Previously on Twinkie Town:
- Zach explained why what the Twins need more than anything now is a healthy Byron Buxton. Good luck?!
- People be cheatin’ apparently. Rumored among the filthy cheats is the Yankees. Could this be the explanation for the curse? If so then I’m pretty upset and kinda want my first born back from that swamp witch.
- Twins ownership has a reputation for being cheap. Community member CG19 warns that the Josh Donaldson signing shouldn’t bring us to change that perception so quickly. I agree, because honestly being mad at old rich dudes is my only real hobby.
Elsewhere in Twins Territory:
- In an Interview with SKOR North, Joe Mauer champion of Milk lost his cool about the recent sign stealing scandal and said such vulgar things as “I just think it is flat-out wrong.” and “it is really disappointing.” Whoa, mask off. I bet he even dropped some “Gosh darnits” in there but that couldn’t be printed on a family website.
- MLBTR has some insight into the Twins goals this off season, and in a rare turn of events it seams the Twins offering that 5th option year when no one else was willing is what won them the Donaldson prize. First time for everything.
- I try not to link The Athletic because it is subscription based (though very worth it.) but this profile on the sometimes loved, sometimes hated, always interesting former ace pitcher and current broadcaster, Bert Blyleven is too good not to link.
- For Twins Daily, Cooper Carlson looks at how Zack Littell become a pretty good reliever, and asks if his performance is sustainable. I won’t spoil it for you.
Around the World in Bases and Balls:
- The Giants made a historic hire when they made they found their new bench coach in Alyssa Nakken, the first woman with a coaching role at the Major League level. I actually cried a little when I hear about it, just in case you are one of those dorks who think representation doesn’t matter.
- The GM of the Clinton Lumberkings, a team who stands to stop existing in the MLB’s plan to make the minors smaller, wrote an opinion piece rebuking the efforts of the MLB to get the public on their side.
- The Sign Stealing scandal is the talk of the various towns, and if you are like me you might be a bit bored of reading about it. Well too bad! This Ringer piece is a good reminder that nearly half the league has been accused of cheating and maybe it isn’t the best idea to feel holier then thou just yet!
- I also am really curious of what everyone’s opinion of the actions of Mike Fiers, the whistle blower in all of this. I trust you guys to have more level headed and non-dumb opinions than other websites.
Old Timey Player of the Week: Oyster Burns
Oyster Burns, which sounds like one of the most disgusting potential types of burns, was born Thomas P. Burns in 1864. I don’t know what the P stands for, but as you’ll come to see, there is a good chance it stood for “Piece of Shit.” His “Oyster” moniker comes from him selling shellfish during the off season, which means if we were still as creative as they were in 1864, we would have a player named Uber Dobnak. Burns was described in newspapers as a loudmouth and as having “an irritating voice and personality.”
Oyster debuted at the age of 19 for the Wilmington Quicksteps, but quickly found himself as a Baltimore Oriole. He had a great rookie season with Baltimore, leading them In homeruns with an astounding 6. Unfortunately for Oyster, his sophomore campaign was less inspiring, and he found himself demoted to the Newark Domestics, a team with a name I’m not even going to touch.
The next year Burns was not only promoted back to Baltimore, he also became the team captain. At least until he was fined 25 entire dollars for throwing a baseball at an opposing pitcher after grounding out. Later in that season, Burns was moved by his owner to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, a team he also owned. Brooklyn newspapers took to him as others had, describing his voice as reminiscent of a buzz saw and giving him the distinction of being “the noisiest man that ever played on the Brooklyn team.”
2 seasons later in 1890, between double headers, fellow Bridegroom Tom Daly was napping in center field when our hero stabbed him in the stomach with a penknife. Daly woke up, understandably confused, and rolled over, causing the knife to sever a tendon. Why did this happen? I have no idea. I guess these are just the things you do when you are an angry ballplayer named after slimy sea creatures in the 1800s. Daly was out for 2 weeks, Burns doesn’t appear to have even been punished.
In 1895, Burns left the Bridegrooms, presumably finally completing the wedding, and became a New York Giant. It would be his last major league season. Oyster moved back to Brooklyn, having fond memories of stabbing dudes for no reason there, where he lived until he died in 1928. RIP is you delightful bastard.