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, at least according to the narrow perceptions of this miserable scribe. 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. To this week's honorees ...

Washington Nationals and their sponsor decisions

Cryptocurrency, which is a numbered series of gifs of giant novelty checks housed on a Croatian server that has a box fan aimed at it to prevent overheating, has become America's Preferred Path to Personal Ruin. Not coincidentally, the Washington Nationals are among the many MLB teams selling ad space to crypto pop-up shops, so long as said ad space is not paid for with crypto. 

Please observe but do not click play unless you're willing to risk joining the nouveau destitute: 

Note that nowhere in that video are you provided with an actual definition of crypto. That's because if you're told that crypto is in reality a numbered series of gifs of giant novelty checks housed on a Croatian server that has a box fan aimed at it to prevent overheating then you probably wouldn't exchange actual money for it. And now the inevitable follow-up: 


This, inevitably, brings us to former Rockies and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Hurdle is an established smith of miracles owing to the fact that he led the Rockies – the Rockies! – to the World Series and the Pirates – the Pirates! – to multiple postseason appearances. He is also in his current state of leisure possibly available for hire on Cameo, which is the platform on which the famous and quasi-famous do line readings on first-generation smartphones in exchange for direct deposits. 

Hurdle, it should be noted, is willing to communicate truths housed in flames, as the Dodgers of Los Angeles recently learned via the hard way: 

Hurdle, one certainly presumes, doesn't believe it's real money unless it can get you out of or into a tight spot at that pool room over on Brickhouse Avenue. As such, he is probably willing to use his Cameo powers to level hard-won wisdom at those who have recently been confronted with hard-won wisdom in the now-vaporous crypto space. No, you may not pay him for his time with Zaxxoncoin or whatever. You could direct Mr. Hurdle to tell crypto enthusiasts things like, "The blockchain has become a turnover chain, and you're not wearing it," or "I can't believe I went to the trouble of plugging my Motorola 2950 Special Edition Bag Phone into my car's cigarette lighter just to talk to this ham-and-egger," or "God is tired of you." 

And the C-suite mountebanks who foisted crypto upon legions of unwitting Reddit users? Mr. Hurdle's Cameo to them shall begin, "You have the right to remain silent." Though Clint Hurdle is surely deputized in every U.S. county that contains at least four ponds, a Cameo video is a perfectly viable way to make a citizen's arrest. 


NFTs are screenshots of gifs of gifs of giant novelty checks. 

Max Scherzer

Pitchers are famously adult babies, and the slightest alteration of their etched-upon-stone-tablets pre-start routines will yield torrents of snotty tears, heaved sippy cups, and dugout walls coated in strained peas and SpaghettiOs. That said, we are compelled to praise Max Scherzer and his deep personal madness for this: 

Max Scherzer, you see, has decided he has the time but not the time for this, in which "this" is a pretend first pitch that even in the best of cases will be a sickening parabola that rolls dumbly to a stop shy of any rumor of the target. Typically, such cloddish exhibitions are the province of corporate partners whose dollars are rewarded with non-glory such as this. 

Let us make distinctions, though. If this is a beloved local tobacconist or, say, the proprietor of Dirty Murray's Affordable Sofas and Knives on Long Island -- reliable purchasers of seven-second radio spots -- then let's give them another chance to humiliate multiple generations with their attempts at throwing a baseball. If, however, this is some high-finance ghoul or the "inventor" of the Thundercoin cryptocurrency, then let this lingering, slow-burn humiliation be their final baseball legacy. He'll try to chuckle it off, wave idly with a forced smile to a crowd that isn't watching him, and be escorted into the tunnel while Max Scherzer tends to his prelude. Waiting there and twirling unlocked handcuffs on his forefinger is Clint Hurdle. "You have the right to remain silent," he says. 

"The cuffs," the corporate partner says, "they appear to be linked by the blockchain."

"No, that is a turnover chain," says Clint Hurdle. "My turnover chain."