Great Moments in farkakte player valuation: Joe Mauer edition

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joe mauer mvp.jpgMike Silva at NY Baseball Digest:

The Twins could get a king’s ransom from the Yankees for Mauer.
Think Hughes, Joba, and Montero as cornerstones of the package. If they
are concerned about development timeline of Montero, then perhaps you
could add Posada to the deal since he only has a year left on his
contract. If the Red Sox come calling then the package could get even
better.

I love Joe Mauer. You love Joe Mauer. We all love Joe Mauer. But anyone who thinks that the bidding for Joe Mauer starts with Hughes, Joba and Montero — and quickly grows to include Jorge Posada and more if the negotiations bog down — has probably suffered serious head trauma in the past 48 hours.  It’s ridiculous to even be playing the “what would it take to get Mauer” game right now, but if you’re going to play it, at least do so sensibly. The guy has a season left on his deal, will take hundreds of millions of dollars to lock up, and he’s a catcher.  For that you give away every valuable young player you have. For starters?!

But the best part of the piece is the line in which Silva says “Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.”  Like it’s some freakin’ gift.  I’ll leave the dismantling of that statement to Jason, who is more conscious of, and more opposed to, the New York exceptionalism that has sprung up these past few years:

You know who deserves Joe Mauer?  The fine people of Minnesota.

If you ever want to tear your hear out at ridiculous Yankee commentary, go read Jason’s stuff for a reminder that even Yankees fans can be sane.

Theo Epstein named The World’s Greatest Leader

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Fortune Magazine has put out a list of The World’s Greatest Leaders. Not the greatest business leaders, not the greatest leaders in a given industry, but the Greatest Leaders, full stop. The greatest according to Fortune: The Cubs’ Theo Epstein.

For some context, Pope Francis was third. Angela Merkel was 10th. Lebron James was the next greatest sports leader, ranked 11th. Take Fortune’s methodology with a grain of salt, however, given that it has John McCain above Merkel — what, exactly, does he lead now? — and Samantha Bee in the top 20.

So what makes Theo the world’s best leader according to Fortune?

The Cubs owe their success to a five-year rebuilding program that featured a concatenation of different leadership styles. The team thrived under the affable patience of owner Tom Ricketts, and, later, under the innovative eccentricity of manager Joe Maddon. But most important of all was the evolution of the club’s president for baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the wunderkind executive who realized he would need to grow as a leader in order to replicate in Chicago the success he’d had with the Boston Red Sox.

I don’t want to take anything away from what Theo has done — he’s a Hall of Fame executive already in my view — but I feel like maybe one needs to adjust for the fact that this is a baseball team we’re talking about. They’re the whole world to us and their brands are nationally and even world famous, but as an organization, sports teams are rather small. There are guys who run reasonably-sized HVAC companies with more employees than a baseball team and they don’t get the benefit of an antitrust exemption and a rule which allows them to get their pick of the best new employees if they had a bad year the year before.

Really, not trying to throw shade here, just thinking that being the spiritual father for 1.2 billion Catholics or running a foundation that serves 55 million needy children — like the woman who comes in at number 14 — is a bit of a tougher trick.

But this will make a great framed magazine article on Theo’s wall in Wrigley Field.

 

 

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.