Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
You know something has made a big hoo-hah on Twitter when folks not engulfed in Twins baseball comment on it. The best part is that this all came about before 10 A.M. on a Tuesday. What a country, my friends!
The big debate on the tweet machine was the famous Kirby Puckett versus Joe Mauer debate, two of the most prominent faces in the history of the Minnesota Twins franchise and who is better, because everything obviously needs to be a competition. Have I mentioned that this is an awesome country, yet?
It simply can’t be ignored that it’s pretty tough to compare Puckett and Mauer apples to apples. Both the centerfielder and catcher are important members to the field, but the catcher obviously has more control over the action. Mauer is now over at first base, but those years at catcher can’t be forgotten.
Statistically speaking, Mauer is clearly the better player at the plate. There is no denying that and it’s pretty hard to fudge those numbers, but, as some have pointed out on Twitter, Mauer doesn’t have the narrative that Kirby Puckett did.
Puckett was the face of the franchise for two world championships. Mauer is the face of a couple division titles, a huge contract, a major downturn in the franchise and bilateral leg weakness. Puckett brought home the hardware and that clouds the judgment of some Twins fans even though the numbers don’t lie.
Mauer, if he can stay healthy, projects to be a member of the Hall of Fame. There’s reason to believe that Puckett got in the Hall of Fame because his career was cut short and was brought in for what could have been.
Debate is fun, hell, ESPN has made a living out of it, but I urge you not to be Skip Bayless. One of him is too much to muster.