Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The 2 Joes

Has Joe Morgan legally changed his name to “The Hall of Famer Joe Morgan”? The ass-kiss Karl Ravetch, on ESPN, calls him by that every time he introduces him.

First Joe is asked about ARod. He says he has to block out the fans and concentrate oon his game when he is hitting with runners in scoring position. He is hitting .296/.431/.557 with an OPS of .988 with runners in scoring position.

Then he proceeds to ask him about Joe Mauer. Of course he must compare him with Johnny Bench, because Joe played with him in Cincinnati. The only good players are players who played with Joe in Cincy. He said that Joe was a great hitter but there is no comparison with Johnny Bench.

Johnny Bench was a great player and Mauer has not had a career that can match up with Bench’s. And Bench had some great years, defensively and offensively he was a rare power hitting catcher. But he was never a good hitter for average. His highest OBP was lower than Mauer’s AVG this year. So yes there is a comparison.

This is not too say that Mauer is a better catcher or hitter than Bench, only that a comparison can be made. At this time Mauer is just starting out and we don’t know what kind of career he will have.

The strange thing to me is that Mauer hits for a great average and Bench never did. If you listen to Joe talk, which is hard to do, he will tell you that average is more important than geeky stats like OBP & SLG.

Right now Mauer is in the top 10 of all time seasons for OPS and Runs Created by a catcher. Bench was in the top 10 of Runs Created in 1 of his seasons.
Mauer also has a great throwing arm like Bench. Compare and contrast they are both great players. Mauer just can’t compare his career to Bench’s yet. But this individual season by a catcher is one for the history books


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