And Mauer deserved to win it unanimously; the only award Miguel Cabrera, who got one first-place vote, deserved this year was for highest blood alcohol level at 6 a.m. (Speaking of which, I was in a defensive driving class last week to get my 10% car insurance discount, and I asked the instructor if, with that level, Cabrera would still be drunk during that night's game. The answer was yes. Yeah, that's an MVP performance, alright!)
At any rate, Mauer winning MVP, and Zack Greinke winning AL Cy Young over CC Sabathia, doesn't bother me. Look, I'd rather the Yankees have the World Series championship than the MVP any day of the week. Remember how joyless it was when A-Rod won MVP in 2005 and 2007, after those disappointing postseasons?
Besides, at the risk of sounding like an arrogant Yankee fan, Mauer will be in pinstripes soon enough. Yes, I'm calling it - Joe Mauer will be a New York Yankee in 2011, when he is a free agent. There will be one year left on Jorge Posada's contract then, but my guess is that he will be the DH, as Mauer takes over behind the plate.
Yeah, yeah, I know how Mauer is a local guy who wants to stay close to home. And that the Twins, with their new stadium, will want to keep him. I still say he will be a Yankee. How often has it happened in recent years that the Yanks targeted a free agent they wanted, only to have him reject the Yankees? Unless you count Andy Pettitte running off to Houston, which is a bit more complicated than that, the last time I can remember free agents dissing the Yanks for elsewhere were John Smoltz and Roger Clemens turning the Yanks down in 1996. And the Rocket had a change of heart two years later.
Remember, CC Sabathia supposedly wanted to go to the West Coast. Johnny Damon was never going to betray the Red Sox to be a Yankee. Mark Teixeira was going to go to Boston. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens were going to stay in their Houston hometowns forever. Carl Pavano (okay, bad example!) could have gone to Detroit or Boston. And guess what? They all became Yankees. The siren call of pinstripes - not to mention the money - was too much to resist.
Besides, the thing is about being a Yankee is that it puts you in a whole other level of superstardom. Joe Mauer has arguably been the best all-around player in the league for years, but he will only get the attention he deserves if he puts on the pinstripes. Will Mauer get the ads Derek Jeter does if he stays in Minnesota? No. Will Mauer host SNL or get to introduce artists at the American Music Awards as a Twin? Doubtful. Even a Minnesota paper speculates about the endorsements wooing Mauer to the East Coast:
Million-dollar endorsement deals, from Nike to Gatorade to automobiles to razors — as New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has — could be worth double and even triple what they would be playing in Minnesota.
I could be wrong on this - wouldn't be the first time! - but I think Mauer will become a free agent next year, get swept off his feet by the pinstripes, and be catching CC Sabathia's first pitch in 2011. Why wouldn't he want to be a Yankee? Playing for the Bombers is the stuff dreams are made of! (That sound you just heard is Squawker Jon's slow burn over my proclamation!)
What do you think? Leave us a comment!