Previously on Twinkie Town:
- MLB Network put 6 entire Twins on their top 100 current players list! That’s more than 5! That’s less than 7! #BigAnalysis
- Ryan gave us all a history lesson, introducing us to the Senators one-inning-wonder Cal Cooper
- In the latest edition of America’s favorite show, Bookclub with James Fillmore, James reviews Bill Ripken’s new book. Obligatory Fillmore is an old joke goes here.
Elsewhere in Twins Territory:
- The latest Zone Coverage Podcast features Trevor Plouffe talking about the time Joe Mauer showed up to a dance party in a horse mask. So obviously quit your job right now and listen to that on repeat until your spouse leaves you and the bank takes the house.
- Headlining yesterday’s edition of Fangraph’s Sunday Notes column is a bit on Royce Lewis’s “Cacophonous” swing.
- Twins Daily’s Lucas Seehafer has a really good piece on how hard it is for a player (Like human paddle-ball ball Byron Buxton) to shed the label of “injury prone.” and about how said label is often slapped on them unfairly.
- Betsy Helfand has an early roster projection for you. Who do you all think is going to nab that 26th man spot?
The Wide World of Former Twins Doing Stuff:
- Kurt Suzuki claims the Astros were still entering the cheat-code “TRASHCAN” on the password screen during the 2019 world series.
- Big Sexy Cat Bartolo Colon is making his comeback and playing again in the Mexican league. Can you imagine if he gets back to the MLB? Could we handle Bartolo AND Willians on the same team?
- I know my audience, so here’s the latest developments in the wide world of “players pranking Ron Gardenhire.” Then Joe Vavra is mentioned and you realize the current Tigers are probably some sort of elaborate performance art piece parodying the Twins of 7 years ago. High art.
Old Timey Baseballer of the Week:
On October 3rd 1885, a 20 year old John Francis Smith started a ballgame for the Newark Little Giants (???? That’s just a regular sized person, Newark!) against Baltimore. He would go the distance, only allowing two baserunners on one error and one walk. Smith would pick them both off at first. It was this no hitter that earned him the moniker that stuck with him for the rest of his playing days. Phenomenal Smith was born.
It went straight to his head.
Phenomenal claimed he was so good that he did not need team-mates to win his games. His team mates responded by purposefully committing 14 errors in one game. Can you imagine the media coverage if a team did that now? The 1800s were balls out crazy, you guys.
Anyway, the President of the club Phenomenal played for at the time tried to fine each of the error committing players 500 bucks (roughly equivalent to one bazillion-million dollars today, probably.) but ended up just releasing Smith instead.
In 1890, our hero would pitch for the ill-fated 23-113 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, where he was the winning pitcher in 21 percent of their wins, with a whopping 5. The next year would be Smith’s last in the Majors, but he would do the player-manager thing in the minors for a bit, where he was somehow credited for discovering HOFer Christy Mathewson.
Here’s a choice list of Minor League teams he played for, because old team names are so hilariously bad.
- Green Bay Bays.
- Reading Actives.
- Hartford Cooperatives.
- Three different teams named “the Phenoms” in case you thought maybe his ego cooled down with age.
After baseball, Phenomenal Smith had 10 kids and became a cop, presumably having all the criminals he caught released by his co-workers because they were sick of him being a dick all the time.
Today’s soundtrack is Sonic, because I just saw the movie. (It was cute!)