Aug
18

Open Thread: Teixeira vs. Mauer

By

By now you’ve all heard and read about this silly little debate pitting the Yankee beatwriters against the rest of the free world, something that originally started out as a disagreement over UZR but has since evolved into a full blown MVP debate. Anybody who’s anybody has chimed in, including Rob Neyer, Joe Posnanski, and about a million others. Since we’re always fashionably late to these kinds of things, it’s time for us to chime in. Actually, no. It’s time for you guys to chime in.

We’re going to limit this little debate to Joe Mauer and Mark Teixeira since they’re the two most mentioned names, but don’t be mistaken, there are certainly plenty of other legit MVP candidates out there. Let’s look at some of the facts…

Mark Teixeira
Pros: tied for fourth in the league with a .941 OPS … second in the league with 30 homers … third in the league with 86 RBI … late inning heroics (13 homers in innings 7+) … outstanding defense at first … arguably the best player on the best team in the league
Cons: hit just .191-.328-.418 through the team’s first 32 games … significant home-road split (1.031 OPS at home, .853 on the road) … just fifth among first baseman with a 3.9 WAR

Joe Mauer
Pros: leads the AL in AVG (.380), OBP (.446), SLG (.637) and OPS (1.083) … hitting .403-.490-.727 with RISP … outstanding defense behind the dish … tie with Albert Pujols for the league league in WAR (6.2)
Cons: missed his team’s first 23 games due to injury … plays for a team 6.5 games out of a playoff spot

That’s obviously just some of the data, but enough to get a conversation started. Whether you’re an old school batting average and RBI guy or a new schooler who digs positional value and stuff like that, this isn’t such a cut and dry debate. So … who ya got?

* * *

Here’s your open thread for the night. The Mets and Braves are playing, but there doesn’t appear to be any games on the national networks. I hate west coast games. Anything goes here, just be nice.

Categories : Open Thread

278 Comments»

  1. pat says:

    Mauer’s only con is that he plays on a shitty team. Better offense and sparkling defense at a more difficult position.
    Advantage: Mauer

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Some argue that the Twins are like 6 games under.500 since Mauer returned. That’s flawed because without him, they’d be like at least 12-15 games under during that time period.

      • Exactly.

        Mark Teixeira plays on a team that has 8 pitchers who have made a start this year, and 6 of those 8 have ERA+s above 100. The only subaverage starters we’ve had this year are Wang (9 starts, 46 ERA+) and Mitre (6 starts, 74 ERA+).

        Joe Mauer plays on a team that has had 9 pitchers make a start this year, and only one of them–ONE of those NINE–has a ERA+ north of 100.

        That one, lone starter? Carl Pavano. No, seriously. His 3.21 ERA in his two Twins starts is the only sub 4.00 ERA amongst Twins starters.

        The other 8 members of their non-murderers row?
        Nick Blackburn – 4.29
        Francisco Liriano – 5.80
        Scott Baker – 4.54
        Glen Perkins – 5.89
        Kevin Slowey – 4.86
        Anthony Swarzak – 5.87
        Brian Duensing – 5.09
        R.A. Dickey – 4.62

    • Lanny says:

      Mauer is doing such a bang up job of being valuable that he has the Twins in 3rd place and under 500. Imagine if they didnt have him???

  2. Salty Buggah says:

    I hate West coast games too. It messes my whole schedule up. I have to stay up (though I shouldnt complain as much as the people who live in the East) and I have to wait forever for the game to start. I havent worked out since the roadtrip started because I go in the evening/night since I hate going in the day. Only tonight and tomorrow left (for now)!

  3. JMK says:

    Have to agree with Pat here. Mauer is one of the best catchers on defense, and is easily the best hitter in the AL. While Tex is putting up solid numbers with great defense on a first place team, Mauer still gets my vote (which counts for jack, of course).

  4. Tony says:

    I love Tex, I love the Yankees, but he should not be the MVP. Mauer looks like the answer right now, but that’s with the caveat that I’m not for players on bad teams winning it. If Minnesota goes into a complete tailspin I’d be looking elsewhere.

  5. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    Mauer is the answer anyway considering the offense, but throw in the position and how great he is at it, the answer is Mauer and it isn’t that close to me. Doesn’t have to denigrate the season Tex is having. But Mauer is clearly the superior candidate.

      • dkidd says:

        tex is the difference between the yankees and the red sox
        mauer is the difference between the twins and the indians

        it could change, but right now tex is my mvp.

        • The difference between the Yankees and Red Sox is 7 games. The difference between the Twins and the Indians is 10 games.

          • dkidd says:

            my point is mauer has a higher WAR than tex, but his games above replacement (in my view) are still less valuable than tex

            • What? So because the rest of Mauer’s team isn’t that great he should get punished for it? That’s like saying my 2.00 ERA isn’t as good as Johnny’s 4.00 ERA because I have 10 wins and he has 15.

              What is games above replacement anyway? The example you cited is flawed. Without Tex, the Yankees could probably still compete in the A.L. East. Without Joe Mauer, the Twins are probably a bottom feeder.

              • dkidd says:

                i’m just saying i personally prefer the award to go to a player who helped his team get into the post-season (or very close). i know it punishes players on bad teams, but andre dawson winning an mvp for a last place team seems wrong to me. i like the subjectivity and the discussions the mvp provokes. we could just give the award to the player with the highest war, but that would be no fun

                • And I agree with the last part you said. WAR punishes non-up the middle players; however, IMO, it’s far more objective and reasonable than saying because a team is bad a player should be punished. Why does the same logic not apply to the Cy Young?

                • Zack says:

                  “Why does the same logic not apply to the Cy Young?”

