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Keep those dollar signs out of your eyes, Joe

November 4, 2009 - Per Peterson
I would never give Joe Mauer advice on hitting a baseball or calling a game from behind the plate. That would be like telling a doctor where to cut. But, if given the chance, I would give him advice on his future, and it would go something like this:

“Joe, don’t squabble on your contract, don’t threaten to leave Minnesota because of a better deal, just take what you can get — as much as you think you can get — and continue building on your legacy in your home state that's full of millions of people who love and, in some cases, worship you.”

This is only occasion where I would believe a player who says, “It wasn't about the money.” Because for Mauer, it shouldn’t be. He’s already been making a skosh more than $8 million a year under his current contract, and the worst he could do is double that with a new contract. More than likely, however, the Twins’ offer would more than double this guy’s salary. How much money does he need?

He’s not a thug with bookies to pay off. He doesn’t have five ex-wives to pay alimony to. He has no children scattered around the country that he’s paying child support for. He's more grounded than any other superstar in any professional sport.

All he has — besides millions in the bank already — is a blossoming legacy that, if all goes smoothly with his new contract, will continue to cement him as this state’s all-time most beloved athlete.

“Kirby who?” people will ask in 10 years.

Money can't buy a legacy like that and it should be enough to make him forgo thoughts of playing on the East Coast in a couple years or bickering about not getting the money he thinks he has coming to him.

Face it. Mauer could very well become a $25 million-a-year catcher for the Yankees or Red Sox or Mets or Angels after next year. But this time, it really shouldn’t be about the money. Joe’s better than that.


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