The Fall of the House of Smith

smiths

Last week, I reported on the brave, lonely, and likely doomed struggle of Daniel Watts, who is attempting to become the first man of his tribe to reach the major leagues. Today I write to shed a light upon a matter of EVEN GREATER URGENCY, as well as acute personal interest. I write of the Fall of the House of Smith.

Remember the halcyon days of the late eighties? (Unsettlingly, some of you may not.) Remember when Lonnie Smith was a multitalented WAR machine, when Zane Smith was one of the best pitchers in the National League, when Ozzie Smith ruled the infield and Lee Smith ruled the ninth inning? In 1989, nine different Smiths logged an MLB plate appearance, nine different Smiths logged an inning pitched, and these men combined to post 27.5 WAR. In effect, there was a pretty respectable 27th major league team composed entirely of Smiths.

Last year, there were four Smiths in the majors, and they combined for 1.6 WAR. Now that Burch Smith is back in El Paso, where he has given up 11 runs in five innings, that leaves three: two middle relievers and a Padre. (As for Ryan Rowland-Smith, I have no time for a man who dilutes the family honor.) What is happening is nothing less than a dynastic collapse not seen since the Hapsburgs. Phenomenal Smith, patron saint of baseballing Smiths, would be rolling in his grave had he not been lifted from it immediately and enshrined in the celestial firmament.

The tragic ebb of this noblest of lines is not, I fear, confined to the sporting realm. When Mr. Smith went to Washington, in 1939, there were already nine of his clansmen there in Congress to greet him. By 1989, Year of Lonnie, there were eleven. Now there are five. Are we fated to lose our voice in this nation entirely?

With the Smiths in danger of complete extinguishment from the diamond, is there any relief on the horizon? The top Smith prospect is Dominic, last year’s first-round pick by the Mets, who is off to a .163/.180/.163 start in low-A. I have higher hopes for Mallex Smith, of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, and Slade Smith, of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, whose parents had the good sense to pair their proud surname with a fittingly virile cognomen. But it is difficult, I confess, to maintain optimism in the face of such a relentless tide of failure. Are there any Smiths among you? Say something, I beseech you, to lift my spirits — for I can see the darkness closing in.



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Thanks, Comcast
Guest
Thanks, Comcast

Kyle Smith, perhaps? He’s a small, soft-throwing righty who handled his first stint in high-A ball pretty well at age 20. He may have the offspeed arsenal to overcome the subpar heater. He struggled at Lancaster last year, but he’s handling his second Cal League stint pretty well. I’d like to see him in AA soon, but he’s young and he may not even be the fifth best pitcher in that stacked rotation.

Robert J. Baumann
Member
Member

“…two middle relievers and a Padre.” A sad state of affairs, indeed.

AC of DC
Guest
AC of DC

On the other hand, in 1939 there were almost certainly more than ten klansmen serving in Congress, and that number has . . . well, probably decreased, too.

Bill
Guest
Bill

I think Robert Byrd was the last (former, wink wink)Klansman serving. He’s dead. Likewise Sam Ervin, Al Gore Sr., Strom Thurmond; all dead.

Also Slade Smith is an awesome name. He sounds like a private eye or a secret agent or something.

Mike Green
Guest
Mike Green

During the entire decade of the 1980s, there was one Rodriguez who played, Aurelio. There are now 4 active Rodriguezes- Francicso, Wandy, Sean and Paco, with Alex serving a suspension. Occasionally, a Republican will notice this and…(suggest tougher immigration rules).

Embrace the light, Matt. Get on the riverboat.

Bill
Guest
Bill

A Democrat will notice this and have no idea how a brown skinned person is able to make it, much less prosper, without government assistance.

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