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Thread: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

      
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    Default Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    I agree with Ron Cook about zero percent of the time but he is spot on here.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10082/1044881-87.stm

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Blocked here....can someone post the text?
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Agreed. Cook is dead on it with that article.

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Here you go.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10082/1044881-87.stm

    Somebody asked me Monday if I could imagine the Pirates ever stepping up and giving a star player a $23 million-a-year contract, as one of the other so-called small-market teams -- the Minnesota Twins -- just did with All-Star catcher Joe Mauer.

    My answer shocked me.

    "I sure as heck hope not."

    That from a guy who has spent the past 20 years screaming at the Pirates for not spending more on their product and getting exactly what they deserve -- the demise of a three-time division-winning club, then 17 consecutive seasons of losing with no end to that streak in sight.

    Sorry.

    The Mauer contract is lunacy.

    Not that I don't understand it.

    I know the extraordinary pressure on the Twins to do the deal. They are moving into a new, publicly financed stadium this season -- Target Field -- and needed a star player to anchor in it. Mauer, who turns 27 April 19, is a fabulous player -- a three-time batting champion, two-time Gold Glove winner and reigning American League Most Valuable Player. Beyond that, he is a hometown hero from St. Paul. Think of it this way: How would you feel if Sidney Crosby had been born in Bethel Park and the Penguins were about to lose him as a free agent? You would be ticked, right? You would feel cheated.

    Well, apparently, that's how they would have felt in the Twin Cities if the Twins hadn't stepped up to keep Mauer. At last check, a fan poll done by the Minneapolis Star Tribune showed that 68.7 percent of the voters described the contract as great news. Only 9.4 percent said they feared the team overpaid.

    Fans.

    I also know Mauer's eight-year, $184 million contract is considered a bargain in many baseball circles. There has been speculation he would have started a frightening bidding war between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox if he became a free agent after the 2010 season. There was talk of a $30 million-a-year deal, maybe more.

    Those ****ed Yankees and Red Sox.

    But all of that doesn't make this a good contract for the Twins. Even if Mauer continues along a path that is headed to the Hall of Fame, it's hard to imagine the team being able to put enough winning players around him to contend for a championship. The Star Tribune projects the Twins' payroll for this season to be $97 million -- up from $65 million a year ago -- with Mauer due to make $12.5 million in the final year of his current contract. For next season, the paper reports the club already has $70.5 million committed to just eight players. Good luck to 'em trying to fill out the rest of the roster while keeping the payroll from soaring to dangerous numbers.

    And that's the best-case scenario.

    The Twins aren't the Yankees, who not only can afford to give Alex Rodriguez $275 million and Derek Jeter $189 million, but also can afford to be wrong about those contracts. There's no way the Twins can afford for the Mauer deal to turn out badly, especially because they included a full no-trade clause for him. If it does go wrong -- if he underachieves or gets hurt -- it will set their franchise back at least a decade.

    I watched it happen when the Pirates way overpaid to re-sign catcher Jason Kendall.

    It was before the 2001 season. The Pirates were moving into publicly financed PNC Park and promised to keep their best players. Kendall was, by far, the most popular guy on the team. He hit .320 and scored 112 runs in 2000. He played all out, all the time. The Pirates offered him a six-year, $60 million contract to keep him from becoming a free agent. "I wasn't going to say no. I might be dumb, but I'm not stupid," Kendall said last summer.

    Unfortunately, Kendall never lived up to the money.

    Sadly, the Pirates still haven't really recovered.

    That's the enormous risk a team takes when it pays one player such a high percentage of its payroll.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep hollering at the Pirates to spend more on their major league product. Owner Bob Nutting has said he will do just that when the team becomes a little more competitive, if it ever does. He has promised to keep not only his best players, but to add the necessary pieces to build a contender. We should do our best to hold him to his word.

    But we shouldn't expect Nutting to ever give an Andrew McCutchen or a Pedro Alvarez 25 percent of the team's payroll.

    We shouldn't want that.

    That's not just bad business.

    That's crazy.

    Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author
    First published on March 23, 2010 at 12:00 am

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    I agree with Ron Cook about zero percent of the time but he is spot on here.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10082/1044881-87.stm

    The Kendall/Mauer comparision is striking is so many ways. Both teams moving into a new stadium, both having a catcher as the franchise face, both in a no-win situation to sign him. But what I don't get is why these owners continute to operate without a salary cap. Basically it makes 2/3 of the teams farm teams for the Yanks/Sox/Mets. I doubt Mauer makes it through 1/2 of the contract before he is traded, then what? As a Pirate fan it is another dose of the real fact that Pedro and Cutch have zero chance of ever being signed by the Pirates and I can't even blame them. Peter King wrote he paid $10 for hot chocolate last year in Yankee Stadium. In a down economy let alone a good one, how can anyone afford that? Also with contracts like this there is no chance of a salary cap ever. $23 million a year, what would Johnny Bench have made?

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Thanks.
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Who the hell replaced Ron Cook with a real journalist? That must be Ron Cook's token good article for the year.. Scary that he even mentioned Kendall's contract after I brought that up in another thread talking about this contract. it was the first thing I thought of.
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    The Kendall/Mauer comparision is striking is so many ways. Both teams moving into a new stadium, both having a catcher as the franchise face, both in a no-win situation to sign him. But what I don't get is why these owners continute to operate without a salary cap. Basically it makes 2/3 of the teams farm teams for the Yanks/Sox/Mets. I doubt Mauer makes it through 1/2 of the contract before he is traded, then what? As a Pirate fan it is another dose of the real fact that Pedro and Cutch have zero chance of ever being signed by the Pirates and I can't even blame them. Peter King wrote he paid $10 for hot chocolate last year in Yankee Stadium. In a down economy let alone a good one, how can anyone afford that? Also with contracts like this there is no chance of a salary cap ever. $23 million a year, what would Johnny Bench have made?
    Difference is, of course, that the Twins have other players. The Pirates had virtually nothing except Kendall. Also, Mauer is way better than Kendall, way, way better.

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    Difference is, of course, that the Twins have other players. The Pirates had virtually nothing except Kendall. Also, Mauer is way better than Kendall, way, way better.
    Not enough. The Twins roster isn't great and they've now just ate up 25% of their payroll on 1 player. The Twins and A's have been good models as far as teams that are in small markets who find ways to have winning records but they are also teams that haven't really achieved much more than that. I'd personally take it but this Mauer deal seems to go against everything the Twins were about.
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    The Kendall/Mauer comparision is striking is so many ways. Both teams moving into a new stadium, both having a catcher as the franchise face, both in a no-win situation to sign him. But what I don't get is why these owners continute to operate without a salary cap. Basically it makes 2/3 of the teams farm teams for the Yanks/Sox/Mets. I doubt Mauer makes it through 1/2 of the contract before he is traded, then what? As a Pirate fan it is another dose of the real fact that Pedro and Cutch have zero chance of ever being signed by the Pirates and I can't even blame them. Peter King wrote he paid $10 for hot chocolate last year in Yankee Stadium. In a down economy let alone a good one, how can anyone afford that? Also with contracts like this there is no chance of a salary cap ever. $23 million a year, what would Johnny Bench have made?
    6 years 60 million for Kendall is a terrible decision even in comparison to this one. If Kendall...THEN...was worth 10M per year...NOW with the increase in contracts etc...then Joe Mauer is worth MUCH more.

    Joe Mauer is better both offensively and defensively than Jason Kendall ever was...if any catcher deserves it it would be Mauer...look at what he's accomplished by the age of 26.

    Furthermore, IF he can continue to do what he's been doing when he's 30-32 and in the prime of his career this contract is going to look GOOD. Even with this contract if they continue to draft well and develop talent well in the minors they can have great success...

    You also have to look at this in respect to their OTHER moves:

    1) Justin Morneau, resigned in 2008 to a 6 year 80M extension. Thats a pretty good contract
    2) Michael Cuddyer resigned in 2008 for 3 years at 24M which is also a good contract.
    3) They also signed Joe Nathan to a pretty reasonable contract--although with the injury he has now you have to be worried about his continued health
    4) They control some of their other good players for years at a discounted rate---Liriano, Kubel, Blackburn, Baker, Slowey etc.
    5) They also have a fairly good minor league system: Four players in BA top 100 (Hicks, Ramos, Gibson, Sano)

    Does it suck that they were almost forced to spend THAT much to keep Mauer b/c there isn't a cap which can keep the best players of small-to-mid market teams WITH those teams? Yes...is it likely ****ing? No...although anything can happen I guess (he could get hurt and never play again and that would suck but that could happen with any player).
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Not enough. The Twins roster isn't great and they've now just ate up 25% of their payroll on 1 player. [HIGH-LIGHT]The Twins and A's have been good models as far as teams that are in small markets who find ways to have winning records but they are also teams that haven't really achieved much more than that.[/HIGH-LIGHT] I'd personally take it but this Mauer deal seems to go against everything the Twins were about.
    I will say, though, that just having a winning record brings people out to the ball park. I do believe that both the Twins and A's have historically had pretty darn good turnout which helps be able to spend to acquire and keep elite talent. People need to remember that Mauer is still relatively young.