                  Well the Cy Young is for the best pitcher, the MVP is for the most valuable player (not strictly the best hitter)

                • Then in that case, I’d definitely say Grienke and Lincecum need to be thrown into the MVP discussion.

                • Zack says:

                  And they should. But voters use the “the Cy Young IS their MVP award” line

                • ledavidisrael says:

                  F the cy young.

                  Their should be an award for the man who controls the strike zone the best over a year. Hitter or pitcher.

                  And an mvp for each league.

                  That would be cool as shit

  6. Jake H says:

    What letter grade would you give this draft? I would say a B.

  7. Rich James says:

    i’m with the beat writers on WAR and UZR…

  8. Salty Buggah says:

    We shouldnt forget that besides Morneau, there is no one in that lineup that would instill fear in the opposing team so teams can pitch around those 2 yet they are still producing at an unbelievable level. They probably don’t get as many RBI chances because of the sucky players in that lineup. Tex, while he is playing incredibly, has 2 HOFers (A-rod and Jeter) and 2 borderline HOF guys (Posada and Damon) and occasionally 3 very good players (Swish, Cano and Matsui when others sit) around him in the lineup.

  9. Jamal G. says:

    This is the most cut-and-dry debate ever. There is no way anybody in the American League deserves the MVP award over a catcher who is the best hitter in said league.

    • Rich James says:

      i don’t think its that cut and dry…it comes down to how you define “most valuable” player.

      How can you consider a player “most” valuable in the league, on a team that is not contending?

      The Yankees are no where near the team they are now without Texieira…can you say that about Mauer?

      • ev says:

        Yes you can actually. They would be extremely worse without Mauer but at least they are still in the playoff hunt

      • Just because the team isn’t good doesn’t mean the player isn’t valuable. The Twins would probably be even farther below .500 w/o Joe Mauer. The Yankees could probably weather losing Teixeira much more easily than the Twins could weather losing Joe Mauer.

        • Rich James says:

          But the Twins aren’t good with Mauer…so how much value is he bringing to their team?

          The Twins are losing with or without Joe Mauer…

          this is a ageless question about whether nor not a MVP should come from a good team.

          • He’s bringing a lot of value to the team. He’s brought almost seven wins to their team above a replacement player this year with his play. Just because a team is bad it doesn’t make the players less valuable.

            • Rich James says:

              ok…here we go…this is the problem i have with WAR.

              Who is to say that the replacement player doesn’t play as good as mauer? How do you know that the Replacement player doesn’t give the twins 8 more wins then mauer does?

              You don’t

              • Because then he’d be the best player in baseball, not a replacement player.

              • Salty Buggah says:

                I dont think you understand what “replacement-level player” means…

              • The Fallen Phoenix says:

                Did you just say that a bench catcher could be as good as Joe Mauer, who is probably – by all accounts – the single-best player in the AL this year?

                Are you serious?

                I’m sorry, no offense to you, personally, but that’s just one of the most ridiculous claims I’ve ever read. Ever.

                • Rich James says:

                  i was exaggerating…have you people on this site every heard of such a thing?

                  exaggerate..its a verb..means to represent as greater than is actually the case.

          • ev says:

            I understand the argument, but Mauer has done just about all that can be done to help his team stay in the playoff race and thus has been the most valuable.

            It’s not his fault that Minnesota’s team ERA is 24th in the league (4.73).

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

              …or is it?

              :)

              • Zack says:

                if captain america was on that team the ERA would be 2.73- there’s a clear cut winner for MVP and we all know it- JASON VARITEK

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                  if captain america was on that team the ERA would be 2.73- there’s a clear cut winner for MVP and we all know it- JASON VARITEK

                  For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons.

                  Fixed.

            • Rich James says:

              i could respond by saying…”it is his fault..he is the catcher.” but i won’t b/c i know better.

              i understand what you are saying, just like you know what i’m saying…we just disagree! Bottomline

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Look at it this way. Minnesota is 6.5 games out of the division lead. Without Mauer, they’d be like 13-15 games out with a replacement level catcher. Without Tex, we’d have like a 2-4 game lead instead of a 7 game lead if we had a replacement level 1B (and Im being a bit generous too).

        • Rich James says:

          Ok…how bout this replacement player..

          You think the Yankees would be up in the division with Juan Miranda playing 1B everyday?

          • Well, let’s say that Miranda was playing EXACTLY at replacement level and everyone else on the Yankees was playing EXACTLY the same. That’s a difference of ~4 wins. The Yankees could, theoretically, still be 3 games up on Boston. A player’s team shouldn’t matter in a personal award.

            • Salty Buggah says:

              There it is. I agree completely with this.

            • Rich James says:

              you can NOT say that though….this is baseball…you can not say that someone will do EXACTLY this…or EXACTLY that. you don’t know!

              Thats why i feel WAR is a stupid stat.

              • You asked if I thought the Yankees could still be in the same spot w/o Tex and I answered. Yeah, they could. It’s highly doubtful that the Twins would be even as “good” as 6 games under .500 without Joe Mauer.

                • To make this more clear:

                  I believe that it is much more likely that the Yankees could compete w/o Tex than it is that the Twins could w/o Mauer.

                • Rich James says:

                  i would argue that the twins aren’t competing with Mauer…

                  we are not going to agree on this…so we might aswell tip our caps and move on to something else

                • Okay, let me make it more clear:

                  The Yankees could do much better without Tex than the Twins could without Mauer. They would be awful without Mauer. I understand we disagree but I feel that the reason you’re choosing Tex (arguably not even the most valuable Yankee) over Mauer is incredibly unfair. A player should not be punished in the race for a personal award because the players around him are not that good.

