Sarcasm works in 140 characters or fewer. But subtlety? Not so much. As such, Twitter is our new go-to destination to determine which Twins players are causing the casual fan the most angst these days. Who has bashers and defenders? WHO ARE THE LIGHTNING RODS FOR CONTROVERSY? Here is the list, in a particular order (highest to lowest on the rod-meter):
1) Nick Punto: Still the champ. Anyone who gets his own Internet day has to be in the top spot. He's a sabermetric disaster, a throwback to an era when WAR meant Korea. Not surprisingly, our dad loves him. Not surprisingly, a lot of people love AND hate Punto as a player.
2) Delmon Young: Threatening to move further down this list if he has the kind of year we think he's going to have (21 HRs, 70-75 RBI, 800ish OPS). He's slimmer and he's better. He has all the tools, but he still frustrates a great many folks. If you are going to defend him, you had best keep Young's DOB handy so you can keep changing the number. We're up to, "But he's only 24" if you're scoring at home. The number flips in September.
3) Scott Baker: Gaining fast is the Bake-man (sorry for the Yoda-esque sentence construction). By all accounts, folks should be fairly excited about Baker, who was 13-3 in the last four months of 2009 and has capability of being a No. 3 (and maybe a No. 2) starter for many years to come. The problems are these: Though Francisco Liriano's continued brilliance could curb this issue, Baker is, for now, the de facto ace. And he's not an ace; also, his mound posture and body language tend to drive people crazy. Let's just say it's not a good thing when a good chunk of a fan base is waiting for a pitcher of Baker's stature to blow a 7-0 lead. He has his supporters, the backlash, and the backlash to the backlash right now. That's two of three in his corner, but the middle is pushing outward.
Honorable mention: Jesse Crain (though the argument is fairly one-sided) ... Jose Mijares (lefty is a return to health and a few shaky outings away from creating a divide) ... Joe Mauer (do you realize his OPS is half that of Wilson Ramos?) ... Michael Cuddyer (plenty of people still don't trust him).