What they're saying about the Joe Mauer deal

Leave a comment

Mauer big.jpgAs the foremost Twins dude on the Internets I defer to Aaron’s take on the Mauer deal. But others have weighed in too. Let’s take a look-see:

  • J.C. Bradbury: “I worry that the Twins may have stretched a bit here with this long-term
    commitment . . . But the Twins are one of the best-managed organizations in baseball, so I
    think they deserve the benefit of the doubt.”
  • Matthew Carruth, FanGraphs: “In the short term, this deal is fair to both sides. Where it might get
    dicey is down the line when Mauer reaches his mid-30s. I don’t think him
    staying at catcher is needed for this to work out though. Mauer’s bat
    is good enough to stand a move to first base and he would benefit from a
    likely increase in playing time. My concern is simply that for being on
    the hook for eight years and giving him a full no trade clause, I feel
    the Twins should have gotten a bit more of a discount.”
  • SethSpeaks: “Yes, this deal
    is more than just about baseball, but from a purely baseball aspect,
    it isn’t
    a great deal.”
  • Twinkie Town: “I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am about this.  Right now, this looks
    like a fantastic deal for both sides.  It’s a very fair deal,
    particularly when you expect baseball’s financial market to rebound in
    coming seasons.  As long as Joe stays healthy, that is.”
  • Only Baseball Matters: “That’s how you handle a once-in-a-generation talent. Teams that are
    run by real general managers, and owned by real men who know what the
    hell they are doing, understand this.”
  • TYU: “Yankee fans who were planning on acquiring him to replace Jorge Posada
    will have to look elsewhere.”
  • Mark Steyn: “more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the
    Pax Americana, and global Armageddon.”

That last one was about health care reform, not Mauer specifically. I include it, though, because what with the global Armageddon and all, it’s not like the Twins will really have to worry about the back end of the Mauer contract. Total win-win for Minnesota, really.

Former U.S. Senator and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning dies at age 85

Getty Images
1 Comment

Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame right-handed pitcher and former U.S. Senator, died on Friday at age 85. He suffered a stroke in October 2016 and was in hospice care when he died, according to former Senate chief of staff Jon Deuser.

Bunning rose to prominence in Major League Baseball during his first full season with the Tigers in 1957, recording 14 complete games and a league-leading 20 wins. The following year, Bunning pitched his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox, just the fourth no-hitter in franchise history. During his first season with the Phillies in 1964, Bunning followed up his no-hitter with a perfect game against the Mets, marking the first National League perfecto in the 20th century. By the time he retired in 1971, he boasted seven All-Star nominations, 2,855 strikeouts (maintaining his second-place ranking on the all-time strikeout list from 1967-1971) and a 224-184 record over 17 seasons.

Following a storied major league career, Bunning entered politics at age 46, serving 12 years in the House and eventually getting elected to the Senate at age 67, where he served two terms. The Republican senator was famously outspoken for his opposition to steroids in baseball, illegal immigration and an extension of unemployment benefits, among other issues, and drew criticism within his party for his ornery nature and controversial statements. He declined to run for a third term in 2010, citing a lack of financial support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and choosing instead to throw his weight behind fellow candidate Rand Paul.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement following news of Bunning’s death on Saturday:

Jim Bunning led an extraordinary life in the National Pastime and in public service.  He was a consistent winner and workhorse pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.  Jim threw no-hitters in both leagues, pitched a perfect game on Father’s Day in 1964 and, at his retirement, had more strikeouts than any pitcher in history except Walter Johnson.

“In his baseball career, Jim was proud of always taking the ball.  The work ethic that made him a Hall of Famer led him to the House of Representatives and the United Stated Senate.  He served the state of Kentucky for more than two decades and became the only Hall of Famer ever to serve in Congress.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Senator Bunning’s family, friends, constituents and the many fans who admired his career in our game.

Homer Simpson was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Getty Images
3 Comments

Twenty-five years ago, “Homer at the Bat” became one of the most iconic Simpsons episodes of all time. Legendary talents like Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith, Jose Canseco, Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax, Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey, Jr. lent their talents to the episode while their cartoon doppelgängers were put through the ringer, leaving only Homer Simpson and Darryl Strawberry to clinch the city softball championship for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant squad. On Saturday, the show’s creators were recognized when Homer Simpson was awarded a long-overdue membership in the Hall of Fame.

The full text from Homer’s honorary plaque is below:

Inept safety inspector turned city-wide softball hero. Right fielder led Springfield nuclear plant to city championship game, then sacrificed his body to win it all. Nearly supplanted by lineup of all-world superstar ringers, came through in a pinch — and came to in time for the next episode. Girthy right-handed hitter powered many a mighty wallop during celebrated 1992 season with “Wonderbat” — his secret weapon. Lack of mobility in the field was no match for moves atop the dugout. Found fame as bush league mascot phenom, parlaying his “elephant walk” into a taste of the majors. Unacquainted with scientific concepts, only isotopes of which he was aware played at Duff Stadium, where uncanny knowledge of southwestern palate exposed team’s impending move to Albuquerque.

“Homer at the Bat” will be enshrined in Cooperstown with a special display, featuring the plaque alongside some of the more memorable moments of the episode.