Playing the “what if” game with Joe Mauer
It’s Mauer day. In addition to this morning’s piece, USA Today ran a scary “what-if” article about the 2001 draft when, as most of you know, the Twins had to choose between Mark Prior and Mauer, with most people at the time thinking that Prior was the better choice. That’s certainly changed now:
The Twins made the pick that perhaps forever changed franchise history. Mauer won the American League MVP last year and is a three-time batting champion and two-time Gold Glove winner. He is considered one of the finest players in the game. Prior won 41 games his first four seasons with the Cubs, but just one game since 2005, and is now out of baseball. He still is battling shoulder woes and is home in San Diego trying to resurrect his career . . .
. . . “You look back, and wow, it would have been a whole different things going on if we had not taken Mauer,’' [Mike] Radcliffe said, “and taken the other guy. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if we didn’t.’'
You can probably guess where that’s heading. It’s the flipside of what Yankees and Red Sox fans say about the guy. Instead of expecting to get him because they’re entitled, the writer here thinks they should get him because, gosh, wouldn’t that be great!
Please, Minnesota, sign Mauer already and return us to the land of certainty.