                • Rich James says:

                  in my honest opinion…i think the yankees would be in 3rd place if they didn’t have TEX.

                  i think his value on the team and the league is more then joe mauer’s.

                  sorry…if you think that is unfair i’m sorry.

                • Salty Buggah says:

                  I see what you’re trying to say but that is a wild wild assumption that the Yanks would be in 3rd without him. Minnesota could be close to last instead of 2nd if not for Mauer. I honestly, think the Yanks would still barely be in 1st place without Tex and there are actual stats, like them or not, that support that. But making an assumption like that without any supporting evidence is really useless.

                • Rich James says:

                  well…TEX was a FA pick up, so when i say “didnt have” TEX…i mean he isn’t on this team. as in….he is on the red sox. no way in hell he was going to the nats..O’s offer was garbage..and the only other team would be the red sox.

                  So the red sox have TEX…means come the deadline…Rays have v-mart. etc etc

                  Yankees have swisher and 1st…probably A-jax rushed to bigs in CF/RF…whoever is hitting in the 3 hole ain’t going to get anything to hit. etc etc.

                  the yankees would be in a deep mess if they didn’t have TEX.

                  the twins without Mauer would be…well they would be where they are now with joe…no playoffs.

                • in my honest opinion…i think the yankees would be in 3rd place if they didn’t have TEX.

                  i think his value on the team and the league is more then joe mauer’s.

                  sorry…if you think that is unfair i’m sorry.

                  Judge: Do you have any actual evidence to present?
                  Lionel Hutz: Your Honor, I have plenty of conjecture and hearsay… those are kinds of evidence…

                • Rich James says:

                  meant to say 4 hole

                • I’m sorry, Rich, no. What other roster permutations could have happened in the free agent winter preceding the season should have ZERO input on the MVP race.

                  None.

                • Rich James says:

                  Mark Teixeira signing a deal with the new york yankees,instead of the boston red sox, had a great input into the MVP race!

                  do you disagree?

                • Do I disagree with things that don’t make sense?

                  Yes. I disagree with things that don’t make sense.

                  If Mark Teixiera had signed with the Red Sox instead of the Yankees, and the Red Sox had a record of 74-45 and we had a record of 66-51, that huge swing in the standings would mean that you were correct in your analysis that Tex is really valuable to the Yankees and would be really valuable to the Red Sox in this alternate universe.

                  And, Yankee Mark Teixeira and Alternate Universe Red Sock Mark Teixeira are both still less deserving than Twin Joe Mauer.

                  What happened in December 2008 is irrelevant and moot to the discussion at hand. Joe Mauer is the 2009 MVP. He would be the 2009 MVP irrespective of where Mark Teixeira signed and irrespective of any ripple effects of that signing or non-signing on the Yankees or Red Sox.

                  Moot.

              • Salty Buggah says:

                Well, a replacement-level player is used in theory. If Pujols replaces a Tex, it doesnt mean he’s a replacement level player. You are taking the term too literally.

          • Bruno says:

            replacement player = league average

            • No, league average > replacement player. Melky Cabrera is league average. Cody Ransom is a replacement player. A replacement player is about 80% of a league average player.

              • Exactly.

                Take Joe Mauer off the Twins and make their fulltime catcher Kevin Cash.

                They’d be the Nationals.

                • Rich James says:

                  Take Joe Mauer and put him on the Nationals…what are they?

                  The Twins?

                  either way..Joe Mauer isn’t valuable enough to get a team to the playoffs.

                  even if you put joe mauer on the yankees he wouldn’t be as valuable to them as TEX is…atleast i don’t think so.

                • Neither is Mark Teixeira; no player is valuable enough to get his team to the playoffs by himself. Should Albert Pujols not have won the award last year because the Cardinals missed the playoffs?

                • Rich James says:

                  in my opinion…no…i though Ryan Howard was more valuable to his team then Pujols.

                • Rich James says:

                  i mean..no..Pujols should not have won the MVP imo.

                • Why do you think that? Because the Phils made the playoffs and the Cards didn’t?

                • http://www.firejoemorgan.com/2.....nough.html

                  Pujols >>>>>>>>>>>> Howard
                  and
                  Mauer >>>>>>>>>>>>> Teixeira

                  It’s not fair to punish Joe Mauer because his pitching staff consists of:
                  Nick Blackburn – 4.29
                  Francisco Liriano – 5.80
                  Scott Baker – 4.54
                  Glen Perkins – 5.89
                  Kevin Slowey – 4.86
                  Anthony Swarzak – 5.87
                  Brian Duensing – 5.09
                  R.A. Dickey – 4.62

                  Joe Mauer isn’t valuable enough to get a team to the playoffs.

                  Jesus Christ could come down from heaven, play SS for the Twins, bat .1000/.1000/.4000 and the Twins still wouldn’t get into the playoffs. Your standard is an impossible one by definition. No player in the history of baseball has ever been valuable enough to singlehandedly make his team a playoff team, not even Babe Ruth in his prime. According to your logic, they should just never ever hand out the MVP award, because nobody is valuable.

                  even if you put joe mauer on the yankees he wouldn’t be as valuable to them as TEX is…atleast i don’t think so.

                  That doesn’t make sense. At all. That’s seriously the craziest thing I’ve heard in months.

                • While we’re on the subject, it is criminal that Ryan Howard consistently gets more MVP love than Chase Utley.

                • And, yeah, a +1 on what TSJC said. To say that Mauer, with his current year, would be less valuable to the Yankees than Tex, with his current year is just insane. Dare I say…batshit insane?

