Welcome to the MLB Star Power Index -- a bi-weekly undertaking that determines with awful authority which players/baseball entities 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/living baseball phenomena listed are in no particular order, just like the phone book. To this edition's honorees/dishonorees ...

The Orioles' new home run celebration

Because the impressive young core of the Baltimore Orioles has been brought low by an ownership group and front office that refuses to do their jobs and surround that core with a contention-worthy supporting cast, O's players must seek out Baseball Uplift from less conventional sources. Lo and also behold, they have found it: 

For those in need of expert precis, the Orioles in order to celebrate struck baseballs that clear fencing while remaining within the foul poles are feigning consumption of wholesome, nutritious alcohol via time-honored delivery system – a delivery system that reminds us that drinking beer is about the destination more than the journey until one reaches a certain age. 

At this point, however, our tale of principled revelry takes a turn for the worse. Via the AP gamer, here comes Kyle Gibson to ruin all that once was good: 

"We want to make sure it's rebranded a little bit: It's a homer hose, not a dong bong," Gibson said. "It's a homer hose, just like as a kid you go out back and you take a drink from the water hose after you play outside playing Wiffle ball."

And the people rise up and say as one: Brother, who asked you. It's not the place of the lame-wad pitcher to put on flowing robes and magistrate's wig and unfurl solemn decrees related to something undertaken by hitters. Sir, sit down and be quiet, and if you're already sitting then lie down and nap until better comportment finds you. More to the point, one simply cannot speak into existence the appellation "Dong Bong" and not have that thing in question be called a Dong Bong until such time as there are no more dongs. 

Also, a thousand shames upon Kyle Gibson for encouraging youth to drink from hoses. The perils are too legion to recount, and you might also drink a small frog who was innocently enjoying some shade just inside the collar ring of the hose. Why, for instance, do members of Gen X confront every personal crisis by smoking cigarettes alone in a darkened kitchen in the middle of the night? Too much groundwater spiced with industrial runoff and delivered via polyurethane hose is surely to blame. Kyle Gibson, you would bequeath this to the next generation instead of life-affirming alcohol?

That thing is a Dong Bong. 

The flora and fauna of Oakland

It is a sign of great moral progress when human-built structures are reclaimed by the natural world and overrun by snaking vines, prodigal woodland creatures, and broadleaf trees who have remembered that they were here first. This brings us not to, say, an abandoned Bulgarian theme park, but rather to whatever they're calling the Oakland Coliseum these days. 

Let us allow the Mets broadcast booth to narrate the action of the most recent contest between Man and Nature: 

This being the A's what is needed is not merely a leafy, possum-y takeover of the ballpark and especially not some kind of meek-willed detente like the cats of Rome have struck with human Colosseum-goers. What is needed is for the natural world, through a complicated series of paper transactions that involve false promises of future NFTs, to take over the Oakland A's franchise and all its capital holdings. What the A's and their partisans need is to be rid of the current ownership group and the whimpering ghouls of the C suite. Since no one else will save those who need saving, it falls to the flora and fauna of Oakland. 

Creeping figs shall breach the structure and secure the necessary documents from that unlocked filing cabinet that's in four inches of standing water. A grand old redwood conifer shall puncture the floors of the luxury suites and block the exits so that the entire top half of the organizational flow chart cannot escape. A flock of chestnut-backed chickadees shall peck and shatter their smartphone screens so that they may tell no one what is happening.

By the time the possum forges their signatures, it will be too late. A gorilla with rabies shall be the new GM. 

The American League East Anagram Standings

In the interest of advancing the word count of this piece and in the general interest of exalting "barely trying" as a first virtue, the author is going to begin a six-part SPI sub-series in which he ranks teams in each division based on whatever anagram that he's bothered to figure out for each team's name. For the uninitiated, an anagram is formed when you take the letters of a word or words and form other words with them. Amazing, really. So, again, these are divisional standings – or Rankings of Power – based on team-name anagrams. Why is this being done? We've already covered that. 

Now for the American League East Anagram Standings:

  1. A Blotto's Journey
  2. Dot's Ox Boners
  3. Bile! A Rooster's Limo!
  4. Wonky, Serene Yak
  5. Aay! Pabst Army!

One can plausibly argue that Dot's Ox Boners should be in first place, but A Blotto's Journey merits additional praise because another anagram that can be formed from that team's name is Joey Ron Subtotal, who sounds like a solid enough dude. 

In any event, this has been the American League East Anagram Standings. Next time another division will be given the same listless treatment unless a possum decides otherwise.