesota? Okay.
We have a statue of Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis. Not because she’s from here, but because she played a fictional television character that LIVED in Minneapolis. That’s not a knock on ol’ Mary. She was super hot when she was a young Laura Petrie on the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” But could you imagine the city of Seattle giving a tip of the cap to Kelsey Grammar for all those wonderful years of playing Dr. Frasier Crane?
I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. If Adolph Hitler were from Minnesota, the average person here would comment, “Ya know, I’m not in favor of his Jew killing policy, but gosh he’s just such an inspirational speaker.”
Ranting and raving aside, we can love local celebrities, from Louie Anderson to Wally “The Beer Man.” Rachel Leigh Cook to Josh Hartnett. Richard Dean Anderson to Jesse Ventura. Crap, never mind I should’ve stopped while I was kind of ahead. But you get the drift. We can love our local favorites, but we are in the middle of no one who is going to make us prouder than “The Baseball Jesus” Joe Mauer
Eight years, 184 million dollars. St. Paul’s hometown kid has made good. I’m a fan of the deal Twins catcher Joe Mauer has signed. At $23 million per year for the next eight, Mauer is going to be one of the highest paid athletes and while rightfully deserved it does bring up more questions about the Twins and economics.
I’ve felt over the past few months that if the Twins sign Mauer to this contract it would just be a coo for the organization. A coo in the sense that they have their new ballpark, they would have their native son under contract so why bother going all out.
My belief was if you thought signing free agents like Craig Monroe, Butch Husky, Tony Batista and Adam Everett was bad; wait until you see the mutts they’d sign when one of the team’s players is making more than one-fifth the payroll.
Upon further review this isn’t entirely correct. My thoughts were the payroll was going to be at the $75 million range it’s been around but actually it’s going to be around $100 mil. That’s Lil’ Wayne type money!
So they’ll still have as much money lying around for payroll as they have in the past. Add in the added money they’ll be making off women buying new Joe Mauer pink t-shirt jerseys, revenue from price increases on concessions and merchandise and increased revenue from TV/Radio contracts and this deal is a no-brainer.
Add in that several million dollars will come off the books after the season when Nick Punto’s contract expires and Jim Thome (presumably) retires and they’ll still have some money to throw around.
The overlying criticism about the deal is that it’s a lot of money and a lot of years to commit to a catcher.
Hey, This isn’t just any catcher. This is Joe freakin’ Mauer.
ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer said this is a good deal for the first two years of the contract, then after that it’s a crapshoot. The Wall Street Journal’s Jonah Keri pontificated that there’s a 40% chance the Twins will end up regretting this deal.
Well what exactly is the worst-case scenario? It’d probably be Mauer having career ending injuries and be out of baseball by 2013. I think that’s highly unlikely.
Second-worst? A few years into the contract Mauer has to change positions. I’m sorry but I guess I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep is Joe Mauer was our starting third baseman in 2014 or playing first base/designated hitter the last couple of years of his run, because we all know Paul Molitor failed so miserably doing that for the Twins.
Third-worst? The Twins continue to make the playoffs, but don’t continue to develop minor league players like they have. Then they’ll have to rely on marketing Joe and the new ballpark to get fans in attendance.
So I feel Neyer’s analysis is flawed because Mauer CAN BE versatile
Keri’s analysis is fatally flawed because Joe Mauer is a hometown hero and will sell tickets to the new ballpark until the day he retires
My previous fear that they will not fully try to be competitive behind Joe and the new park isn’t realistic either.
This is a win for the organization, Joe Mauer, the fans and baseball. The only loser’s would have to be the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
Feel free to comment below. Part two tomorrow.