Welcome to the MLB Star Power Index -- a weekly undertaking that determines with awful authority which players are dominating the current zeitgeist of the sport. While one's presence on this list is often celebratory in nature, it can also be for purposes of lamentation or ridicule. The players listed are in no particular order, just like the phone book.
A photo of the game that binds us:
Perhaps this image has been doctored by Russian troll farms in an effort to sow division within the republic. Perhaps the angle is deceiving and Reds infielder Jonathan India is not truly wearing shorts. Perhaps he's merely got his cuffs pulled up where cormorants dare in touching homage to Hunter Pence. Alas and alack, the unsparing likelihood is that Mr. India is probably not wearing shorts. However, in this space we prioritize idealism over actuality, and we are going to proceed as though the man is gracing the fields of play with a pant that is short. A portrait of our hero, framed in opulent giltwood:
There are but two guiding principles of men's fashion. The first is that any medallion engulfed in chest hair turns into an amulet after midnight. The second is that clothing choices should be made in the service of leisure in the plush-most. That is to say, comfort is the sole consideration.
A funeral in midsummer? Consider an aloha shirt. In lieu of stifling chinos, pair it with a toolbelt stuffed with refreshing frozen cod. An intercessory worship service for purposes of asking all available gods to spare you from the latest suite of consequences bound headlong for you? Consider cutoff pajama bottoms and a branded "Bitter Beer Face" tank accented with stains of unrevealed origins. A wedding? Premise denied; do not attend weddings.
Running counter to all of this are those who sniff that adult men should not go around in shorts, that doing so is somehow ungentlemanly and an affront to the bourgeoisie. The people who say this should be in prison -- not jail, prison. Do shorts increase levels of comfort relative to trousers? Yes. Wear shorts. "But what about a loose-weave gabardine?" the idiot asks. "Surely such a lustrous yet breathable fabric constitutes a sensible DMZ between the sworn enemies comfort and propriety?" If it decreases comfort by the rumor of a hint of a sliver of a scintilla, you wee, stinking buffoon, then you've made the wrong choice.
Do you wish to present yourself as an expert practitioner of Patio Living, as the author of this and every barbecue? Wear shorts. Do you want your leading implication to be that you've discussed birth control while on a cigarette boat? Wear shorts. Better still, wear shorts while playing baseball like the 1976 Chicago White Sox did, like Jonathan India (probably) did (not).
In an effort to marshal evidence for his side, this author recently Googled "kings who wore shorts." He did this in the hopes of finding a plentiful tradition of shorts-donning among the regal classes, which, in full keeping with internetting best practices, he would've pretended to have known about all along as opposed to being the residue of very recent search-bar pecking. Instead, the author landed upon fodder for Mr. India's haters, who unwittingly double as motivators. Please regard this National Post headline from 2017:
"Why Royal boys are supposed to wear shorts until they're 8"
If you live to repel the buccaneering spirits among us, then you should probably start referring to Jonathan India as "Royal Boy." If, however, you number among the right-wise and instead wish to promote shorts-wearing and by extension the public-facing shortsman like Mr. India, then you will refer to him as what he is. And what he is is a Royal Damned Man.
All that said, Jonathan India probably wasn't wearing shorts.
Cincinnati Reds hurler Amir Garrett (not pictured above, for reasons we'll soon explain) is usually the philosopher-king of this space. When he is not the philosopher king of this space, he is the warrior-poet of this space. This is because time and again he has embodied the ethos of Star Power Index, which admittedly does not exist. Consider the reasons for his prior inclusions:
- He tried to fight the entirety of western Pennsylvania.
- He subjected Kyle Schwarber to high-level mockery.
- He likened an opposing hitter to an over-matched baby and later encountered a commode scorpion.
Now Mr. Garrett is back in a supporting role. Please witness these recent Midwest hostilities:
As you likely surmised via the embedded color television above, Garrett and Javier Bàez were the chief mischief-makers in this particular instance, which explains the framed portrait of Mr. Bàez glimpsed up yonder. So how would such an exchange of soupbones go? While it's never as simple as the relevant dimensions, Garrett has five inches of height and roughly 50 pounds of weight on Bàez. On Bàez's part, carefully leveraged guile is in order. So what's the proper tack for someone confronted with such a disadvantage even as the drums of war are resounding through the hills and valleys? If helpfully restrained by the peacemakers, one should resort to long-range weaponry seen in this link.
Pictured? The exact number of additional chances -- i.e., one (1) -- that Bàez is willing to give Garrett before he really gets serious about putting a stop to all this. "Fire low and fall back" remains reliably sage counsel when confronted with a perturbed and near-at-hand Amir Garrett. Credit to Javier Bàez for recognizing this and making the necessary improvisations. The middle finger, you see, is but a fighter being restrained.
What would most of us do if we spilled a magma-hot cup of coffee on our person while en route to work? Assuming you did not scream the windows out, veer out of the HOV lane (you were commuting alone, as always, but you have a mannequin in a sport coat propped up in the passenger seat so as to be able to drive express each morning) before ramping off an embankment and into a nearby active volcano, you would u-turn across median, return home with the highway patrol in full pursuit on account of your crossing the median, put on some shorts, and fall asleep on the toilet before calling in to quit.
Soon thereafter, Mr. Javier authored the following performance against the Seattle Mariners, who in keeping with ancient tradition were once again feigning early season baseball competence: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 SO, 3 BB.
He spilled it, yes. But then Cristian Javier -- as dauntless as he is without daunt -- finished the java before finishing the job. Meantime, there you are, floating in a volcano on a toilet.