The Commitment To Winning

I’m not a big fan of Twitter. I mostly use it to see what others in my profession are writing about since they often provide links to their stories on Twitter.

Lot of interesting Joe Mauer stuff cycling around on it today. Mauer, entering the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Twins, was at Cretin-Derham Hall High School last night to tape an episode of the show "Homecoming" with ESPN’s Rick Reilly.

For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s kind of like "This is Your Life."

Fans of the Twins who were at the event have made some posts on Twitter. In response to what is more important, playing close to home or playing for a winner, Mauer said, "Why not have both?"

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale must have been in attendance too, and he said on Twitter that Mauer told him he’d like to stay with the Twins if they remain committed to winning.

Statements like that seem kind of ridiculous, and granted Mauer is just the latest in a long line of pro athletes to say that. What team isn’t committed to winning? The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Kansas City Royals probably aren’t right away, but I’m sure if they had Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel on their roster, they’d be different franchises too.

Sure, fans and players alike would love to see some deeper runs in the playoffs. But if that’s what’s important, a guy like Mauer should sign with the Los Angeles Angels or the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, if he wants that guarantee. Those franchises will always be there. But for a team like the Twins in that next level of markets (I’m reluctant to use the term "small market"), how much more can the Twins show?

Remember the attention "Moneyball" got for the Oakland A’s? How have they been since that book came out? They got one playoff series win against these Twins in 2006, but that’s about it.

The reality is that despite giving substantial amounts of revenue to the Minnesota Vikings while they were renting the Metrodome, the Twins managed to remain a consistent playoff contender. I think they’ve had one losing season in the last nine years. That’s five division titles since 2002, and a sixth that slipped out of their hands in a one-game playoff in 2008.

But back to Twitter, because I do want to leave Twins fans with a Twitter post they might find encouraging. This from Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune and AM 1500:

Hum is getting louder that Twins will announce Mauer contract extension as kickoff to Twins Fest.

I believe TwinsFest starts Friday.

Also, I just ran across this on the Web site/blog of Murray Chass. More about the Twins and A’s.

4 Responses

  1. Goethe

    Only the best for my readers. That and just dumb luck that I happened to log onto Twitter within an hour of Reusse writing that.

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