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Rand: The Mauer versus Puckett comparison

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#31 darin617

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:23 PM

Is it just me or did Kirby turn down bigger money to stay in MN? We all know how this ends now with a $23M contract on a team not willing to spend much more than $100M. Kind of like jumping out of an airplane with an anvil strapped to your back instead of a parachute.

Too bad Joe never heard of a home town discount.

#32 darin617

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:30 PM

So is Joe Mauer going to make it to the HOF? Not much of a chance when he won't be catching much after 2013-14(take your pick).

#33 snepp

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:39 PM

Is it just me or did Kirby turn down bigger money to stay in MN?


He signed the largest contract in all of baseball once, then nearly did it again a few years later (only the 3rd highest in all of baseball). He didn't leave much money on the table.

#34 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:45 PM

I would rather pay money to watch Kirby Puckett play baseball than pay money to watch Joe Mauer play baseball.

Any. Friggin. Day.

The rest is details.

#35 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

They're not as different as you'd like to think. I belie Puckett was the better player (but not by much) and someone could make a damned good case that Kenny was the better overall player. I wouldn't buy it but the argument could easily be made.


Well let's see.

All-Star selections: Puckett 10, Lofton 6
Top-10 MVP votes: Puckett 10, Lofton 1
Gold Gloves: Puckett 7, Lofton 4
Silver Sluggers: Puckett 6, Lofton 0

So while I suppose such an argument could be made, I would find it exceedingly difficult to take seriously.

#36 kydoty

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:48 PM

As I mentioned in the Strib comments, Pucket's $5.6 million in 1993 was among the highest salaries in baseball at the time. And those idiots complaining about Mauer's contract seem to not understand that a player of Puckett's calibur in 2012 wouldn't in hell agree to a $5.6 million salary in the free agent market.

"Mediocre breaking balls are a gift from God." - Kirby Puckett


#37 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

I don't know how you compare 2 such different players from different eras, but it makes for fun debate.

But one thing I never buy into is the "2-0" argument. By that rationale Chuck Knoblauch should be considered a better player than Rod Carew.

This isn't tennis. It makes no sense to judge individual players solely by team accomplishments.

#38 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:54 PM

That comments section made me despair for the human race.



Reading the comment section in the Star Tribune is like looking directly at an eclipse.

#39 kydoty

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

Puckett: 2

Mauer: 0

That is all.


If only Mauer could pitch like Puckett could.

"Mediocre breaking balls are a gift from God." - Kirby Puckett


#40 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:03 PM

Apart from his accomplishments, Kirby Puckett's fame grew thanks to Bob Casey. An entire generation of kids saying:

"Kir-beeeeeeeeeee Puck-it"

#41 TK10

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:26 PM

Puckett would have had very strong seasons as a full-time DH in his late 30s. The guy could have been fatter than Sandoval and slower than Thome and it wouldn't have mattered. He was a hitting savant, pure and simple.

#42 Badsmerf

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:55 PM

The original post was about Mauer and Puckett. At the end of Mauer's career, I think he will be HOF worthy too. He just doesn't have the personality that Puckett did. Plus, Mauer hasn't won in big games while making "the" play. I hope he gets that chance.

#43 CDog

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:01 AM

I would rather pay money to watch Kirby Puckett play baseball than pay money to watch Joe Mauer play baseball.

Any. Friggin. Day.

The rest is details.


Well...details and the super remote possibility that someone else may have a different personal taste or opinion.

#44 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:03 AM

I would rather pay money to watch Kirby Puckett play baseball than pay money to watch Joe Mauer play baseball.

Any. Friggin. Day.

The rest is details.


Well...details and the super remote possibility that someone else may have a different personal taste or opinion.


Can you point to the part where I stated or implied something different?

Do you have a take on "the Mauer vs Puckett Comparison" or did you just drop by to, yet again, take potshots at other posters?

#45 Wolfy

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:33 AM

In the Chicago series, Bremer brought up the point that Mauer saw a lot of pitches and swung at very few. Checking the stat, Mauer is at or near the top in pitches per PA. This is an underrated contribution.

