Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

The same great Twins Daily coverage, now for the Vikings.

The Store

Recent Blogs


Photo

Souhan: Mauer/Puckett

  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 7,581 posts

Posted 29 March 2014 - 09:59 PM

http://www.startribu...html?page=2&c=y

Jim Souhan wrote the comparison of the two Twins greats.

#2 TKGuy

TKGuy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 310 posts

Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:25 PM

Kind of eerie the numbers in their first ten years. I'd still give it to Puck for his leadership and durability prior to Dennis Martinez plunking Puck in the head. He is my favorite twin by far, however, I was only three when Harmon retired. The more I heard of him as a person and a player may have made comparison closer. Harmon was a better run producer and Puck a better defender. Carew also was a better player in my mind, kind of prickly though, so I'd put Joe 4th, although 4 batting titles is hard to top

Everything Joe does seems so blah. I sure that Mauer plays just as hard as Puck did, but without the infectious smile and personality. Heck, even Herbie had the bravado that Joe lacks. I still think he is a great player, but the lack of personality makes him not as revered by the fans in my opinion.

Darn, I really miss having Puck and Harmon around though.

#3 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 7,237 posts

Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:58 PM

Kind of eerie the numbers in their first ten years. I'd still give it to Puck for his leadership and durability prior to Dennis Martinez plunking Puck in the head. He is my favorite twin by far, however, I was only three when Harmon retired. The more I heard of him as a person and a player may have made comparison closer. Harmon was a better run producer and Puck a better defender. Carew also was a better player in my mind, kind of prickly though, so I'd put Joe 4th, although 4 batting titles is hard to top

Everything Joe does seems so blah. I sure that Mauer plays just as hard as Puck did, but without the infectious smile and personality. Heck, even Herbie had the bravado that Joe lacks. I still think he is a great player, but the lack of personality makes him not as revered by the fans in my opinion.

Darn, I really miss having Puck and Harmon around though.


I hear you on how unfortunate it is not having Puck and Harmon still around.

Just to clarify above, Carew had 7 batting titles, Mauer has only 3.

#4 clutterheart

clutterheart

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 665 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:43 AM

Souhan uses OPS, WAR & discusses prime positional value?
Wow. Basement geeks win!

Edited by clutterheart, 30 March 2014 - 06:46 AM.


#5 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Yes

  • Members
  • 4,337 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:21 AM

This is good stuff and definitely these guys were (Puckett) and are (Mauer) the faces of the franchise in up (mostly) times. Puckett is the guy who is mostly associated with 87 and 91 and Mauer the one who mostly is associated with the improved Twins in this millennium. Hard to compare them otherwise.

A couple of interesting things that Souhan did not mention: Mauer has the highest BA of any active player right now, while Puckett has the 4th highest post WWII BA of any RHB, behind DiMaggio, Pujols and Cabrera. Given the contracts of the last 2, and the fact that DiMaggio's best seasons were before WWII, Kirby can easily to this list in 2-3 years..
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#6 JB_Iowa

JB_Iowa

    Cynical Oldie

  • Members
  • 3,879 posts
  • LocationNorthwest Iowa

Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

The comparison of their perceptions is, more than anything, a story of timing and of the fickleness of the public's love.

Kirby was charismatic with his grin and outgoing personality. Before 2011, Joe was also charismatic albeit in a quiet, midwestern way. How quickly we forget that he was the "hometown hero".

But after Kirby signed his record contract, he went on to lead the team to a 2nd world championship. Even after that, the Twins had another really good season before tailing off. I have to wonder if Puckett would have maintained the same level of love as the losing seasons mounted up. But there is always charisma in a career cut short -- especially in the way that Kirby's was.

After Joe signed his franchise record contract, the team had one more good season before things went in the dumps. And Joe was injured, too, but it wasn't career ending. His legend probably would have held up better if the "bilateral leg weakness" had been some well-defined, career ending injury.

