Still trying to get over the Twins quick exit from the playoffs, I am clearly seeking solace in an attempt to place Joe Mauer’s historic season in context.
It got me thinking about the best single seasons in Twins history, so I decided to put together a lineup. The no brainers were the one’s discussed in the previous post on Mauer’s season: Mauer 2009 at catcher, Carew 1977 at first base, Killebrew 1969 at third base, Knoblauch 1996 at second base, and Puckett 1988 at center field.
Rounding out the team turned out to be a fairly easy task as well, with only a couple of positions that require any kind of debate. The closest was at shortstop, where Roy Smalley’s 1979 and Zoilo’s 1965 seem just about interchangeable. I went with Zorro, perhaps swayed by the national recognition he received and based on arguments made on his behalf over the last several seasons. Smalley might be my first bench player.
Left field was a bit of a challenge, but ultimately my desire to keep two of the same player off the team (Killebrew 1964) and to keep some kind of defense in the field (Hisle 1977) put Shane Mack in place.
Designated hitter does not have a terribly proud place in this team’s history, and I was surprised to find that Kubel’s numbers rank favorably against any DH in Twins history. The other two that could have been included were CHili Davis 1991 and Paul Molitor 1996.
C Joe Mauer 2009
1B Rod Carew 1977
2B Chuck Knoblauch 1996
SS Zoilo Versalles 1965
3B Harmon Killebrew 1969
LF Shane Mack 1992
CF Kirby Puckett 1988
RF Tony Oliva 1964
DH Jason Kubel 2009
I’ll take that team.