Mauer works a count. He doesn't see too many good pitches. (maybe strike one so his critics can't use that joke) Other than his HR totals which may become more substantial as his career progresses, his numbers are outstanding. HOF worthy.

Mauer will one day be appreciated for how good he is at what he does. In the meantime, if you are wanting Mauer to be a loudmouth in the clubhouse, or hack at pitches out of the strike zone like Puckett or Guerrero did, don't hold your breath.

Edited by Wolfy, 07 September 2012 - 05:36 AM.
spelling


#46 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:15 AM

I agree with your statistical assessment, but the HOF voters give special credit to key players from multiple World Series Champs, and also those whose careers are cut short tragically and project to levels of greatness like Puckett did. In addition, they love hits- while you are to Kirby Puckett what Buddy Ryan was to Chris Carter ("all he does is score touchdowns"). Also, if you're going to make a health argument, you can't gloss over or ignore Puckett's incredible durability and penchant for grinding out 150+ games played, season after season- Lofton hit that mark all of once- The HOF voters love "gamers", too.

Finally, you are absolutely wrong about HRs--- Puckett 207 career HR. Lofton 130. Also, "Lofton lasted just a little bit longer than Puckett"??? In Lofton's case, that extra 5 years is extending a career by 42% over Puckett, significantly more, not just a little bit longer.


Again, nowhere in this thread have I questioned Puckett's HoF-worthiness. I believe he deserves to be there... I'm just pointing out that he's not the greatest player since Mantle.

I flipped the homers. That was a screwup on my part.

On the other hand, Lofton played in ~20% more games than Puckett while Kenny's career WAR is ~35% higher than Kirby. Lofton was a great defender for longer, was better at getting on base, and was a terror on the basepaths. Kirby had the advantage in BA and slugging. Interestingly enough, WAR isn't kind to Kirby's defense. An oversight on the part of WAR in the early days of the Metrodome or a misjudging of Puckett's defense capabilities? Either could be the case.

And by the way, hits are in no way comparable to touchdowns. I downplay hits because they're only a part of what a player does at the plate and on the basepaths. Hits are an overblown statistic because a single is not a double is not a triple is not a homer, yet they are all counted for the same in that metric. It's like comparing Plaxico Burress and LaDainian Tomlinson and concluding that they're the same player because they have approximately the same number of receptions, ignoring that Plaxico had twice as many yards per catch than Tomlinson and four times as many receiving touchdowns while also ignoring Tomlinson's running abilities. It's a non-sensical comparison in a vacuum because the information is nearly useless.

#47 peterb18

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:29 AM

[quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='CDog'][quote name='USAFChief']I would rather pay money to watch Kirby Puckett play baseball than pay money to watch Joe Mauer play baseball.

Any. Friggin. Day.

The rest is details.[/QUOTE]

Well...details and the super remote possibility that someone else may have a different personal taste or opinion.[/QUOTE]

Can you point to the part where I stated or implied something different?

Do you have a take on "the Mauer vs Puckett Comparison" or did you just drop by to, yet again, take potshots at other posters?[/QUOTE]

Yes, another potshot by this guy!

#48 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:30 AM

...And Lofton is the one 70's HR behind. Fact is, despite his place on WAR lists, Kenny isn't close to a slam dunk to make the HoF, yet we've already agreed Kirby is unquestionably worthy. I'd say that means they're not as comparable as you're saying outside being CF's.


The HoF factors in a lot more than just play on the field and I don't have any issues with that. Puckett easily got through the voting process because of his personality, his rings, and his career-shortening glaucoma.

But if we're comparing only what was done on the field (which is generally the point of player comparisons), guys like Lofton and Murphy aren't terribly different than Puckett as overall players.

#49 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:50 AM

The HoF factors in a lot more than just play on the field.


Yes, it does. And that's where Mauer needs to do some repair work. I think 2011 hurt him tremendously. We heard/read rumors about players elsewhere questioning his "toughness". He seemingly wanted (and got) special treatment -- I still don't know why he did not spend a single day of his rehab in Rochester. Not to mention the whole mysterious "bi-lateral leg weakness" (the Twins & their P.R. staff probably did him a huge disservice there).