There's no question that Puckett was more charismatic (I've often mentioned that as a non-Minnesotan, I couldn't understand the Mauer love prior to 2011) but perception is also based on recent events and accomplishments and with Puckett, a bit on nostalgia (and a willingness to overlook some of his faults, too).

Perception of both players will continue to change over time. The lucky thing for Joe is that he still has time to do some building on his legacy.

#7 Monkeypaws

Monkeypaws

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 719 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

If Souhan is going to focus on personality, he's guilty of giving Puck a free ride for the shenanigans he pulled after retirement. Hard to imagine Mauer being less than a model citizen.

#8 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:26 AM

If Souhan is going to focus on personality, he's guilty of giving Puck a free ride for the shenanigans he pulled after retirement. Hard to imagine Mauer being less than a model citizen.


And it wasn't just after he retired. He was a legendary carouser on the road who had numerous affairs, one lasting for nearly his entire marriage. I still love Puck. But he was no saint, to say the very least.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#9 strumdatjag

strumdatjag

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 135 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

Mauer is to the Twins what John Cena is to the WWE (for you wrestling fans). The kids and casual fans (especially locals) love them. But many hardcore fans have trouble rooting for the "goody-goody" - and Mauer's "aw-shucks" demeanor doesn't create a spark for that section of fans looking for something that's "cool". A universal fan favorite doesn't have to be a "bad boy", but a little brashness and flair doesn't hurt. That's why so many fans loved Kirby and, recently for the Vikings - Jared Allen. It ain't bragging if you can back it up, and they did. But don't expect brashness from Joe, who will never be a "Say it ain't so Joe". He's just "Say Ya-know Ya-know Ya-Know Joe". Someday he'll be in the Hall of Fame as one of the two or three best catchers ever to play the game, and most of today's haters will claim to remember how much they loved to watch him play!!!!

#10 Marta Shearing

Marta Shearing

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 417 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:25 AM

Puckett's personal life has nothing to do with this topic, and I doubt there's even proof of alot of his extramarital accusations. Denigrating Puckett in this manner to prop up Mauer really comes across as wrong to me. He was a good man.

#11 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    refuses to surrender his World Series baseball

  • Members
  • 1,317 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

I love Mauer. Are we debating who is the greatest Twin of all time? Then Mauer and Puck are miles behind Killebrew. If we are counting general contributions to the organization, I would even put TK in the mix for all he has done. If raw batting average in comparison to peers is what's most important, Mauer is your guy. If getting an A on the chemistry mid-term is what's important, Puck is your man. A little something for everyone! I think Souhan leaves it a little ambiguous to stir up debate.


It really is possible to love Mauer and appreciate his greatness as one of the best hitting catchers ever, and probably the very best, and still not elevate him as the greatest Twin or even ahead of Puckett. (or Kelly.) jmo.

#12 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Yes

  • Members
  • 4,337 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 30 March 2014 - 12:30 PM

I love Mauer. Are we debating who is the greatest Twin of all time? Then Mauer and Puck are miles behind Killebrew.


Depends how you count ;)

If you count WAR, here is the top 10 (11 actually because the last 2 are so close) hitters in the franchise (and this is not career WAR is franchise-only WAR) :

1 Harmon Killebrew 66.3
2 Rod Carew 56.9
3 Sam Rice 50.3
4 Joe Judge 45.6
5 Kirby Puckett 44.9
6 Joe Mauer 44.0
7 Goose Goslin 42.2
8 Tony Oliva 40.7
9 Buddy Myer 38.9
10 Kent Hrbek 37.6
11 Clyde Milan 37.5

and here are the top 10 pitchers.

