Joe Mauer, whose last name means "wall" in German, has finally gotten his long-overdue AL MVP award, winning 27 of the 28 first place votes. He beat out such illustrious contenders as Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, and also Miguel Cabrera who received the other first place vote, bizarrely. With the big win, Mauer takes home a tidy $100,000 bonus
Mauer won his third batting title in the past four seasons and also led the AL in OBP and SLG, both for the first time. His 1.031 OPS made him the only AL hitter to top the 1.000 mark and his 307 total bases placed him a solid seventh in the league; not bad for a dude who missed the first month of the season.
He's also sitting on a streak of two straight All Star Game starts and two straight Gold Gloves, and his face was seen in the back pants pocket of many a Minnesota State Fair attendee this past summer. The three most common things you could find on a stick at the fair: pork chops, walleye, and a cutout of Joe Mauer's dreamy face.
The Twins catcher has long been tops of the pops but was denied the honor back in 2006, when his less-deserving teammate Justin Morneau RBI'd and first-based his way to an ill-deserved award. Mauer out-walked, out-OPS'ed and out-hit his teammate in aught-six, but the massive gap in simple RBI fooled the starry-eyed BBWAA into overwhelmingly supporting Morneau.
But in 2009, Morneau went down late with an injury and it was Joe Mauer (with some help from Mike Cuddyer and Jason Kubel) who led the Twins to a surprise AL Central title, thus proving that you don't need a boring power-hitting first baseman to win the whole bag of donuts.
Joe Mauer is everything a general manager wants out of a baseball player: fields a tough position well, hits for average, hits for power, uses his keen eye to draw walks and avoid strikeouts, and grows sideburns well enough to set the hearts of a hundred thousand Minnesota girls a-flutter.
Shame he'll be a Yankee next year, amirite?