It made us wonder, though, what the scene would have been like at Target Field in 2011 had things played out differently. What if, somehow, instead of signing an 8-year, $184 million deal to remain with his hometown club, Joe Mauer -- frustrated by not being able to win a championship -- had bolted for the Yankees.
How would Joe have responded upon his first trip back? How would fans have treated the St. Paul boy, the three-time batting champ and former AL MVP who nonetheless could never reproduce the same kind of magic in the postseason?
Could Minnesotans have mustered up the kind of venom for Joe that Clevelanders did for LeBron? Or did so much of it have to do with the way it went down -- a manner in which nobody could imagine Mauer doing things, with the ESPN special and all that -- that nothing could ever replicate the James homecoming?
Your thoughts, please, in the comments.