Posted at 10:20 AM on August 2, 2006
by David Zingler
The new issue of Sports Illustrated hits the newsstands today with Minnesotaís own Joe Mauer on the cover. Itís been a storybook year for the St. Paul native, from his All Star appearance last month to his major league leading batting average. The press canít get enough of our Joey Mauer.
Thereís no denying that Mauerís been great, but heís not even the most potent offensive player on his team. That title belongs to Justin Morneau, who should warrant MVP consideration if the Twins reach the postseason. Morneauís offensive awakening was the driving force behind the Twins dramatic turnaround in June and he is on track, as Dick Bremer often points out, to have one of the greatest offensive seasons in the clubís history.
Currently, the Canadian possesses a batting line of .321/.366/.599 with 28 HRs and 88 RBI. Meanwhile, heís scored 62 runs and hit 20 doubles. When you stack that against Mauerís line of .367/.439/.521, 8 HR, 57 RBI, 55 runs and 24 doubles, you are left wondering why the ďother MĒ isnít getting more attention from the press. Basically all Mauerís done this year (loyal reader Ryan will love this) is get eight more base hits than Morneau (128 to 120).
Looks like SI missed out on the real story here; either that or they couldnít fit the 6-4, 223 pound Morneau on the cover next to the 6-4, 220 pound Mauer.
Let's hope the SI cover curse doesn't bite him (please dear God, I may shoot myself if he blows out his knee again).
Bremer made a reference to it on one of the Texas broadcasts.
In addition to the +8 basehits, count 61 points of on-base pct. Mauer also has the advantage being one of the best defensive players in the league at a premium defensive position, and providing top production at a position where offensive assets are less plentiful.
By VORP: Mauer, 47.9; Morneau, 40.8
By Win Shares: Mauer, 20; Morneau, 14.
Morneau is having a great season, but Mauer still gets my vote for MVP at this point.