If anyone has read any of my blitherings for however long I've had this blog (that would be exactly zero of you), you may have noticed that I write a lot more about the Vikings and the NFL than anything else. I hardly write about the Twins? Why is this? Game #163 was a helpful explanation.
What can you SAY about something like that? What else can you say about Orlando Cabrera? What else can you say about Alexi Casilla? What else can you say about Bobby fucking Keppel? What else can you say about the Dome REFUSING to go away, squeezing out one more game nobody around here will ever forget?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the fan relationships people have with the Twins and the Vikings are completely different. People NEVER give up on the Twins. Three out with four to play? Look on the bright side! And it paid off. It really happened. Can you believe it? It seems like the Twins ALWAYS come through. They're the shining beacon of hope. But...
Winter eventually comes. The Vikings emerge as the tempting mistress. Nothing ever goes right, but oh man, if it ever does, it will be worth it, everyone will tell you that. The NFL is the sport of kings right now - it garners the biggest spotlight, harbors the most importance, unleashes the most intense feelings. I can guarantee you the second something goes wrong with Brett Favre, people will be lighting their $240 jerseys on fire. I write more about the Vikings simply because they require more writing.
Ah, but the dark side creeps into the Twins once in a while as well. Since the consensus is that the Yankees will take care of them, the main story in New York is Joe Mauer - namely "When do we get to sign him?"
I say the answer is: Never. Some fun facts for you --
-Mauer's agent is Ron Shapiro, who also represented Cal Ripken and Kirby Puckett, as well as Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer. All legends, all stayed with one team their whole career. As an agent, his track record suggests he's not exactly Scott Boras. I mean that in the best way possible.
-Mauer himself said being the highest paid player is "not really" important. He wants to win.
-The Yankees guaranteed payroll in 2011:
Alex Rodriguez at $31 million,
C.C. Sabathia at $23 million,
Mark Teixeira at $22.5 million,
A.J. Burnett at $16.5 million,
Jorge Posada at $13.1 million,
Robinson Cano at $10 million,
and Nick Swisher at $9 million.
Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are both free agents after 2010, so there's another $35-40 million towards 2011. That's $165 million right there, not to mention Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes can command bigger deals by that time. The Yankees are the Yankees, but its just not realistic to assume they can throw a Teixeira sized contract at Mauer, especially if this recession doesn't turn around.
-It can't be understated how popular Mauer has become in Minnesota. If he ever wins a ring, he could, dare I say, surpass Kirby in popularity. With a new ballpark opening, the Twins would be risking their entire fanbase and any good will and sentiment toward the team if they let him leave. That's not an exaggeration.
Most fans are confident Mauer is staying, and why not? That's just the Twins optimism. They've earned it.