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.
Violence is never to be encouraged, save for those occasions when it is absolutely to be encouraged. For instance, if you're bidding adieu to a player who's mostly famous for pole-axing an opponent, then you are honor-bound to include that moment in whatever farewell montage you expel into the wild heavens of media sociale.
The Texas Rangers, to their enduring credit, recently did just that in paying tribute to Rougned Streets of Fire Odor. Please observe while keeping your hands up and chin down:
Yes, prominent among Mr. Odor's finest moments on the diamond is that time he gave Jose Bautista an unsolicited five across the chops. The molars? They rolled and clicked like dice of the finest tungsten across a discotheque floor.
The Rangers' fond farewells were occasioned by the fact that Mr. Odor and his remaining salary obligations were recently cut loose. To his eternal uplift, he was plucked up by the Yankees, which means he's now dropped into the contending fray. It also, however, meant that Odor was compelled to shave the beard that has become such a part of him that it surely grew bones and capillaries. Recoil and or marvel:
Here is the BEARDLESS Rougned Odor reunited with former Rangers teammate (and close friend and compatriot) Robinson Chirinos! Odor was activated by the Yankees today and Chirinos is rehabbing in Tampa. https://t.co/f8wjX9fIbn pic.twitter.com/AK1IWSCPBr— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) April 10, 2021
Bearded Odor looked like a man who shoots too much pool at the union hall. Beardless Odor looks like a man who tells Bearded Odor that he's been shooting too much pool at the union hall. At that point, Bearded Odor pondered sinking a couple of molars in the corner pocket but thought better of it.
Back to Beardless Odor. He announced his presence thus:
Which necessarily begat this:
Is a bloop single tantamount to cold-cocking an entire squadron, as implied by the scandalously doctored image above? I don't know. What a question. Pick up your teeth and move along.
Jazz is Thelonius Monk playing "'Round Midnight" on the piano at a show in Denmark in 1964. Jazz Chisholm is Thelonius Monk playing "'Round Midnight" on the piano at a show in Denmark in 1964, except his fingers are badass lasers.
The point is that it takes a thing or two to live up to the name Jazz, and it takes something even more to exceed the tacit expectations of being named Jazz. "Something even more," thy name is Jazz Chisholm.
The hair color, which we must presume was present at birth, is likely named "The Sky is an All-Inclusive Resort" or "Sapphire Happy Danger." It evokes multitudes and most especially exuberance for and excellence at This, Our Baseball. Please witness this bit of daredevilry in the service of possibly winning the 2021 Florida state championship:
So that's a walk, a steal of second before Rich Hill had even delivered the ball, a pilfering of third punctuated by his own face-down safe call, and then a run on the board thanks to a sac fly by a supporting character who doesn't matter at the moment.
Smooth Jazz, however, is more than "just" a hastemonger on the bases. A pesky midge who subsists on small-ball irritants isn't capable of this:
That, onlookers, is turning around triple digits out of the elite paw of Jacob deGrom, who happened to otherwise strike out a career-best 14 on that day, and putting the cowhide in the upper tank. Mr. deGrom, thou hast been Chisholmed.
He runs, he hits, he exults. He does it all beneath a mane the color of paternity. He is Jazz.
This isn't really about Walker Buehler. Buehler is but a vessel, a haphazard conveyance, for the current parameters of the Bronson Arroyo Experience.
You'll recall that Arroyo and his frontman's leg kick settled in far enough north of adequacy to make almost $100 million playing the game that binds us. He's now 44 and, one presumes, lost forever in the loving arms of leisure time. What does one do with that time? If you're Bronson Arroyo, you spend it dropping idle Mike Leake comparisons and learning the chords to overwrought Britpop standards. We speak, reverently, of this recent moment at Dodger Stadium:
The infinite monkey theorem posits that a monkey banging on a typewriter will eventually happen upon every conceivable ordering of words. However, no monkey dutifully typing across a thousand forevers ever asked for this. Yet here we are. This isn't to say what you saw above is unwelcome. It's merely to say no one thought to ask for it, least of all the chimps of the typing pool. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Bronson Arroyo has never met Walker Buehler, had never even heard of him before he shot this video. Is that true? Almost certainly not, but a statement can contain truth without being true.