March 8, 2006
So, needless to say this has been a tough week for Twins related bloggers such as myself. Like I said below, Kirby's death has impacted me in a way I didn't expect. I don't mind admitting I have gotten a little misty eyed reading some of the great stuff that is being written about Minnesota's greatest sports hero. (For a great listing of all the stuff that has been written about Puckett see this fantastic post from Seth Speaks. Nice work on that one, Seth!). The outward display of affection towards Puck has been inspirational and I only wish Puckett could have been alive to see it. There is no doubt he had a rough go of it the last few years of his life. While he might have deserved some of it, everyone deserves a second chance. This is especially true considering all the positives Puckett brought to Minnesota as a state, and the upper Midwest in general. Puckett became a forgotten man, it seems, these past few years. Maybe even the butt of some ill-conceived jokes. That is a shame because truly, of all the athletes I have watched throughout my life, he did not deserve it. What he deserved are the accolades he is receiving now.
Speaking of which, I have some comments about some of the articles I have been reading:
- I agree with Seth that Reusse's article on the topic was one of the best. His description of Puck ribbing Harper over the fall of Jimmy Swaggart is hilarious. I also liked Jim Souhan's piece about how Puckett was so welcoming of new teammates, young and old.
- And as you might expect, I just about lost it reading Nick "Stupid Head" Coleman's tribute to Puckett in today's paper. It really, really has me steamed considering all the hate he pours towards the Twins franchise. It is like Stalin writing a tribute to Trotsky. It is like Nero writing a tribute to the Christians. It is so shallow and hollow and deceiving ... it just really ticks me off that he would even dare to try to buddy up to Twins fans. Where does this guy get the balls?
- I was also ticked off with this ESPN article by Gene Wojciechowski. First of all let me just say I agree with all he has to say about the mockery of a baseball player that is Barry Bonds. He is a drugged monster who has no place on the field. He has tarnished the game and shouldn't even be able to buy a ticket to see the displays at Cooperstown. But what has me ticked off with Wojciechowski is that he even mentioned Puckett in the same breath as this turkey. Leave Puckett out of it. (Isn't it ironic that I have just made the same mistake in this post?)
- I loved this piece by Boof's Bergblog. How he pulled off a comparision between Optimus Prime and Puckett I will never know, but I am impressed. And regarding the Transformers movie in which Optimus Prime was killed ... that has to be the dumbest idea ever in the history of animation. Who was the marketing genius who approved that idea? Kill off everyone's favorite character? Sheesh ... it almost makes Nick Coleman look like a Rhodes Scholar. OK maybe not a Rhodes Scholar, maybe just a graduate of National American University (hey Tim!).
There were more articles I enjoyed, but I would have to say that these were the ones that prompted a reaction. Also, now I am reading that citizens of Minnesota are clamoring for a new stadium to be named Kirby Puckett Park or something like that. All I have to say is don't hold your breath. Personally I would love it, but there is too much money to be made to allow that to happen. We'll see how it shakes out.
Finally, I hope this event has taught all Minnesotans what a powerful impact sports can have on all our lives, fans and non-fans alike. Puckett brought us together like no politician or celebrity ever could. Like the Star Tribune said concerning the '87 and '91 seasons, "No one who lived here in those magical days can doubt the spirit that sports can bring to a community." That is what we can thank Kirby for: reaching the pinnacle of his sport and brining us all along for the ride. Thanks Kirby!
Posted by snackeru at March 8, 2006 12:14 PM | Twins
Why can't it be Puckett Field at Cub Foods Ballpark? Everyone would then call it "The Puck" just like we call Xcel Energy Center "The X."
Posted by: freealonzo at March 8, 2006 1:15 PM
Hmmm ... I like that idea. Kind of like Ivesco Field at Mile High. I could definitely handle this kind of development!
Posted by: Shane at March 8, 2006 1:18 PM
I disagree on Bonds, but that's a discussion for another time.
The difference between Kirby and Barry is night and day for the players and personalities they are. Agree that they don't belong together.
Coleman's article is absolute garbage. He says what a great person Kirby was, but refuses to make the connection as to HOW he became popular, as a baseball player. He simply makes his history with the Twins as an afterthought. Pathetic.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 8, 2006 2:30 PM
I'd say cut Nick Coleman some slack here. He doesn't need to gush about Kirby's on-field accomplishments, or tell one of the countless stories about how cool Kirby was to fans and to the community. There is plenty of that in rest of the paper. He presents some interesting data on the name "Kirby" and he summarizes how Kirby was the rarest of public personalities, truly loved by all. I admit a lot of Coleman articles are garbage, but I think you guys have your unrelenting Coleman-rage in full effect here!
There are those of us that love the Twins and Kirby, but also have our issues with team ownership and the stadium games -- Nick Coleman is one, and I am another. This is hardly the time to accuse us of "hating" the Twins franchise, or to dismiss our respect for Puckett as "shallow, hollow, deceiving" or "garbage." C'mon.
