Joe Mauer took 27 of 28 votes to win the American League MVP Award unanimously, edging out Mark Texeira and Miguel Cabrera very easily. And rightfully so:
Mauer, the first catcher to lead his league in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444) and slugging (.587) in the same season, was listed first on all but one of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city. He was second on that other ballot to score a total of 387 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th.
Mauer, 26, is the only AL catcher to have won a batting title and the only one in either league to have won three of them. His .365 average, the highest by a catcher in major league history, surpassed his prior league-leading figures of .347 in 2006 and .328 in 2008. Mauer posted career-high totals in home runs (28) and runs batted in (96).
He did not start the season until May 1 due to a back injury and helped keep the Twins in contention for the division title following the loss to injury of first baseman Justin Morneau, the 2006 MVP and ’08 runner-up. Mauer batted .378 with two home runs and 14 RBI in the club’s final 21 games of the regular season.
Mauer was always a great hitter. This year, he added some serious power to his game. We got to enjoy his MVP type stuff on our fantasy baseball team. This past year will probably go down as the best that Mauer has in his career. We’re glad a goodfella like Joe won the AL’s most prestigious award.
At the end of the day, it’s nice to see those small and mid market teams bringing home awards like the Cy Young and the MVP award.
I have been making it a habit to read the baseball cover articles when I receive my Sports Illustrated copies. Namely, anything written my Tom Verducci. He’s pretty underrated as a baseball writer. And he’s consistently good.
His article on Joe Mauer chasing down .400 was pretty interesting. But it was also a bit premature.
As Verducci points out, Mauer won’t even qualify for the batting title until after the All Star break. The chase of .400 is impressive, but Mauer missed a lot of time to begin the season. He’s now sitting on .383, not too shabby; but it shows why the article was premature. If the guy was hitting .450 at the time of the article, it’d be an entirely different story.
Mauer has that national appeal because he’s an ‘aw shucks’ type of guy who lives in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota. That’s cool. Yes, he’s added power to his stroke this year and it would be cool to see him chase down .400 since only two men are living who even played with the last man to hit .400 (Teddy Ballgame). But couldn’t this article have waited until late July?
Last night Joe Mauer returned from an injury that kept him sidelined for the first month of the season. After his performance, there shouldn’t be much doubt about his health. Mauer homered to the opposite field in his first at bat, and doubled down the left field line in his second at bat. The performance by Mauer fueled the Twins to a 7-5 victory.
The Twins managed to pull a .500 record in April despite shoddy pitching and the absence of possibly their best player. After Mauer provided the opening act, Justin Morneau launched a go-ahead two run blast in the fifth, driving in hat would prove to be the winning runs.
The win pulled the Twins into a tie with the Royals in the division, but the winning White Sox took over first place and now lead both in the Central by half a game. You still have to like the Twins chances in this weak division with Mauer back.