Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II is off to a scorching start to his season, throwing for 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in two outings in leading Kansas City to a 2-0 record.
Mahomes is taking over as the starter for Alex Smith, who was traded to Washington in the offseason (a move that cemented Kirk Cousins’ departure and eventually led him to Minnesota). Mahomes has a closer connection to Minnesota as well: his dad, Pat Mahomes, pitched for the Twins starting in 1992.
With that, we get this anecdote from Peter King’s “Football Morning In America” column:
Dads understand and appreciate help given to their children. So Pat Mahomes told Smith several times last year how much he appreciated what he did for his boy. Unspoken was the fact that they both knew Patrick was there to take Smith’s job.
“That’s what’s so admirable about what Alex did all season for him,” Pat Mahomes said. “I know how it was when I came up [to the Minnesota Twins, in 1992]. I remember one time that year asking Jack Morris how he threw his split-finger fastball. He said, ‘Get away from me, you little … You’ll be trying to take my job next year.’”
Now, first a small problem with the parenthetical as it appears in King’s piece: Morris did not pitch for the Twins in 1992, having moved on to the Blue Jays after his one huge season (and World Series title) in 1991. Mahomes did not make his debut for the Twins until 1992.
The best guess here is that Mahomes spent some time in spring training with the Twins in 1991, which would make sense given that he was in his fourth professional season, was a rising prospect and would eventually start the year in Class AA — and therefore he is not making up this anecdote but rather the years are mixed up and this moment happened in the spring of 1991. (If so, it proved prescient. When Morris moved on, Mahomes was tapped as a starter in 1992 despite being just 21 years old, essentially taking Jack’s job).
Anyway, this was more than a quarter-century ago. I don’t think Morris was under any obligation to help Mahomes — nor is it surprising to learn he might have been salty when approached.