Twins Versus Twins

Watch a Minnesota Twins game this season and you’re almost bound to hear some tragic quirk of statistics. “This is the first time the Twins have had a lead since Monday,” Dick Bremer might note—on a Sunday. “This is the first home game of the season where they have never trailed.” That was in early June. The Twin Cities' most overrated T-ball team has clawed its way up to a record over .300—barely—to at least temporarily stave off the possibility of matching the 1904 Senators and the 1916 Athletics for worst major-league team of all time. That’s what passes for positive news this season in Minnesota. We already know how the Twins stack up against other professional baseball organizations. (Terribly.) But how do they stack up against other twins? Chang and Eng These famously close brothers from Siam are the origin of the term Siamese twins—up until then, the term applied to any womb-sharers from Siam. Hey, it was the 1800s; life was a little looser back then. After their parents sold them out to a Scottish businessman who put them on display in a sideshow tour—ah, the good ol’ 1800s!—the fellas managed to break away and own their own farm. They became American citizens, married a pair of disconnected sisters, and had 21 children between them. And, um, they owned some slaves. (1800s?) Despite some awkward 1800s-y details about their lives, Chang and Eng were a real American success story. And, unlike the boys from Minnesota, they could hit from either side of the plate. Advantage: Cheng and Eng. Ann Landers and “Dear” Abigail Van Buren That’s right, the two most famous advice columnists of the 20th century were twin sisters. Their real names were Esther “Eppie” Lederer and Pauline “Popo” Phillips. Separately, they doled out pragmatic, often stodgy advice to Americans who, during the age of segregation, worried mostly about questions like, “My mother-in-law asked me twice if I had a gravy boat, which she knows I do not, so should I still wear white gloves to the Easter formal?” But let’s face it, the Minnesota Twins can use all the advice they can get. Plus, “Eppie” and “Popo” are pretty fantastic baseball nicknames. “Eppie’s gonna bunt and Big Popo is batting cleanup!” Nobody’s writing any “Dear Minnesota Twins” letters, unless they’re asking for advice on how to keep their bats so shiny and unscuffed. Advantage: Ann Landers and Dear Abby. Kray Brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray were identical twin gangsters who ruled the English underworld. Presumably that means they dealt with a lot of black-market crumpets and scalped tickets to cricket matches. There was some murder thrown in there, too, and they called their gang “The Firm,” which is kind of cool in a British sort of way. They were eventually sentenced to life in prison in 1969, which is the gangland equivalent of missing the playoffs. On the other hand, dashing action hero Tom Hardy did play both brothers in the underrated 2015 film Legend. If one actor was going to play all the Minnesota Twins, it definitely would not be Tom Hardy. Tom Arnold, maybe. Advantage: Kray Brothers. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Tom Hardy played two different characters in the same movie. As toddlers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen combined to play one character on the schmaltz factory "Full House." Aside from the fact that they were incredibly lazy babies who had to split acting duties, the pair grew up to create their own straight-to-video movie empire that entertained millions of children and pushed many more parents to the brink of madness. They also founded a fashion empire despite the fact that they often look like thriftstore witches who just overdid it on a potion that makes your bones extra prominent. If you think one of those old Mary-Kate and Ashley joints is hard to watch, try sitting though a Twins game. Plus, the sisters are still living large. Unlike their baseball counterparts, they don’t have to watch old VHS tapes from the ’90s to relieve their peak. Advantage: Olsen Twins Rex and Rob Ryan Football great Buddy Ryan’s final gift to the NFL was his matching set of goofballs, a blowhard and a blow-dried yutz. With his flowing mane of sheetmetal-gray hair and ample carriage, Rob looks like a Knight of the Buffet Table. Brother Rex has slimmed down of late on a diet consisting mostly of grapefruit and missing the playoffs. If bragging about football was the same as playing football, these two would have more rings than a 1,000 year-old redwood tree. Fans of football and woefully misguided smack-talking can rejoice that these two peas in a uterus have been reunited in the chilly womb that is Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Rob recently blamed his disastrous defense in New Orleans on Jairus Byrd, Sean Payton, and probably also Dr. John and BeauSoleil. Rex has a tattoo of his wife wearing nothing but a Mark Sanchez jersey, which not even Mark Sanchez likes to be seen in. What fresh hell will their reunion bring this season? Advantage: Minnesota Twins *** Bryan Miller is a comedian based in Minneapolis. You should follow him on Twitter.

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