The idea of coming home to play for the team you grew up watching sounds like a dream come true for many athletes. But, it also comes with as much pressure as playing in New York or Boston.
With the addition of Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild roster, the state now has two hometown kids getting paid a lot of money to bring their respective teams to prominence.
Joe Mauer has never known another team, he was drafted by the Twins and is signed with the team through 2018. Zach Parise came home as a free agent, choosing to be back where he grew up.
But, as Mauer has learned, the hometown love doesn't last forever. After signing an 8-year, $184 million contract, fans have been all over Mauer for not producing more. Even in a year when he has one of the top batting averages and top on-base percentages in the league, he's getting flack from fans for not doing more.
Is it a losing proposition for Mauer? Will he ever live up the expectations of a nearly $200 million contract?
Is the same criticism in store for Parise? If he doesn't come in the Top 20 in the league in points and lead the team deep into the playoffs, will the honeymoon be short-lived for the Bloomington native?
It would be interesting to ask Mauer in 3-4 years if he thought it was really worth it to sign the deal he did with the Twins. Is playing in your hometown a bit over-rated when you're a superstar?
Which hometown athlete has more pressure: Joe Mauer or Zach Parise?
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