I was out for the week with Bilateral Plague Having (BPH) and now I’m back in action to write this week’s Monday Morning Minnesota just in time for everyone’s favorite Monday of the week, Friday! Forgive me if my links are stagnant, I’m behind! And with that lets see what all you nerds have been up to lately.
Previously on Twinkie Town:
- Sandwiches made the case for extending Jose Berrios and/or Byron Buxton. The majority of you agreed with the proposed extension for Buxton, however........
- Perhaps it is time to explore trading Buxton. Bob thinks so at least! It is a tough sell, but due to the first-rounder being the human version of those sticky hand things you get out of quarter vending machines and then slap the car window and/or your brother with until your mom takes it away, his value isn’t a solid bet to rise with age.
- Cooper keeps us updated on the battles for the last few roster spots. Good news for all you Willians Astudillo fans, our large jolly son is the favorite for the last bench spot. I wouldn’t sleep on a Jake Cave rave, however.
- DJL44 is still doing his thing, and we’re now on Round 23 of our Prospect Vote 2020 , the most important thing you will vote on in 2020.
- Youtube TV will indeed have FSNorth this year, so rejoice if that was your carrier of choice!
- Community Member schmenkman explores the value the Twins have extracted from international signings in an excellent and in-depth piece full of graphs! Graphs!
Elsewhere in Twins Territory:
- If any of you anti-cheat zealots happened to not want Marwin Gonzalez on the team you happen to root for, Beyond the Box Score’s Sheryl Ring wondered about the legality of voiding his contract.
- A fan in Fort Myers was stretchered off the field after falling out of the stands on onto the warning track, highlighting how unsafe baseball fields can be for fans.
- Corona virus hysteria has reached baseball and the Twins have instituted a no-physical-contact policy for players over in Spring Training, ruining the days of various autograph seekers, per Star Tribune.
- Speaking of being ill, Nick Gordon is finally playing baseball again after mostly getting over a gastrointestinal issue. As another person getting back to work having not-quite-kicked some nasty sickness, I wish him the best.
Old Friend News:
- Per Masslive, Martin Perez, the only former Twin to tell me he loves me, makes cheese by hand on his ranch in Venezuala and wants to one day start a big business.
- After Struggling in Japan and regaining form in Puerto Rico over the winter, Kennys Vargas is getting another show with, who else, the Tigers.
Around the World in Bases and Balls
- For Fangraphs, Justin Klugh has a fun piece on just how bored we are of Mike Trout’s consistent once-in-a-generation performance.
- Will the MLB exist in 2030? The Ringer’s Michael Baumann thinks the answer is less obvious that it seems. Linked mostly for the Mike Trout aging gif.
OId Timey Baseball of the Week: Len Koenecke
Our short-but-insane tale starts with former Fireman Len Koenecke signing with the New York Giants in 1931 for 75k. His manager John McGraw predicted he would be a “bright star” in the National League. Len went hitless in his debut, and lasted only one season with the Giants, causing thousands to do whatever the 1930s of subtweeting McGraw for his sterling prediction.
Koenecke landed in the International League with the Buffalo Bisons, where he hit his way back into the NL with the Brooklyn Dodgers, where in his first season he set a record for fielding percentage with .994 while getting 73 of the old-timey RBIs. Unfortunately his numbers evaporated in his second season in Brooklyn, where his drinking problem caused him to get cut from the team in the middle of a road trip in Chicago.
During his flight home, our “hero” got drunk on whiskey, hit a stewardess, and had to be sat-on by the pilot until he was handcuffed to his seat. He was removed from the flight, unconscious, in Detroit (presumably comically throw out of the plane by his suspenders and landing on his chin as the pilot exaggeratedly washed his hands of the situation.) and slept in a chair at the airport for a bit. He then boarded a flight heading to Toronto, hoping to re-up with the Bisons.
On the flight he got in a fight with the pilot, because of course he did, and did what we all would do in that situation and tried to commandeer the flight. To prevent a drunken disgraced baseballer from crashing the plane, the pilot and a passenger struck Len over the head with a fire extinguisher. The plane made an emergency landing on a race track in Toronto, but Koenecke was already dead of a cerebral hemorrhage. Both men were found not to be liable for the death.
Don’t drink and fly, kids.
This Week’s Soundtrack: Content Warning: Big Spooooooky