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Twins Hot Stove: James Rowson Arrives, Bill Smith Leaves

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Minnesota plucks new hitting coach from the Yankees, while their former GM announces his departure

Minnesota Twins Introduce Tsuyoshi Nishioka
we’ll always have nishi
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Twins’ new hitting coach will be Yankees minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson. The Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino has all the details you need. If Rowson was a positive influence on the young stars in New York (and, from 2012-13, the Chicago Cubs), then it’s probably a good hire. Who knows? Hitting coaches, man. If they need someone to say “Keep your hands back in the zone, use your hips, drive, and elevate,” I can absolutely do this.

Rowson replaces Tom Brunansky, who the Twins let go after the 2016 season. Per Twinkie Town editorial policy, it’s here that we note Tommy Herr is still a butthole and we love Bruno unconditionally.

We also learned via a LaVelle E. Neal III tweet that longtime Twins front office fixture and former GM Bill Smith will be leaving the team.

Two things here:

  1. Unless you follow the Twins fairly closely, your not-wrong reaction to this could be, “Holy crap, Bill Smith still had a job?” Multiple internet wiseacres made the same Milton-from-Office Space jokes.
  2. There are narratives out there that Bill Smith wasn’t the punchline he is considered to be by casual fans. But. Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps. Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett for Delmon Young. Any one of these moves would have gotten a GM canned elsewhere. Smith made all of them.

In non-Twins news (unless they make the World Series next season, so, yeah), Major League Baseball is discontinuing the goofy-ass practice of having the All-Star Game winner determine home field advantage in the Fall Classic. Eric Stephens has more at the mothership.