                • Rich James says:

                  partly yes… but imo the MVP isn’t always the guy with the best stats…which pujols was last year clearly.

                  i thought Howard was more valuable to his team then Pujols was…down the stretch Howard hit the cover off the ball when his team needed it most and his team made it to the playoffs by a small margin.

                • So one month late in the season is enough to win him an award? That’s ridiculous. One month should not outweigh an entire season of good play. Ryan Howard was arguably his team’s third most valuable player (behind Utley and Rollins).

                • wmd's 2234 says:

                  i kinda agree with what rich is saying and kinda don’t

                  Put Mauer on the Yankees and he would be what tex is. I don’t think he would be more valuable then TEX would. But he wouldn’t be less valuable either.

                • Yes, he would be much more valuable than Tex. He is having a better season than Tex in almost every possible way.

                • Rich James says:

                  What?? jimmy rollins was more valuable then Ryan Howard????

                  We can debate Chase Utley…thats fine…but Jimmy Rollins is a joke!

                • down the stretch Howard hit the cover off the ball when his team needed it most and his team made it to the playoffs by a small margin.

                  Ryan Howard, August and September, 2008:
                  .276/.370/.638

                  Albert Pujols, August and September, 2008:
                  .363/.461/.725

                • You do realize there’s more to baseball than offense, right? Rollins hit at an above average clip last season (103 OPS+) and played incredible defense last year (15.0 UZR/150).

                  And, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no debate; I take Utley every day of the week and three times on Sunday.

                • Rich James says:

                  Ryan Howard September 2008
                  .352/.422/.852..11 HRs, 32 RBI

                  Fat Albert September 2008
                  .321/.427/.702..8 HRs 27 RBI

                  you know september…the month before october..when the playoffs are played.

                • Rich James says:

                  Jimmy Rollins hit .277, 11 HRs, 59 RBI

                  Ryan Howard hit .251, 48 HRs, 146 RBI

                  Howard’s OPS+ was +21 to Rollins…Howard’s SLG was more..etc etc.

                  now defense matters…but it don’t matter enough to take away from those lopsided numbers

                • Do games count more in Sept. than they do in April? What if I have an average May-Sept. but a kickass April that propels my team into a wire-to-wire first place season? Should I win MVP on the strength of that one month that got my team into the playoffs?

                • It wouldn’t matter if they played the same position, but Rollins plays arguably the most important defensive position on the field and that defense is incredibly, incredibly important.

  10. JMK says:

    Considering the response so far, are we collectively at RAB the few rational Yankees fans out there? I see questions like “Who is the greatest shortstop ever?”on YES, and Honus Wagner gets 8% of the vote or something like that. Not saying Jeter isn’t a fantastic HOF shortstop, but I’m not sure he’s the greatest shortstop ever and Wagner certainly merits more than 8% of the vote, different era or not.

    On an unrelated note, I’m thinking of changing my sn on here to “Billy Martin’s Liver”.

  11. Salty Buggah says:

    BTW, I know we can’t call posters idiots but can I call Brett “Farve” (some dumb people on Twitter) an idiot for returning…again?

    Brett Favre is an idiot.

    • Why is he an idiot, though? Seriously? Okay, he’s not a PR guru, but is him playing in Minnesota really that bad for his legacy?

      20 years later, this will be a tiny, tiny footnote.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Ok, so he isn’t an idiot. It’s just getting annoying with this drama. Maybe its because he’s one of my favorite players making a fool of himself with this retiring and un-retiring crap even if it reasonable as he’s following his heart.

        • Fair enough.

          Again, he’s making a fool of himself… right now.

          20 years later, nobody will care. He’ll be in countless NFL Films slo-mo reels in Packer Green and Yellow and the breif jaunts through the Meadowlands and the Metrodome will barely be mentioned.

          Unless he wins a title for the Vikings this year, which is gravy. It’s basically no-risk, all reward.

    • Bruno says:

      He’s getting $12m this year. I wish I was that kind of idiot.

  12. Jake H says:

    E60 tonight has story on Pat V.

  13. Mike bk says:

    Mauer.

    since this is an open thread i would sort of take this back to last nights discussion and joke that Jason Stark must read these boards since he is now talking about implementing a hockey type system on the draft where you can control rights while players go to college.

    • JMK says:

      It would be really nice to think Stark has the good sense to read RAB. Everything I’ve read from him tells me he’s a total idiot. Any commentators/analysts on ESPN you think are worth their weight? I can’t think of any with the exception of K. Law and Eric Davis (because the man is the Emmitt Smith of MLB commentary).

      • Bruno says:

        Everyone on ESPN in relation to baseball is a complete moron. They’re pretty good when it comes to football, and “replacement-level” for basketball. But baseball-wise they’re teh suxor.

  14. mike HC says:

    My non existant vote goes to Jeter. I doubt he will actually win it, but I believe he should.

  15. Jose says:

    Mauer shouldn’t win the MVP award, he plays for a sub .500 team. How valuable can he really be? The award has to go to someone on a contender.

  16. rrrii says:

    Kind of hard to argue against Mauer (as much as I love Teix). Mauer plays the tougher position, doesn’t have the talent around him that Teix has, and has better numbers than Teix (leading the league in BA, OBP, and SLG % is kind of sick). Plus, Teix has had sooooooo many RBI opps, of course that counting stat is going to look good.

    Lastly, sure, the Twins are 6.5 games out, so I guess the argument there is that they’re not in hunt with him so his production doesn’t really matter. But the Yanks are 7 games up. You could make a similar argument — that the Yanks would be in first (maybe by a game or two) without Teixeira.

  17. Drew says:

    Gotta be Mauer.

