By Michael Rand
A little more than two years ago, this market had:
Randy Moss; Daunte Culpepper; Kevin Garnett; Torii Hunter. You could make an argument that they were the four most visible athletes here – the “faces” of our pro sports market. The first two faces are obviously gone. The third could in two weeks or sometime during the offseason via trade. The fourth might only have a year left here based on his contract. So the question: If you had to rank the “faces” of this market as we stand, in 2007, and you subtracted those four names, what would your list look like? Here’s our top three, and it’s telling:
1. Johan Santana: This year’s Cy Young pushed him over the top, though he’s still somehow a little under-appreciated.
2. Joe Mauer: He’s from St. Paul, you know.
3. Justin Morneau: MVP, can’t argue with that.
Marian Gaborik hasn’t done enough and isn’t “known” enough. Take KG out of the equation, and who is the face of the Timberwolves? Ricky Davis? Randy Foye? Whoever they got in return? And look at the Vikings. Is there any one player with whom people identify? Many of their highest-paid players are on the offensive line. Kevin Williams? Steve Hutchinson? Antoine Winfield? Are any of them really the “faces” of the team — players a fan can latch onto?
Your thoughts, please.