Posted by: spycake at March 8, 2006 3:54 PM
Don't put yourself in the same group as Coleman, spycake. You do yourself a disservice. I stand by what I said. Coleman, based on his previous tirades, should have left this one alone. He is "out of his league" both figuratively and literally.
Posted by: Shane at March 8, 2006 3:58 PM
I find some obvious similarities between Nick Coleman's "tribute" to Kirby and his brother's actions as mayor across the river.
Nick- Rip Twins and chances for a new ballpark every chance you get and then pen a gushing piece to their most recognizable player.
Chris- Don't even let your desk chair warm up before signing a smoking ban for all St. Paul establishments and then get spotted about town enjoying cigars.
Brothers cut from the same cloth.
Posted by: Jiminstpaul at March 8, 2006 4:14 PM
Besides Spycake, you don't want to get Shane all angry. He'll come after you with his skinny arms and legs and bony elbows and knees all flailing about like they are independent from his body. He's like a 6'5" stickman puppet for goodness sakes.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 8, 2006 4:59 PM
Oh isn't that just nicey nicey...Our fearless leaders in St. Paul took a moment to pause and reflect on Kirby Puckett today...
Why don't they take the 3 mins it would take to vote and approve the damn stadium in Kirby's honor instead??????
I think I'm gonna puke!
Posted by: kevin in az at March 8, 2006 9:59 PM
What is with the unprovoked personal attack, CC? Jealous of my good looks?
Kevin, you are right of course. Their tribute also seems a little hollow to me given that half of them could care less about the Twins.
Posted by: Shane at March 9, 2006 8:26 AM
I'm obviously not very close to the situation, but I wonder whether the death of Kirby Puckett, sad as it is, will result in people remembering why and how much they love the Twins and result in a new ballpark being built. I don't know how likely that is, but it seems like it might be possible.
Kirby has already been credited with saving the franchise once. Wouldn't it be something if, with his death, he wound up saving it again?
Posted by: Jeff A at March 9, 2006 8:53 AM
A reminder popped up on my computer that I was due to rip on you, Shane. Have to keep on schedule!
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 9, 2006 9:52 AM
Shane it seems you are very shallow and narrow-minded. You get mad at everyone who doesn't want to waste money on a stadiu that YOU FANS should pay for. Just because Coleman has stood up to the greed of the team and fans in begging for welfare for their stadium doesn't mean he can't pay a tribute to this athlete. Get a grip! Besides, the Twins could have their Kirby Stadium even if Carl Pohlad and the cheepskate fans paid for it themselves.
Posted by: reality check at March 9, 2006 10:48 AM
I'm glad I have given you a forum to give your opinion, "reality check." I'm sorry that we won't see eye to eye on this issue, but difference of opinion makes the world go around.
Posted by: Shane at March 9, 2006 10:57 AM
You give a forum, but you are too cheap too give any money to Pohlad to build a stadium. It must be nice to waste other people's money on garbage. Tell me, what will you do when the Twins are eliminated through contraction? Instead of harasssing inocent taxpayers you cheapskate fans should stand up to Pohlad and MLB and make them build a stadium. I guess that requires far more courage than you people have.
Posted by: try again at March 9, 2006 11:10 AM
Sounds like someone needs more bran in their diet so that they aren't so constipated and irritable...
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 9, 2006 11:35 AM
It probably hasn't been said here before, but...
If a community wants a major league baseball team, they have certain obligations. Is this fair? Probably not, but as the general community benefits by having a pro sports team, the general community needs to meet the obligations. Should we squeeze as much money out of the rich owners who will benefit most financially? Absolutely! Un....
Wait a second! I just noticed that I've been attacked in your blog!
I'd like to point out that National American University has given its dozens of graduates top flight jobs in the housekeeping or food service industries.
Long live the Dome!
Posted by: Tim R at March 9, 2006 12:35 PM
Wait Tim! You were saying something about the community benefits of having a MLB baseball team?
Shoot! I lost another one ...
Posted by: Shane at March 9, 2006 12:39 PM
I think we're looking at this from two different angles. Well, obviously we are, but let me rephrase what I'm trying to say.
I believe a pro sports team comes with certain community requirements.
Is it fair that a business should come into a community and require that the community subsidize it? No! Here's where the community has some significant power. It can (and should) refuse the business demands if loosing the business is deemed a better option than subsidizing it. Bingo! This is the important point I'm trying to make. If you do not think the benefits received from a business in our area outweigh its cost to the community, you have every right to refuse its demands.
I believe that the entire community sees some improvement in lifestyle with pro teams. Similarly, I believe that everyone in the community benefits in state parks, museums, libraries, zoos and the like.
Should the community foot the entire bill for these companies? Absolutely not! It is our job to figure out hot to responsibly support them if we determine that we want them. This is where we find our toughest challenge. How much should we pay if we desire this team? How much is fair?
I don’t have a clue.
Posted by: Tim R at March 9, 2006 3:09 PM
haha thanks for the comment! To my surprize, no on has brought up the weird Transformers analogy.
Posted by: Boof at March 12, 2006 1:18 AM
Be respectful, or no comments for you.
Posted by: no, no, no at March 20, 2006 4:12 PM