TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Mauer Vs. Love

Joe Mauer
Kevin Love
(credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)
(credit: Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
(credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)
(credit: Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
2014 Value
Winner $23 Million
$14.6 Million
Contributions
Winner Mauer has won Gold Gloves, a few batting titles and an MVP award while maintaining one of the most physically demanding positions in sports -- catcher, before a concussion force him to move to first base at the start of the 2014 season.
Love is a scoring and rebounding machine, making his presence known early in his career after one college season at UCLA. He's had a 30-point, 30-rebound game and quickly became the face of the Timberwolves.
Downfalls
Mauer's contract, for one, can be considered a hindrance for the team to get better players in free agency. Fans go nuts on social media when he takes the first strike, and he's still adjusting to life at first base after being behind home plate for so many years. We're also not used to him not performing in clutch situations, and his .267 average this year has the die-hard fans infuriated.
Winner Love is a leader by numbers only. He doesn't play much defense and has yet to lead his team to the playoffs. There was the whole knuckle push-ups debacle, and now he's "vacationing" in his off-time to places that have been known to show interest in his basketball future.
Future
Winner It doesn't appear Mauer is going anywhere. He's married with twin daughters and is under a $184 million contract through 2018 that includes a no-trade clause that he would have to waive to go elsewhere. He's the face of the Twins, but is it on him to carry the team to the playoffs and beyond and do Minnesotans want him to stay?
Love has one year left on his current contract and signs indicate he has no intention of staying in Minnesota. If he chooses to become a free agent, the Timberwolves are likely to trade him and get some value for him before he can walk. But does the organization have the guts to get rid of its biggest asset?

The Winner Is

(credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)
Winner Joe Mauer
3 out of 4

Joe Mauer is the overall winner because he's "one of us," being from St. Paul, and Minnesota sports fans are obsessed with this concept. He's also as even-keeled as it gets when it comes to baseball, which for fans can be as maddening as it is refreshing. All can be forgiven if Mauer can help get the Twins to a World Series, or at least make some sort of playoff run.

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