Word out of Minnesota is that American League MVP Joe Mauer has reached
a 10-year contract agreement with the Twins. All that’s left to do is settle
on how deferred payments will be distributed.
That’s great news, and not just for Twins fans. It’s great news for all of
baseball that a small-market club seems like it will be able to hang on to a
superstar player throughout his prime.
It’s also pretty hopeful news for Cardinals fans as they nervously await the
fate of their own MVP, Albert Pujols.
How are small and medium market clubs expected to survive in an era of skyrocketing ticket prices and
stadium building contests when they can’t keep their star players A baseball team without a star is like a movie with a bunch of second-rate
It doesn’t matter how much promotion you do, how comfortable the
theater is or what sort of deal you get on popcorn if nobody wants to see the
Teams market their history and legacy to fans. That’s why there is a giant
statue of Stan Musial outside of Busch Stadium. What are the Royals supposed
Maybe they should build a monument with the inscription “Johnny Damon,
Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye all briefly played here until they became free
agents and skedaddled to greener pastures.”
In high school and college sports, they say the name on the front of the jersey is
more important than the one on the back. But that’s not as true in the
professional ranks. Incollege you know the players are going to be there for four
years or fewer,
so the team becomes the focus and the players are more annonymous. In the
pros, fans wearreplica jerseys with their favorite players’ names and numbers on
them. It demoralizes the fanbase to watch players cut their teeth in Pittsburgh,
Kansas City or Miami only to head for the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets as soon as they reach their peak.
So it’s good to see Mauer, a Twins fan and Minnesota native, value playing where
he is comfortable over grabbing for every last dollar he could get his hands on.
The amount of his
contract has not yet been revealed, but it’s probably going to be a huge discount
over what he could have got from the Yankees to replace the aging Jorge Posada.
I’m sure the Cardinals and their best player are watching this intently. Mauer’s
contract is likely going to be a major reference point for Pujols. Not only are the
players very comparable as the consensus top performers in their respective
leagues. But if
the Twins can afford to pay Mauer $200 million over 10 years, it’s going to be
hard for the Redbirds to justify not being able to afford a similar deal.
The Cardinals drew 3.34 million fans in 2009 while Minnesota brought in fewer
than 2.42 million in their last year at the Metrodome.
Hopefully, Pujols will sign a new deal soon — before he could become a free
agent after the 2011 season — that will build trend of superstars staying put.
Because, whileit would benefit the Cardinals the most, isn't it really best for
Dodgers, Red Sox and Mets to have formidable foes that will keep the pennant
Even if you’re on the winning side, at some point you get tired of watching the
same old story when you already know how it is going to end.