Monday, July 2, 2012

Joe Mauer, All Star

Joe Mauer bangs out another base hit, this time
wearing a Minneapolis Millers throwback uni.
I suspect he would rather the Twins
had gone with a St. Paul Saints throwback.
Of course Joe Mauer is the Twins' All-Star.

I generally have little interest in who makes the All-Star team; the selection system is sufficiently flawed and the player interest in the game sufficiently weak that I can't get emotionally connected to the game.

But as a purely practical matter,  making Mauer the lone Twins selection is the obvious choice.

First, let's deal with the "lone" bit. The Twins have had the worst record in the American League for most of the season. They're not getting multiple selectees. It's silly to see them talking about a fifth (or more) of the roster deserving to go. Mauer, Josh Willingham, Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Denard Span, Scott Diamond ... all have been, more or less seriously, cited as legitimate candidates.

It's a bad team. The won-lost record says so. Bad teams don't have five All-Stars.

This is different than last season, when Michael Cuddyer was a mercy selection. Mauer leads the league in on-base percentage, the single most important offensive statistic. Willingham is having a career season. Neither would be an obvious weak link on the roster.

But there are plenty of outfield candidates as good or better than Willingham. Catcher is a different story.

And, to be blunt about it, the people complaining Sunday on Twitter about Mauer's selection were simply willfully ignorant.


  1. Mauer has been quite the disappointment the last few years. He's lost his focus and I'm frightened that it will never come back.

  2. Despite last year, Mauer is still one of the very best ballplayers in the majors, and he deserves to go almost by default. Willingham is a classic slugger, and I love watching him hit. His play in left is no better than average, and he has to try hard to get to that level. But he plays his heart out. He'll probably make it to an ASG a few times over his career. What about Plouffe? Does his recent hot streak make him an all star? Don't hold your breath. But if hitting homers becomes his new norm, he'll be there sooner or later.