1. Walter Johnson 123.9
2 Bert Blyleven 57.9
3 Jim Kaat 50.2
4 Camilo Pascual 47.8
5 Brad Radke 44.5
6 Dutch Leonard 37.5
7 Johan Santana 34.8
8 Frank Viola 30.0
9 Dave Goltz 28.3
10 Kevin Tapani 24.7

So, undeniably, the best franchise player is the one who (for some weird, unfortunate and disturbing reason) does not have a statue outside Target Field... And Killebrew is miles behind him :)

Mauer does have a HOFer behind him in the list, but Goslin's career WAR (add Browns and Tigers) is 64.
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#13 Longdistancetwins

Longdistancetwins

    Member

  • Members
  • 90 posts
  • LocationNew York City

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:16 PM

Kind of eerie the numbers in their first ten years. I'd still give it to Puck for his leadership and durability prior to Dennis Martinez plunking Puck in the head. He is my favorite twin by far, however, I was only three when Harmon retired. The more I heard of him as a person and a player may have made comparison closer. Harmon was a better run producer and Puck a better defender. Carew also was a better player in my mind, kind of prickly though, so I'd put Joe 4th, although 4 batting titles is hard to top

Everything Joe does seems so blah. I sure that Mauer plays just as hard as Puck did, but without the infectious smile and personality. Heck, even Herbie had the bravado that Joe lacks. I still think he is a great player, but the lack of personality makes him not as revered by the fans in my opinion.

Darn, I really miss having Puck and Harmon around though.


From my far-afield viewpoint, I thought Harmon had that lack of personality and figured all that "quiet leadership" talk was just talk. Then when I read the tributes during his final illness and after his passing, I realized what a real thing it was. I was sort of floored by it, in fact. So quiet leadership can be a real thing, although I'm not sure Joe has it.

#14 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:18 PM

Puckett's personal life has nothing to do with this topic, and I doubt there's even proof of alot of his extramarital accusations. Denigrating Puckett in this manner to prop up Mauer really comes across as wrong to me. He was a good man.


The topic is about public perceptions. So, yes, it is relevant. I didn't make any of it up. It all came out in the trial and divorce proceedings. They even interviewed his mistress. The public conveniently forgot most of it because he was such a beloved character.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#15 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

From my far-afield viewpoint, I thought Harmon had that lack of personality and figured all that "quiet leadership" talk was just talk. Then when I read the tributes during his final illness and after his passing, I realized what a real thing it was. I was sort of floored by it, in fact. So quiet leadership can be a real thing, although I'm not sure Joe has it.


Joe has it. He was a three-sport star who was All-State at quarterback, point guard and catcher. Those are the positions that require leadership. Most of his leadership is on the field. Off the field, he leads by example. He's never been a rah-rah guy. And he sometimes clashed with other rah-rah guys like Hunter, whom I believe is the origin of most of the "Joe lacks leadership skills" talk. Not that he initiated those clashes. Hunter frequently threw him under the bus for injuries. And Hunter's personal media caddie--LENIII--was all too glad to stir up the controversy. Joe never responded in kind.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#16 Longdistancetwins

Longdistancetwins

    Member

  • Members
  • 90 posts
  • LocationNew York City

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

The topic is about public perceptions. So, yes, it is relevant. I didn't make any of it up. It all came out in the trial and divorce proceedings. They even interviewed his mistress. The public conveniently forgot most of it because he was such a beloved character.


Yes, most of it seemed to be true (although the womanizing was hardly unique to him among ballplayers). But it's strange that I heard nothing negative about Puck from his teammates or coaches, even when Sports Illustrated and others were dumping on him. He must have still been a good clubhouse guy. (This is more of a question, than an assertion.)

#17 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    refuses to surrender his World Series baseball

  • Members
  • 1,317 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:39 PM

Bert Blyleven 57.9


and I shudder to think Blyleven needs to be in the Top 3 discussion :)

#18 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:41 PM

Yes, most of it seemed to be true (although the womanizing was hardly unique to him among ballplayers). But it's strange that I heard nothing negative about Puck from his teammates or coaches, even when Sports Illustrated and others were dumping on him. He must have still been a good clubhouse guy. (This is more of a question, than an assertion.)


