March 22, 2010 - Kevin Sweeney
Hurrah for Joe Mauer! He is an exceptional athlete, and a fine young man, the kind that only grows here in Minnesota.
He is living his boyhood dream — heck, everyone's boyhood dream — of playing for his hometown baseball team. In his young career he has three Major League batting titles, two Golden Glove awards, and a League MVP honor.
Minnesota Twins fans want to keep him here, and the Twins organization have made sure he will with an eight-year, $184 million contract that averages out to about $23 million a year.
I know he is one of the most coveted players in the Majors, and I know that the money he will make is his fair market value. But still, I can't help but think that somehow, some time ago, major league sports went mad. $23 million a year works out to about $145,000 per game for Joe. If he hits 25 home runs in a season, that's nearly a million per dinger.
I remember feeling the same way when Kirby Puckett signed with the Twins for $6 million a year back in 1984. I knew he was deserving of a big payday, but wondered if anybody playing a game was worth $6 million a year. Talk about inflation!
Now I wonder the same thing about Mauer. Is anyone worth $23 million a year for playing baseball?
Well, if anyone is, Joe is. Play Ball!