Joe Mauer is a very good professional baseball player whose statistics will probably be worthy of the Hall of Fame (maybe more than worthy of the Hall of Fame). He just doesn't generate much excitement outside the state of Minnesota.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 07 September 2012 - 08:11 AM.


#50 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:10 AM


...And Lofton is the one 70's HR behind. Fact is, despite his place on WAR lists, Kenny isn't close to a slam dunk to make the HoF, yet we've already agreed Kirby is unquestionably worthy. I'd say that means they're not as comparable as you're saying outside being CF's.


The HoF factors in a lot more than just play on the field and I don't have any issues with that. Puckett easily got through the voting process because of his personality, his rings, and his career-shortening glaucoma as well as his all around play.

But if we're comparing only what was done on the field (which is generally the point of player comparisons), guys like Lofton and Murphy aren't terribly different than Puckett as overall players.


Added that for you.

There are a lot of problems comparing the two that can't easily be fixed. WAR, for instance, is high for Lofton based on defense and baserunning, two of the weaker components in WAR calculation. WAR also has been criticized for not taking into account durability. Puck played about 400 games less than Lofton even though Lofton played 7 more seasons. That said, Puck avg over 4WAR/season and Lofton was about 3.8.

Lofton also played throughout the steroid era and his erosion as an offensive player was hidden by the fact (something that helps Tim Raines as well). Despite a career .372 OBP, Lofton only finished in the top 10 (never higher than 7th) 3x in his 17 years, and he was hitting leadoff.

But most of the problems in comparing the two is you are giving Lofton too much credit for compiling totals as opposed to looking at seasons. Lofton didn't have that many truly dominating seasons. In 17 seasons, Lofton finished top 10 in WAR 3x but those were based nearly entirely on defensive calculations. If you look at other season grading stats - RC, WPA (one top 10 season in both to Pucks 4 in each) - Lofton falls off. Basically, all arguments for Lofton being close to Puckett have to insist that defensive WAR calculations of both players are accurate. Hardball times wrote an article a few years back that specifically mentioned how the Metrodome's baggy (and Fenway's Monster) created havoc for calculating true defensive values, not coincidentally, Puck's defensive value in his RF years were pretty bad.

#51 CDog

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:11 AM

[quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='CDog'][quote name='USAFChief']I would rather pay money to watch Kirby Puckett play baseball than pay money to watch Joe Mauer play baseball.

Any. Friggin. Day.

The rest is details.[/QUOTE]

Well...details and the super remote possibility that someone else may have a different personal taste or opinion.[/QUOTE]

Can you point to the part where I stated or implied something different?

Do you have a take on "the Mauer vs Puckett Comparison" or did you just drop by to, yet again, take potshots at other posters?[/QUOTE]

Just the post I quoted where it seems pretty implied to me with your "case closed" style.

As for the debate at hand, I got to know Puck casually a little bit after he retired. Enough to make it fairly hard to be objective. So I'll keep my take to myself on this one and leave my contribution (for now) at pointing out that your dismissing other people's thoughts as mere details doesn't make it so. I don't like being dismissed, so I don't mind standing up for those that are sometimes, or even often.

#52 CDog

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:17 AM


The HoF factors in a lot more than just play on the field.


Yes, it does. And that's where Mauer needs to do some repair work. I think 2011 hurt him tremendously. We heard/read rumors about players elsewhere questioning his "toughness". He seemingly wanted (and got) special treatment -- I still don't know why he did not spend a single day of his rehab in Rochester. Not to mention the whole mysterious "bi-lateral leg weakness" (the Twins & their P.R. staff probably did him a huge disservice there).


"In here, we know how hurt he was last year and how hard he worked to get back out there."

That's a quote about Joe Mauer from Justin Morneau from earlier this season. I sure hope rumors and a doctor who fancied up a phrasing wouldn't matter one iota in a HoF voter's mind. I'd put a lot more stock in the comments from a teammate and actual performance, and I would hope they would, too.

