Monday, March 22, 2010

Mauer signs huge contract: Who wins?

Two things happened yesterday that I'd thought would not take place – health care passing and the Twins organization giving out a contract of that size. Today, I am going to talk about the more amazing one. The fact that the Twins home office is stepping up to the plate to sign a player for more than $20M a year is amazing. The Twins will usher in a new era of baseball for Minnesotans in two ways. The first being a new outdoor stadium and the second, more importantly, is signing a ball player to a contract that only the Yankees, Red Sox or Rangers would consider. By offering Joe Mauer the 8 year $184 million contract is something baseball fans come to expect from other teams and not the Twins.

Joe Mauer is a hometown hero and for the Twins to put it out there like they did and make a statement that they understand Mauer's importance is huge. I think back to some of the better players the Twins have had and I do not see them sticking this kind of dough into one person. Baseball lost me as a fan during the last strike but the Twins organization signing of Mauer only makes me feel all the better for the reasons I stopped being a fan. Granted the Mauer contract is great news for Twins fans and the Mauer family, it just shows how our society values are skewed. Are Twins fans celebrating the fact that Mauer is still here or that the Twins front office finally shelled out some money? The no trade clause is critical to all this too, as it tells me anyway, that Mauer is serious about wanting to remain a Twin all his career.

It is just a sad state of affairs for professional sports though. Who will be the first player to reach a $1B contract? Who will be the first $30M a year guy in the Majors? How much will seats alongside the dugouts cost in a year or two? Then again, if these salaries continue northward we do have a great tax base to pay for "health care reform" and the bureaucracy it is creating.