  18. I think the stats and even the much-maligned naked eye support Mauer, no question.

  19. Salty Buggah says:

    Damnit Romero, you beat us but not Boston!

    Bos up 2-0 in Toronto with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out (thanks to a Nick Green K-out)

  20. Grammar Nazi says:

    assuming that the league league should have meant league lead, he is still not tied with pujols as pujols plays in the NL. its hard not to vote for mauer though given his season. im tempted to look for texiera though because of what he has meant to the yanks. jeter has a good shot too. the guys at nomaaas.org are agaisnt tex but i think some of these new age fans rely too heavily on stats and not enough on what they see.

  21. Kiersten says:

    As much as I’d love to say Teixeira, the numbers Mauer is putting up are ridiculous AND he’s a catcher. Tex is awesome at 1B, but we all know it’s the easiest position on the field, while catcher is the toughest, and Mauer’s a great defender as well.

    • Kiersten says:

      I should read the replies before I comment. I said basically the same thing as everybody else.

      But I also want to add that Teixeira should steal it from Mauer as payback for Morneau stealing it from Jeter. Because in my mind I STILL confuse Mauer and Morneau and they are the same person. And it kills me a little bit that Pedroia has an MVP and Jeter does not.

  22. Ivan says:

    Y don’t the MVP award change to M.O.P. (Most outstanding Player)

    I just think that the MVP in a sport like Baseball where individual statistics is immensely significant and etc really should just change the name in my opinion.

    Basketball and Football is understanable to use “MVP” where baseball I think it should be change to M.O.P.

    • Kiersten says:

      But MOP sounds ridiculous.

      Player of the Year works.

    • Tony says:

      Because it’s the MVP. I have NO IDEA why this bothers people so much. The award criteria is vague for a reason. Deal with it, move on.

      • Kiersten says:

        It bothers people because you have half of the writers voting for the most valuable players and half of them voting for the best players. While there is some overlap, these are pretty much two different things.

        For instance, IMO, Teixeira is the best Yankee in 09, but A-Rod is the most valuable considering how the team turned around upon his return.

      • The Artist says:

        I agree. There are all sorts of other awards (Silver Slugger, Triple Crown, etc) for various batting categories, the MVP is supposed to be an award to recognize the best player who may not have led the league in one category, but was very high across the board. Not a difficult idea to grasp.

  23. Where is the metric or stat that determines how much of Jeter’s and Cani’s improved defense Tex is responsible for?

  24. Salty Buggah says:

    So far I’ve said that Mauer deserves the MVP over Tex. However, I definitely wouldn’t mind if Tex wins a MVP since he’s a Yankee. It would cement, for a while at least, fans liking him unlike A-rod who is hated even with 2 MVPs.

    I think if we win the WS this year, many average Yankees fans are going to think it was Tex alone that won it. Oh well, i wont care as long as we win it.

  25. Jake H says:

    Jayson stark wrote an article saying the draft is broken. What is funny is that the Royals spent the most ever on the draft until the Nats broke that this year. Before the Royals Arizona did.

    Stark says that Strasburg got more money then almost anyone in last years free agency. The guy got 15 million over 4 years not 15 million a year. The guy has no cluse. Slotting isn’t going to do anything but make the owners not have to open up their wallets.

    • Zack says:

      Ha, if he said that second part thats pretty dumb.

    • The Artist says:

      If he wants to scrap the current system and make them all free agents like the good old days, that’s fine by me.

      To be honest, the entire drafting system in almost every sport is simply a way to screw young players out of money they would otherwise get if there was a free and open marketplace. I wouldn’t shed a tear if it was gone, and just as the Yankees don’t get every good IFA player, they wouldn’t get all the good draftees either. The whole process is so speculative nobody really knows who the good MLB players are, except in rare cases.

      • To be honest, the entire drafting system in almost every sport is simply a way to screw young players out of money they would otherwise get if there was a free and open marketplace.

        No. The screwing young players out of money is an unintented (but probably beneficial) consequence of the actual reason drafts exist, which is to ensure that talent is spread around and that good players can be forced to go to bad teams.

        Professional sports leagues that don’t have any measures to ensure parity at all tend to struggle and fail, because sports leagues need all their teams to be able to compete in order to ensure quality and fan interest across the sport.

        • The Artist says:

          Which is why Baseball from the late 1800s to the 1960′s failed, and no longer exists.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            But competitive balance didn’t exactly abound. Almost all the prospects went to the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, and Cardinals.

            How did the St. Louis Browns do? The Washington Senators? The Cubs (last team to have a farm system)? The Phillies?

            That’s not to say that that amateur free agency ensures competitive imbalance, but it can get ugly, even though the Yankees can’t sign all the good talent for lack of spots.

            • The Artist says:

              You unintentionally made my point for me. Back then they had the Senators, Browns and Cubs. Now we have the Pirates, Royals, and Nats. Nothing’s changed.

              You could set up all the drafts, revenue sharing and luxury taxes you want. Its always been about management and their willingness to do whatever necessary to win.

              • Accent Shallow says:

                Not necessarily — if the draft was in place over that time period, all those teams would have been in a much better place; they would have been guaranteed first shot at the top amateur talent, as opposed to having no shot at signing, say, Mickey Mantle, because they were lousy.

                The fairest way to distribute talent for teams is a draft, with bonuses low enough to prevent teams passing on talent, either due to slotting or low demands.

                Of course, bad management decisions are universal — hence the Pirates leaking that they passed on Wieters because they didn’t believe he could stay at catcher.

          • Touche.

            However, baseball pre-1920 had far less competition for the national stage, and post-1920 had an antitrust exemption. Those things help a lot.