Yes to all of this. He was the life of the party, and that clubhouse was a perpetual party that spilled out into the clubs after everyone was dressed. He and Gladden were the leaders. But Hrbek and G-Man were right in there, at least until Gaetti found Jesus.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#19 Jdosen

Jdosen

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 119 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:43 PM

I don't like the idea of having to pick between which player is better or worse when the metrics say they are almost exactly equal. Gun to my head, Joe Mauer is more talented, as WAR per 600 PA would bear out, but Puckett gets the nod due to the 2 World Series titles.

Yes, I do realize that baseball is not an individual sport that can be taken over by 1 player. Joe Mauer was one of the very best players in the world at the time the Twins were going to the playoffs, but there were 24 other guys (and a coaching staff) that had to pitch in in the playoffs as well. Same for Puckett--yes he won the WS, but had the 24 other guys flopped, he wouldn't have.

Using the idea of leadership to nitpick Joe Mauer bothers me too. It's a personality thing. Mauer may not have the type of personality to speak up. If that's the case, his teammates know it, and if he were to start trying to vocally lead, it would be awkward. Cuddyer, Torii Hunter were leaders and Mauer kept his head down and was the best player. That's fine. People seem to want to blame Mauer for the playoff losses and the failures of the past 3 years, which is the most misguided thing in the world. Joe Mauer is not the problem. When I hear people criticizing Mauer at the game or at a bar, etc, I really don't put any stock in their opinions on baseball. That's the smell test between if they're a rube or if they know what they're talking about for me.
I just started the blog Troy Williamson's Hands which is about MN sports and whatever else I want to write--you can find it at http://troywilliamso...s.blogspot.com/
twitter: @dose17

#20 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    Old Geezer

  • Members
  • 1,421 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:06 PM

Yes to all of this. He was the life of the party, and that clubhouse was a perpetual party that spilled out into the clubs after everyone was dressed. He and Gladden were the leaders. But Hrbek and G-Man were right in there, at least until Gaetti found Jesus.


You seem to have a lot of inside info. Do you work for the twins?

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#21 jimv2

jimv2

    Member

  • Members
  • 44 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:23 PM

So, undeniably, the best franchise player is the one who (for some weird, unfortunate and disturbing reason) does not have a statue outside Target Field...



FWIW, JOhnson has a statute at the Nationals' ballpark. DC has had a few franchises here, and the focus is on guys who played here regardless of which franchise it was. I don't know of any reason why having a statue in DC would preclude one in Mpls, but I can certainly imagine Twins' mgmt deciding that they were going to focus on guys that played in MN and exclude those who have no real ties to the area.

#22 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    refuses to surrender his World Series baseball

  • Members
  • 1,317 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:30 PM

Jdosen, I don't get the sense anyone here is blaming Mauer for anything. Maybe at the Strib comments section but not so much here. Which is not to say people don't take unwarranted shots at either Mauer or Puckett from time to time. It happens but it's something I'm sure professional athletes learn to live with.

#23 Jim H

Jim H

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 439 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 04:39 PM

You seem to have a lot of inside info. Do you work for the twins?


Actually Puckett, Hrbek, Gladden and others were pretty famous for their party ways, you do not have to be a Twins insider to be aware of it. Gladden is pretty open about it on broadcasts, not giving details usually, but the general behavior of team in the clubhouse and post game antics.

I am not sure that any of that should have much to do with judging a player as a player. The only thing I ever wondered about that group of players is if they would of perhaps trained as hard as they partied, if it would have lengthened some of their careers or kept them healthier during them.

I think Mauer is a great player. I hope moving to 1B will keep him healthier and maybe we see more consistent production and just more games from him. Comparing him to Puckett, well they are entirely different players. They were and are both great, that is all I care about.

#24 Longdistancetwins

Longdistancetwins

    Member

  • Members
  • 90 posts
  • LocationNew York City

Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:37 PM

Yes to all of this. He was the life of the party, and that clubhouse was a perpetual party that spilled out into the clubs after everyone was dressed. He and Gladden were the leaders. But Hrbek and G-Man were right in there, at least until Gaetti found Jesus.