#53 Boom Boom

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:20 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one here who thinks Kirby Puckett is overrated.

And that's not to denigrate Puck in any way. He was a great player, and I don't argue with his HOF induction at all. But... if you look at the numbers... he probably shouldn't have gotten in on the first ballot. But I could pick nits with half the players in the Hall as well.

Too much of Puckett's popularity is tied up in tall tales and legends. What if I told you that in the ALDS vs. the Yankees, Joe Mauer told his teammates to "jump on his back"... but since Phil Cuzzi botched that call, nobody would remember.

#54 Steve Lein

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:28 AM

But most of the problems in comparing the two is you are giving Lofton too much credit for compiling totals as opposed to looking at seasons. Lofton didn't have that many truly dominating seasons. In 17 seasons, Lofton finished top 10 in WAR 3x but those were based nearly entirely on defensive calculations. If you look at other season grading stats - RC, WPA (one top 10 season in both to Pucks 4 in each) - Lofton falls off. Basically, all arguments for Lofton being close to Puckett have to insist that defensive WAR calculations of both players are accurate. Hardball times wrote an article a few years back that specifically mentioned how the Metrodome's baggy (and Fenway's Monster) created havoc for calculating true defensive values, not coincidentally, Puck's defensive value in his RF years were pretty bad.


^ This.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#55 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:29 AM

I think Kirby Puckett was a fantastic Apple and Joe Mauer is a Fantastic Orange.

I predict that both of them will be in the Hall someday.

#56 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:45 AM

There are a lot of problems comparing the two that can't easily be fixed. WAR, for instance, is high for Lofton based on defense and baserunning, two of the weaker components in WAR calculation. WAR also has been criticized for not taking into account durability. Puck played about 400 games less than Lofton even though Lofton played 7 more seasons. That said, Puck avg over 4WAR/season and Lofton was about 3.8.

Lofton also played throughout the steroid era and his erosion as an offensive player was hidden by the fact (something that helps Tim Raines as well). Despite a career .372 OBP, Lofton only finished in the top 10 (never higher than 7th) 3x in his 17 years, and he was hitting leadoff.

But most of the problems in comparing the two is you are giving Lofton too much credit for compiling totals as opposed to looking at seasons. Lofton didn't have that many truly dominating seasons. In 17 seasons, Lofton finished top 10 in WAR 3x but those were based nearly entirely on defensive calculations. If you look at other season grading stats - RC, WPA (one top 10 season in both to Pucks 4 in each) - Lofton falls off. Basically, all arguments for Lofton being close to Puckett have to insist that defensive WAR calculations of both players are accurate. Hardball times wrote an article a few years back that specifically mentioned how the Metrodome's baggy (and Fenway's Monster) created havoc for calculating true defensive values, not coincidentally, Puck's defensive value in his RF years were pretty bad.


Totally valid points but I disagree with the Lofton/steroid era bit. Kenny was hurt pretty badly by the steroid era (assuming he was not a steroid user himself). Singles hitters who focused on getting on base and then stealing them were not treated well in the era where guys were routinely hitting 60+ homeruns. The entire era ballooned slugging percentages and even the adjusted metrics (WAR, rC, OPS+, etc) ding players who weren't mashers because the "net average" MLB hitter was raised by all those guys using PEDs. Of course, Kirby would have been somewhat affected by that as well, just not quite as much.

I admitted that WAR could have been brutal to players in the dome, which is why I implied that Kirby's WAR could be lower than it should be. On the other hand, before defensive metrics came to popularity, Derek Jeter was considered a premiere defensive shortstop. We all know how that turned out after people started digging more deeply into defensive statistics past errors. Personally, I think Kirby was a very good defensive outfielder but honestly, I have no idea if I'm correct in that assumption or not. I watched Kirby play as a kid and my eye wasn't exactly trained to differentiate hype from actual performance.

#57 CDog

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

I think Kirby Puckett was a fantastic Apple and Joe Mauer is a Fantastic Orange.

I predict that both of them will be in the Hall someday.


You've been killing it lately, Riverbrian! Well said and nice work.