            But yeah, a lack of a draft didn’t kill baseball in the past, and removing it now probably wouldn’t kill baseball now.

            I do think that removing a draft wouldn’t help the sport, though, it would hurt it. Just because baseball survived from 1870-1960 without lights in the stadium doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go back to day baseball only.

      • Bruno says:

        Rookies should not get more than established vets (see Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, Mark Prior). The NBA does the draft perfectly, lottery and all. Having the worst record doesn’t guarantee the top pick, and salary for the picks is pre-determined.

        • The Artist says:

          I can’t imagine a system where teams have an incentive to lose could be described as “perfect”. A race to the bottom is the antithesis of what sports is all about.

        • Jake H says:

          But remember that this is just a bonus not 15 million a year 15 million over 4 years pretty much. Plus it isn’t as if he is a guy off the street. He is the most can’t miss prospect. I think he was the only guy to get a major league contract for a pitcher.

          • The Artist says:

            Boras is 100% right on one thing. If Steven Strasburg was allowed to market his services freely to all 30 teams, he would have received a bonus of around 40-50 mil. Easy.

            • Accent Shallow says:

              And is that necessarily a good thing? It’s a good thing for Strasburg, his family, and amateurs in general, but is it good for baseball?

  26. vin says:

    Perhaps the better question is who, besides Mauer, should be AL MVP? Morneau has very similar #’s to Tex. Also, Youkilis has had a fine season (although he’s missed some time). You could also throw Miguel Cabrera and Kendry Morales into the mix as well.

  27. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    Pat Venditte on ESPN right now.

  28. kevin says:

    e60 has a special on pat venditte

    Is there actually a chance he has to make to it the show?

  29. OmgZombies! says:

    The Yankee fan in me wants Tex to win mainly because its revenge for Jeter losing to Morneau.

    • Doug says:

      Same, but the baseball fan in me admits that Mauer is having a historic season and that eye for an eye leaves the world blind or something like that.

  30. Here’s another fun fact with more basic stats:

    Mark Teixeira has 86 RBI through 523 PAs. The average player with that many PAs has 60 RBI. That’s a +26 advantage, and is clearly very good. However, Tex has had 362 runners on base while he’s batted whereas the average player has had 329 runners on base.

    Joe Mauer has 73 RBI through 405 PA. Average: 46. Mauer’s had 228 runners on base and the average player w/405 PA has had 255. Mauer’s doing serious damage with limited resources.

  31. Peedlum says:

    Wonder if this story about Jack Cust questioning the Mitchell report will get any traction. . . .

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/.....-baseball/

    • The Artist says:

      And further down that line of thinking WHY WAS THERE NO TOLEDO MUD HENS, HUH? IS IT THAT THE MAYOR OF TOLEDO SERVED IN CONGRESS WITH MITCHELL AND THE TWO KNEW EACH OTHER IN PASSING?

    • Zack says:

      ‘”Mr. Cust was invited to meet with us to respond to the evidence that we had received, and he declined to do so. In conducting the investigation and preparing the report, we followed the evidence wherever it led without any predisposition for or against any player or team,” he said.’

      And that was the laywer’s response. Basically, oh you didnt meet and talk with us? Then it must all be true and you’re guilty.

  32. Evan says:

    Yikes, Lowe has allowed 8 hits in the 4th inning.

  33. baba o'riley says:

    Mauer is the best hitter in the AL. He is also (probably) the best defender at the toughest position on the diamond. 1920 Babe Ruth would have his hands full getting the Twins to the postseason this year. Mauer’s the guy, no question.

    • 1920 Babe Ruth would have his hands full getting the Twins to the postseason this year. Mauer’s the guy, no question.

      That’s a good point. Forget position for a moment and imagine that Mauer is the Twins first baseman and Morneau is their catcher.

      Then, in your mind’s eye, flip-flop Tex and Mauer. Mark Teixeira is now the Twins first baseman, and Joe Mauer is our first baseman.

      We’d still have the best record in baseball. Probably have a better one, to be frank. And the Twins, with Morneau and Tex as the heart of their lineup, would still be 11 games back of the wildcard.

      Meaning that even if Mauer didn’t have a huge positional advantage over Tex (which he does), it’s hard to say that he’s less worthy of the MVP over Tex just because he plays for the Twins.

  34. The Artist says:

    Is Tex even the best player on the Yankees?

    Alex did miss 6 weeks, if you pro-rate his stats (which is actually very easy A-Rod has 300 ABs/Tex 450 ABs) you simply increase all of Alex’s numbers by 50% to match the number of opportunities Tex has had that he hasn’t.

    Tex

    H-129 HR-30 RBI-86 BB-65

    Pro-rated A-Rod

    H-129 HR-31 RBI-95 BB-91

    It’s surprisingly close.

    • baba o'riley says:

      Not to mention that 2009 Tex, while very valuable for the club, isn’t even having his best year. Out of his 7 seasons, 2009 ranks 4th best by OPS. I love the guy, but his production this year is about where I expected it to be when we signed him. MVP is a reach.

    • Bruno says:

      It’s not surprising.

  35. Charlie says:

    For me its definitely Tex over Mauer. You can’t miss a month of the season and win the MVP IMO. Mauer’s great though

  36. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I like the slogan of the track and field’s World Championships:

    “Have A Good Time”

    Very poignant.

  37. wilcymoore says:

    My MVP vote goes to Jeter. Seriously.

    Wait, I don’t have an MVP vote? Well, it’d be Jeter if I could vote. Don’t think Jeter’s got a chance? Alright, between Teixeira and Mauer I’d have to say Mauer. 23 games missed or not, Mauer is having a spectacular season and is probably farther in front of anyone at catcher in the AL, then any other American League position player is in front of his competitors at that position. (I imagine Mauer’s WAR proves this out, but I haven’t checked his WAR … I think it’s self-evident.)

