Mauer awarded American League MVP
Images courtesy of Keith AllisonIf Joe Mauer ever trended toward any illicit behavior, he's likely never had a problem getting out of a parking ticket or two. Now -- the Twins' catcher can do whatever the hell he wants!
The St. Paul-native captured the American League Most Valuable Player award today, receiving 27 of 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Claiming the award that forever eluded St. Paul luminaries & hardball Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield will no doubt prove a leviathan bargaining chip in the catcher's contract negotiations. His present contract, which will pay him $12.5 million this season, expires after the year.
In winning the award, Mauer becomes just the second Minnesota-born ballplayer to be named MVP since the accolade's inception in 1911. The first was Roger Maris, the 1960 and 1961 AL MVP, who was born in Hibbing and moved to Fargo, N.D. at the age of 10.
The achievement makes Mauer the fifth Twin to win the award, following the accomplishments of Zoilo Versalles (1965), Harmon Killebrew (1969), Rod Carew (1977) and former Mauer roomie Justin Morneau (2006). Earlier this offseason, Mauer also won his third Silver Slugger Award and second Gold Glove. His contract calls for a $100,000 bonus for winning the MVP.