    For comparison:
    -Alvarez would have to win three batting titles AND win two gold gloves AND have an MVP trophy in the next four years to accomplish what Mauer has by the same age
    -Albert Pujols is possibly the only player who in the MLB now who has accomplished more quicker than Mauer
    -Ryan Howard hasn't accomplished as much and he's 30
    -ARod might not have accomplished as much

    It is weird that he makes more than Pujols though LOL.
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    I will say, though, that just having a winning record brings people out to the ball park. I do believe that both the Twins and A's have historically had pretty darn good turnout which helps be able to spend to acquire and keep elite talent. People need to remember that Mauer is still relatively young.

    For comparison:
    -Alvarez would have to win three batting titles AND win two gold gloves AND have an MVP trophy in the next four years to accomplish what Mauer has by the same age
    -Albert Pujols is possibly the only player who in the MLB now who has accomplished more quicker than Mauer
    -Ryan Howard hasn't accomplished as much and he's 30
    -ARod might not have accomplished as much

    It is weird that he makes more than Pujols though LOL.
    No doubt that people = revenue. you need to build the people first to build up those revenues through attendence and such to get to the point where the Twins are today especially entering a new stadium...

    Still doesn't make spending 25% of your payroll on 1 player the best best decision for your franchise. The Twins had no choice, they had to sign Mauer to avoid the negative PR going into a new stadium.

    I mean, this could work for the Twins. It's all about having enough of the other pieces on the team to surround that one big Core piece. If it at least keeps the Twins winning then that's all that matters since the Twins haven't and really weren't heading towards a World Series crowning. This contract doesn't really make them better either IMO but barring injury shouldn't make them worse.

    The one good thing is that when Mauer's career hits his 30's when the possible injuries from catching appear and what not, the Twins could have a DH who is likely to hit .300 for most of his career. Mauer can flat out hit with ease
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    I was checking out a Metro list ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_population

    Minnesota has a decent sized metro area. Now, since Pohland's kids have taken over the team, the Twins have been spending more money, questionable whether that extra revenue was there all along.

    Peter Gammon's ran a piece the other day from what I'm reading that he mentioned the Minneapolis area growing and said that the Twins were really no longer a small market team that they were more on par with say the Mariners and Cardinals as an upper middle market. You figure the Twins have a huge area to pool from with the entire state of Minnesota and The Dakotas and Iowa. Gammons mentioned something about the Twins being able to possibly handle a $100+ million payroll.
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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    is that mauer money his hometown discount? Good lord i hope not. Of course with the way other teams will spend money, and the lack of any sort of payroll ceiling why bother. Who cares if you tank your hometown team for a decade. As long as you get enough money to make sure your 3rd or 4th generation lineage has enough to live comfortably, or atleast have enough to blow on hookers and drugs after your dead. Of course i cant wait to read "Selig, the man who helped bankrupt baseball" headlines in 15 or 20 years. Maybe the govt will cut them a check for 4 trillion when that time comes, you know, lot of jobs at stake there, and you dont want the stadium market falling out.

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    Default Re: Ron Cook on Joe Mauer and the Pirates

    27 years old, AL MVP, 2 Gold Gloves, 3 time AL Batting champion, bearly quadruppled his power njumbers as he entered his prime at the age of 26 with a ridiculous 1.000+ OPS ...

    Joe Mauer hit just about everything perfectly at a point when it was time to get a new contract. There was no way that Mauer wasn't going to get big time money and if you think about it... Had the Red sox and Yankees or some other large market team gotten a hold of Mauer, he'd be making more. In a way, the Twins sort of got a discount compared to what Mauer likely gets in the free agent market.

    I was curious that with the Twins moving to an outdoor ball park and grass, how that would affect Mauer since he's played half of his MLB career at least on astro turf in a climate controlled dome..... Makes no difference. Mauer's offensive stats are ridiculously good across the board. He hits anywhere.
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