    As for the business about what position the Twins are in, I could care less. The notion that a player’s team’s performance is relevant to his MVP candidacy is – in most instances – ridiculous. That’s certainly the case for Mauer. The Twins would be WAY worse off without him.

    • The Artist says:

      Jeter’s ship sailed a few years back. It’s hard to imagine him getting an MVP at this point of his career.

      Personally, I never cared whether he got one or not. He’s a First ballot HOF either way, and anyone who knows what Jeter has always been all about knows its not numbers or his own personal milestones. He’s the Bill Russell to the Yanks, let other guys be the Wilt Chamberlain-types and win the awards, but not the rings.

      • Jersey says:

        It’s like Sydney Lumet winning a lifetime Oscar but never getting Best Director.

      • wilcymoore says:

        No, I know, you’re probably right. But Jeter is having a remarkable year, especially since some of the cognoscenti intoned at the start of the season: “No team has ever won a World Championship with a 35-year-old shortstop.”

        I think Jeter is almost taken for granted at this point. If the Yankees had to perform this season without Jeter or without Teixeira, whose loss would hurt them worse? I love Teixeira, but I think Jeter’s absence would be the more harmful.

    • Tony says:

      “As for the business about what position the Twins are in, I could care less. The notion that a player’s team’s performance is relevant to his MVP candidacy is – in most instances – ridiculous.”

      This pisses me off… a lot. Who gave you, Rob Neyer, Bill James, Tyler Kepner, etc. the right to re-define the award? Vote based on how it is written. No one cares about Joe Blow’s personal interpretation of that (intentionally vague) definition. Go become a BBWAA member, wait your 15 years or whatever it is, vote, and shut up about it.

      (I’m using the royal “you”)

  38. Accent Shallow says:

    I think you guys are too harsh on Melky — he’s about a league average CF, which isn’t too bad.

    He’s the weakest link in the offense, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of in this lineup.

    (I also found the pining for Mike Cameron funny, especially since two weeks ago, they had the same OPS. Let’s wait until the end of the season, shall we?)

  39. ShuutoHeat says:

    A bit off topic, but the Sux “ace” Beckett just gave up a 2 run bomb to Barajas for the tie.

  40. Bruno says:

    Website for baseball contracts?

  41. Zack says:

    Nice to see Beckett got blowed out tonight
    Damn Toronto blew, ah blown out Beckett

    /emmitt’d

  42. Aj says:

    Wow Toronto came back from 7-3.

  43. Fun with the MLE Calculator from Minor League Splits:

    If Mauer played for the Yankees:
    .388/.459/.650, 23 HR, 76 RBI in 358 AB

    If Tex played for the Twins:
    .280/.380/.546, 29 HR, 84 RBI in 452 AB

  44. The Artist says:

    “08.17.2009 Whatever you say, Johnny

    When he’s not urinating on UZR, Tyler Kepner is writing solid articles for the NY Times. In his latest piece, T-Kep offers quotes by free agent to-be, Johnny Damon, indicating he doesn’t want to leave the Yankees:

    “I don’t know where else I would want to go to,” Damon said. “Obviously, that’s not the right thing to say when you’re about ready to approach free agency, but I’m very happy with playing in New York, and my family’s happy I play for New York. There’s no bigger place to go. If you play well here, you’re going to get paid. New York has the resources.

    “But we also have the chance to win every year. I don’t want to attempt to go make more money elsewhere, for more years, with a chance to be out of the race by the first of June.” (Source)

    Oh Johnny, sincerity isn’t exactly a strong suit of yours.

    April 2005:

    “There’s no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard. It’s definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It’s not what I need.” (Source) ”

    http://www.nomaas.org/

    Ouch.

    • Drew says:

      Eh, he didn’t know the braintrust in Boston was going to completely dick him over. He probably wouldn’t have let a few mil keep him from returning to Boston. I think they only wanted to give him like 2 years if I remember correctly. That’s a WHOLEEEEE lotta dough.

      • The Artist says:

        I think that you’re thinking of Pedro. Theo offered Johnny 4 years 40 mil, Yanks offered 4 years 52 mil.

        • Drew says:

          Oh okay. Yeah I thought it was a 2 yr offer. Still, 12 million is a whole lotta dough.. lol

          • Whitey14 says:

            Even with Pedro they eventually offered the 4th year. However in his case, he really didn’t believe they’d ever offer it, which is why I think he asked for it. He was ready to leave and go elsewhere because he didn’t like playing 2nd fiddle to Schilling. Then he ended up looking like shit when he refused it because it was supposedly what was holding the deal up.

    • wilcymoore says:

      Being a bit hard on Johnny there, aren’t we? I believe he was an active in-season member of the Red Sox when he was quoted saying he’d never go to the Yankees.

      Frankly, he didn’t sound all that convincing when he said it … but what would you expect him to say during the season?? – “Oh, yes, I’d love to leave Boston and go to the Yankees. I’ve always wanted to play there.”

  45. Teix is the Man says:

    America Runs on Varitek
    -Boston Dirt Dogs’d

    • Haha, that’s great.

    • Zack says:

      “”He [Drew] said to me in the [ninth], he goes, I don’t know if I can finish this game. I said, look at the scorecard, you have to. We already put a pitcher in to run. That’s all we had to do was put somebody out there in right – like a circus. So we’re trying to take care of him for a couple days.’’ — Terry Francona, taking Drew out via the media, so he’s seriously sick of this, and he wants you to know”

      Wow looks like the manager is having problems with the veterans! First Lowell upset with his benchings and now throwing JD under the bus?