Yes, of course he was the life of the party; what I meant was that after Puckett was being pilloried by the national media (some of it deserved), it seems that none of his teammates came out and said, "Yeah, he was just out for himself," "It was all an act," "Selfish guy," "It was just the media guys who liked him." And that includes the Christian guys, Harper, Gags, etc.

#25 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:05 PM

Yes, of course he was the life of the party; what I meant was that after Puckett was being pilloried by the national media (some of it deserved), it seems that none of his teammates came out and said, "Yeah, he was just out for himself," "It was all an act," "Selfish guy," "It was just the media guys who liked him." And that includes the Christian guys, Harper, Gags, etc.


The Christians are the last people who I would expect this from. You know the thing about judge not lest you be judged? Many of the others expressed concern for him after he retired and gained 100 pounds. But that was born out of love. The other thing is, there is an unwritten rule that what happens in the clubhouse (and the clubs) stays there.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#26 jharaldson

jharaldson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 191 posts

Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:50 AM

There was a quote in the companion article that symbolizes why in my mind Joe Mauer has lost his connection with many fans. He and his wife dined at a restaurant and afterwords his server tweeted “Just served Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins! He gave me a fat tip!". After this type of positive, joyful response from a fan I could imagine Kirby having responded like this when asked about it:

Facial Expression – Big smile and a laugh
Quote – “Aw man, that’s hilarious! She deserved every cent of the tip, she was busting her rear covering half the restaurant.”

Here is how I would have hoped Joe had handled it:

Facial Expression – Shy smile
Quote – “That’s cool, she was a nice lady and did a good job.”

And here is how he actually responded:

Facial Expression – Rolled eyes
Quote - “Glad I left enough, I guess, you never know who’s watching.”

http://www.startribu.../253068271.html

#27 CRArko

CRArko

    Master of all I survey.

  • Members
  • 1,599 posts
  • LocationThe Pandorica.
  • Twitter: crarko

Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:57 AM

There was a quote in the companion article that symbolizes why in my mind Joe Mauer has lost his connection with many fans. He and his wife dined at a restaurant and afterwords his server tweeted “Just served Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins! He gave me a fat tip!". After this type of positive, joyful response from a fan I could imagine Kirby having responded like this when asked about it:

Facial Expression – Big smile and a laugh
Quote – “Aw man, that’s hilarious! She deserved every cent of the tip, she was busting her rear covering half the restaurant.”

Here is how I would have hoped Joe had handled it:

Facial Expression – Shy smile
Quote – “That’s cool, she was a nice lady and did a good job.”

And here is how he actually responded:

Facial Expression – Rolled eyes
Quote - “Glad I left enough, I guess, you never know who’s watching.”

http://www.startribu.../253068271.html


That's life in the era of Twitter and Google Glass. Everything is a special event, even when it's not. Ubiquitous Paparazzi.

#28 REPETE

REPETE

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:24 AM

Let's not forget hitting styles. Puck had that slow pitch softball mentality of "swing at everything", "never saw a pitch I didn't like". Joe is boring, methodical, and robot-like. End results are the same, though. Drives me nuts when people rip on Joe. The guy is one of the best hitters of all time, and after he retires, and a 270 hitter replaces him, the same people ripping him will talk about how great he was.

#29 BHtwins

BHtwins

    Member

  • Members
  • 79 posts

Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:56 AM

The Mauer haterade is infuriating and soooo misplaced if one has any understanding of the game. He is a typical Minnesota kid in action and mannerism except he has godly baseball talent.

When Bill James re-writes the Historical Abstract I would guess That Mauer finds himself somewhere between 5-8 of ALL TIME and maybe the purest hitting catcher ever. You realize how rare it is for a catcher to win an AL batting title? and actually be a pretty good defensive catcher.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,878 posts

Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:00 PM

You realize how rare it is for a catcher to win an AL batting title?


Excluding Mauer, that number would be:

Uh... Carry the one... Move the decimal...

0.