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Souhan on Punto

Jim Souhan wrote an article about Nick Punto in today’s star tribune.  Can you really call it a slump if it lasts an entire year?  I say no.  Also, Punto thinks he can be our leadoff hitter in April, well season starts in March buddy.  I know its good to have a versatile player like Punto on the team.  We used to have Denny Hocking, now we have Punto.  Hocking couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag, neither can Punto.  He wouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as the starters if it weren’t for Gardy’s love of “scrappiness”.  I have nothing against Punto personally, I’m sure he is a nice guy, and from what I read he is great in the clubhouse.  However, in baseball, and in life, you have to know your role.  His is “utility infielder”.  There are worse things you could be than pretty much the first guy off the bench for one of the most respected organizations in the majors. 

I also don’t like how he mentioned he wasn’t going to change his swing.  Guy comes off a year where he was lucky to hit .210 and he is going to change….nothing? really?  At least tell me you are going to try to change something.  I understand defense is very important, especially with a young pitching staff.  But how can Punto even be considered over Brendan Harris.  Harris played out of position all last year, so he will be much better at second than he was at short.  Also, he is leaps and bounds a better hitter than Punto.  So having above average (albeit overrated) defense and the worst bat of all time, against an average glove and an above average bat is a competition? Come on.

10 comments

10 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 27th, 2008 8:52 am

    I read there was a meeting yesterday for the team’s potential leadoff hitters, led by Molitor and Carew. The participants were Gomez, Span, and Punto. I thought it was more than a little odd that Punto was considered in that group.

    In order to be a leadoff hitter, you have to be a starter; and I just don’t see that in Punto’s future. (At least not in the major leagues.)

  2. sirsean February 27th, 2008 10:36 am

    Say what you will about Souhan (and don’t pull any punches, he’s the Punto of sportswriters), he threw a good quote in at the end of that article:

    As one Twin said of Rondell White last year, though, “Nice guys have to get hits, too.”

    I’m sure we’d all like Punto if we got to know him. But … we don’t know him. We just watch him on TV. And in that role, he needs to get hits.

  3. FunBobby February 27th, 2008 12:04 pm

    That is a good quote. I wonder if players are now more willing to say things like that now that Hunter is gone. If he were still around he would probably take swings at them, because he admired RonDL for playing hurt.

  4. sirsean February 27th, 2008 1:04 pm

    “Playing” hurt, yes. I don’t understand how he was able to criticize Mauer and laud White in the same breath. It’s got to be one or the other.

  5. FunBobby February 27th, 2008 1:15 pm

    I’m guessing he was playing a certain card. That is all. I’m kind of glad he won’t be around now because no doubt it would be even worse with Monroe. Since they are very close friends.

  6. sirsean February 27th, 2008 1:30 pm

    I wonder … does he have any friends that don’t play the same card game he does? He seemed to be the only person in the world who doesn’t like Mauer (what a wuss) and Morneau (I’ll knock your block off!).

    And remember when Cuddyer moved out to RF and Torii was mad that he broke up the Lawton-Hunter-Jones “Soul Patrol?”

  7. FunBobby February 27th, 2008 1:51 pm

    And then he broke up the Stewart-Hunter-Jones soul patrol II.

  8. Grizz February 27th, 2008 2:40 pm

    It is interesting, on ESPN.com has a ranking of the top 340 fantasy players. Punto comes in at #332. That seems low, however there is no Brendan Harris, Scott Baker, Boof Bonser or any of the centerfielders trying to earn the spot on this list. Also, I thought it was funny when the Twins would have the Polka Patrol of Cuddyer, Ford and Rabe/Tyner/Kubel. The only problem was Ford saw about 30% of the fly balls hit to him, Rabe never once hit a cut-off man and Tyner threw like a…like a… oh what’s that Sandlot line again?

  9. sirsean February 27th, 2008 2:53 pm

    Not only could Rabe not hit a cut off man, he couldn’t field a two hopper to left … turning a single into an inside the park home run.

    How do people like that get to the major leagues? If you pull that crap in little league you get benched.

    I saw that list … I couldn’t figure out their parameters for inclusion on the list. They include Liriano and Slowey, but not Boof, Baker, or Livan. And obviously that happens for a lot of teams, but I don’t think it’s obvious that Liriano/Slowey will be more effective this year than Baker/Boof.

    (I think Punto’s position on the ranking is helped by the fact that he’s eligible at every infield position. If he were only eligible at 3B, he wouldn’t even be on the list. I’m a bit worried about how low they consider Lamb to be, though. He’s #319, barely better than Punto.)

  10. Texas February 27th, 2008 8:25 pm

    Is it ridicuolously sad that i expect Punto to get 400-500 AB’s this year? Even though he is at best the 25th best hitter we have in camp right now!

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