  46. Bruno says:

    Zito the pitcher: sign me up.

    Zito the contract: nevermind.
    ’10:$18.5M, ’11:$18.5M, ’12:$19M, ’13:$20M, ’14:$18M club option ($7M buyout) option vests with 200 IP in 2013 or 400 IP in 2012-13 or 600 IP 2011-13 if 2014 option vests, Zito may opt out & receive $3.5M buyout

    It seemed like a good idea in my head, then my eyes corrected me.

  47. Accent Shallow says:

    In re: our minor league catching depth.

    I often see people question the Yankees having lots of catching prospects in the low minors, and they’re generally dismissed, because “you can never have enough up-the-middle talent.”

    I agree with that, but only to a point. I’m not entirely sure that in this case you can lump C in with SS and CF. A guy who can’t hack CF can be moved off, and be a plus defender in left or right. A guy who can’t hack short can be moved to 3B, 2B, or the outfield, and probably be plus or at least average there. A guy who can’t play a good defensive catcher isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be even average defensively at the two positions catchers are moved to — 1B and 3B.

    So while minor league depth is a good thing, having lots of catchers isn’t the same as having lots of shortstops or centerfielders.

  48. Moshe Mandel says:

    Just a note from a Packers fan.

    1) Favre can change his mind all he wants. It has nothing to do with staying in the spotlight, or anything like that. Great players have trouble giving up the game, because they always think they can still be great. Favre was great as little as two years ago.

    2) That being said, what the hell, Brett? The Vikings? That would be like Jeter going to the Red Sox to end his career. Idiot.

    • Zack says:

      I heard Jared Allen give an interview prior to training camp and he said he wouldnt be cool with Favre coming in after everyone else went through two-a-days and everything. I want to see what he says now

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I hope that he stinks and loses his job to Tavaris Jackson.

        • Zack says:

          I never hated him until the last 3 years.
          But what even bugs me more is when people say that if Favre was in GB last year they would have made the playoffs- yet fail to mention Rogers had better numbers with a defense that disappeared

      • Yankee1010 says:

        Kerry Rhodes called him out for the same reason. After last year, he basically said that if Favre wants to come back, no more of his half-ass BS – he has to be there throughout the OTAs and all of training camp.

        I can’t (well, I guess I can) believe that he pulled the same BS again.

    • That being said, what the hell, Brett? The Vikings? That would be like Jeter going to the Red Sox to end his career. Idiot.

      And yet, I bet you that if Jeter signed a three year deal with the Sox from 2011-2013, we’d all feel icky about it… and 20 years later, we’d still love Jeter.

      As long as Favre and the team make nicey-nice after his career is over, it can all be water under the bridge. I predict that when they have the Packers 1996 SuperBowl 25th anniversary lovefest in Lambeau in 2021, Favre is there and the Cheeseheads shower love on him, even if he leads the Vikings to the title this year.

    • wilcymoore says:

      +1

  49. Yankee1010 says:

    Casey Janssen isn’t exactly covering himself in glory right now. Someone might want to help him with all of that puke all over himself.

  50. ShuutoHeat says:

    DAMN THAT WILD THROW, friggin sux in the lead.

  51. The Artist says:

    Lots of tidbits in this LoHud update

    “UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: Matsui is back and says he feels better. … Brett Gardner saw the doctor today and was told he needs to keep the split on his thumb on for another week. So his return is delayed. … Sergio Mitre will work out of the bullpen until he starts again later this month. … Girardi claimed their was a possibility Damaso Marte will be activated on Friday. That would certainly be a surprise. … Girardi, who is buddies with Mike Singletary, went to see the 49ers-Raiders scrimmage this morning. The manager was a QB and SS in high school.”

  52. wilcymoore says:

    I see the Royals demoted Alex Gordon to AAA. To replace him on the 25-man they activated Kyle Farnsworth. Now that’s a demotion!

  53. Lanny says:

    I guess its not possible to actually play out the next 50 games before we vote for MVP’s and everything.

  54. Whitey14 says:

    I am extremely impressed with the lack of bias most of you have used in debating the answer to the MVP question. I do not say that tongue in cheek either. I’m guessing there are many Red Sox fans who would vote Mauer, just to vote Mauer, which is both ignorant and wrong. You should take each player’s statistics and accomlishments for the given season into account and determine who has the most “Value” to his team. That’s what the award is for. The “Best” player, gets the Player of the Year Award.

  55. Matt Vorwald says:

    Simple solution for you simple-minded Teixeira bandwagoners…

    Hypothetical: If the Yankees traded straight-up 1-for-1 Teixeira for Mauer, which team would be getting the better deal?

    Clearly, the Yankees would be getting a better deal. Mauer does everything and more that Teixeira does offensively, and would make the NY lineup even stronger. Teixeira would cause the Twins to decrease in offensive production, even if just slightly. And defensively, it would be a disaster for the Twins.

    Mauer could–quite easily–perform 1st base duties for the Yankees at a comparable level to Teixeira. This is not even up for debate.

    In the hypothetical deal, the Twins would be getting absolutely screwed, which is why it would never ever ever ever happen. Why? BECAUSE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS THAT MAUER > TEIXEIRA. There’s your value.

  56. Charley says:

    I would pick Mauer. Teixeira was in a major funk until magically A-Rod returned and he suddenly got better pitches to hit. If Teixeira wins MVP then it should be a co-award with A-Rod because he wouldn’t have gotten it without him this year.

    Charley
    Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame
    hawk4thehall blogspot

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