Joe Mauer Making The Postseason Is Great But A Sad Reminder For Mets Fans
After last night’s Mets game, I flipped to MLB Network to watch some West Coast baseball. As it was the most important baseball game being played at the moment, the end of the Angels-White Sox game was being aired. MLB Network did a tremendous job of a split screen between the game and the Twins clubhouse. As Nick Delmonico hit a walk off home run, the Twins clubhouse erupted:
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) September 28, 2017
It was not too long ago we saw the Mets clubhouse that exuberant. It’s always exciting to see, and there are more than one or two humorous moments. Who can forget Jay Bruce wandering around the Mets clubhouse last year after the team clinched a Wild Card spot:
But it’s not just the funny moments like this. It’s the moments of pure joy you see from the players. Typically, you see them with the older players who either thought they were never going to get to this point, or they were never going to get there again. For the Twins that was Joe Mauer.
The player who grew up a Twins fan became a great Twin. More than that, Mauer was on a Hall of Fame path. The 2009 AL MVP had made six All Star teams, won five Silver Sluggers, and three Gold Gloves.
Even with the Twins having budgetary issues, they were able to find money to sign the fan favorite to a contract extension. Not too long after that, the injuries started piling up. Specifically with Mauer, it was concussions. The concussions forced him out behind the plate. More than that, it led to questions over whether he could be the same player. Moreover, many said Mauer’s contract and status with the team was holding them back.
With the Twins turnaround, the first person on that team you felt happy for was Mauer. He certainly looked thrilled during the interview. For a moment, I was happy for him.
I then began to become a bit melancholy. Seeing Mauer’s joy reminded me of David Wright during the 2015 postseason run. At the time, whether we wanted to admit it or not, it looked like the it was going to be his last chance to win with the Mets. With the way things have progressed, that increasingly becomes the case.
It is a shame because for a while Wright and Mauer had parallel careers. Wright was playing for the team he rooted for as a child. He was the MVP caliber player that chose to stay with the franchise who drafted him rather than testing the free agent waters and cashing in. That contract is similarly seen as an albatross. And yet, he’s still a beloved player.
We’ll never know if Wright will get another opportunity much in the way Mauer got his. Hopefully, Mauer will not only have a long run this offseason, but he will get another chance in the future years. Hopefully, his loyalty to the Twins is rewarded with a World Series. We should all hope that for Mauer.
We also hope that for Wright, but unfortunately, it seems less likely he will get the chance Mauer seems to have in front of him.