MLB: Why Joe Mauer Is Good for Major League Baseball

Joshua BurmeisterContributor IMarch 22, 2011

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09:  Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during batting practice against the New York Yankees during Game Three of the ALDS part of the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 9, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Between 1990-2008, baseball was dominated by the long ball. Slugger after slugger became the face of baseball. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire captivated the entire nation during the summer of 1998. The following year, Barry Bonds broke McGwire’s home run record. In 2007, Bonds controversially broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.

While Americans everywhere clambered to bleacher seats to nab a souvenir ball, Congress and the Baseball Commissioner began working to make players accountable for their unsavory actions.

Franchise players were called to Washington D.C. Under oath these players began showing fans everywhere the truth about performance enhancing drugs in America’s favorite past time.

It is no exaggeration that the selfish actions of a few of the players, led to tarnish the image of the sport. A permanent suspicion was created of anyone able to smack more than 40 home runs in a season. The public felt betrayed and rightfully so.

In steps 2010; the year of the pitcher. Hurlers stepped up to the mound and pitched multiple no-hitters and perfect games over the course of the season. Roy Halladay’s stellar no hitter in the postseason made him a household name everywhere. With fastballs and curveballs enamoring fans everywhere, the public needs a hitter to look up to and usher in a new era of baseball.

Joe Mauer steps in as the perfect candidate. He is already established as a fan favorite in Minnesota for his hometown qualities and community conscious actions. His sweet swinging abilities and low power averages (he current only averages 12.5 home runs a season with only one big season) make him the perfect anti-steroid candidate.

His stat lines draw comparisons to all-time greats Pete Rose and Wade Boggs. His ability to command the game and pitcher likens him to the catching great Johnny Bench. Mauer shows America that this is a game still built on hard work and natural talent, not an injection.

He already ranks in the top five for most recognizable and liked players from polls by Sports Illustrated. Playstation 3 has given him back to back covers of their highly popular video game, MLB The Show. They even pump dollars into ad campaigns for commercials with Mauer in them.

The bottom line is that Joe Mauer is a player everyone can like and relate to. His hard work and talent make him a fan favorite. His game play and clean record make him an America’s favorite. Mauer is what baseball needs to help re-establish credibility from a sport plagued with allegations and litigation.