Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Joe Mauer: Runaway AL MVP Winner

Joe Mauer won the AL MVP capturing 27 of 28 first place votes.

Joe Mauer won the 2009 AL MVP Award by winning a commanding 27 first place points and a total of 387 points. He was the second Minnesota Twin to win the award in four years with Justin Morneau winning the award in 2006.

Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Miguel Cabrera were next but Kendry Morales was a surprising fifth place with 170 points.

Mauer hit an amazing .365 topping Ichiro Suzuki who posted a .352 average to capture the AL batting championship. He didn’t play his first game of the season until May 1 and missed 24 games and still hit 28 home runs and drove in 96 runs while hitting safely 191 times during the 2009 season.

With 844 hits at the age of 26 he is on a pace to have 3000 hits before he retires which would make him the only catcher to retire with 3000 hits. Carlton Fisk with 2356 hits is currently the career leader in hits for a player that played primarily as a catcher.

Mauer also led in the other percentage stats in 2009 leading in on base percentage with a .444 mark. His .587 slugging percentage topped second place Morales who slugged .569. His OPS of 1.031 gave him a commanding lead over second place Kevin Youkilis who posted an OPS of .961.

If Mauer can stay healthy which could be a concern for a tall catcher considering his back problem last season prevented him from having a 200 hit season he could go down in history as the best offensive catcher in baseball history.

 He might not have the home run totals of some of the great catchers of the past because he is just now starting to hit with power. He had only 29 homers in the three seasons before the 2009 season but hit 28 homers last season while missing a month of the season.


Hot Stove News

Omar Vizquel is officially a Chicago White Sox player after agreeing on a $.1.375 million contract for the 2009 season. Vizquel may be old at 42 but he is still solid defensively….In other White Sox news Bobby Jenks and White Sox general manager Kenny Williams continue to trade barbs about the conditioning or lack of condition of Jenks. This latest verbal battle may seal the fate of Jenks and he may be dealt before the offseason is over.

There are news reports saying that Joe Torre was rooting for the Yankees to win the 2009 World Series. This is no surprise since Torre has never played or managed for the Phillies. He may not have left the Yankees on the best of terms but it seems to be a no-brainer that he would root for the Yankees. I don’t even know why this was even worth mentioning by the media.

The Brewers have re-signed Chris Capuano. He pitched only nine innings in minors last season after having Tommy John surgery in 2008. He posted his career best record of 18-12 in 2005 but was 16-24 over the 2006 and 2007 seasons and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007.

Randy Johnson is reportedly debating whether to return for the 2010 season. In my book he has nothing to prove and will be 47 by the end of the 2010 season and is almost certain to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. If he does return for the 2010 season it would make his fourth different decade in the major leagues.





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