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
The point of work is not personal fulfillment or some vain lurch at a sense of mission. The point of work is to be able to stop doing that sh-t as soon as possible and instead devote one's time to leisured divertissements like jerry-rigging functioning lawnmower blades onto the bottom of a Chevy Starcraft conversion van and setting up a hot plate in the bathroom so as to be able to cook and consume a Full English Breakfast while on the toilet.
There is no greater knave among us, no greater provenance of civic rot, than the person who works an instant longer than they must. The wealthy who continue working for no reason other than scorekeeping? Put them in a jail built at the bottom of the sea. That jail should feature reinforced walls lovingly calibrated to permit the seepage of one inch of ocean water per week. There is no honor in toil, and toil that goes beyond the minimum necessary levels is an act of criminality and grave evil.
This brings us to the 2021 Minnesota Twins, the courageous layabouts who have inventoried their assigned tasks and duties and cried out as one, "Not today, not any day!"
This is so because the Twins this season are 0-7 in extra-inning games and 0-4 in games that are part of a doubleheader. In broader terms, the Twins are 0-11 when the foreman asks them to work late. Typically, such sweeping failures are cause for lamentation in the sports ecosystem. Yes, the point is to win, so long as the path to triumph is paved, clearly marked, and free of tripping hazards. The larger point, however, is to win during office hours.
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In that morally unassailable light, the Twins' plain refusal to win games while off the clock is most laudable. One must consent to working overtime, and a glance at the current standings suggest that the Twins' barely active roster has provided no such consent. "Time-and-a-half?" They ask rhetorically. "Hoss, you're lucky I don't give you a loss-and-a-half. Operation Shutdown engaged."
Do we need to put an individual face on this? We can barely be bothered to do so:
Monsieur Astudillo this season is a commendable 0 for 5 in extras -- i.e., when the checks stop clearing -- so he gets to be the living, breathing, determinedly recumbent symbol of the Twins' embrace of the mill whistle and shift change that it reliably heralds.
In a prior edition of this dispatch we announced the Wild Boar in Haifa Taking a Nap After Eating All the Garbage award. It was inspired by that which is inspirational:
By way of reminder, in letters that burn: Indolence -- real or imagined -- remains our sole first principle, largely because we didn't feel like thinking of any other first principles.
Now we add the 2021 Minnesota Twins to the increasingly sacred ledger of Wild Boars in Haifa Taking a Nap After Eating All the Garbage.
Wild Boars in Haifa Taking a Nap After Eating All the Garbage
- Lucas Sims, Reds: April 27, 2021
- Minnesota Twins: May 11, 2021
Thank you, Minnesota Twins, for your lack of service.
When one is a standard-issue rookie, one conducts oneself with equal measures of humility and meekness, largely in the service of self-preservation. However, when one is a 28-year-old rookie and has necessarily Seen Some Things, one's drop-forged wisdom allows one to bypass the customary. You didn't eat rat eggs for two straight weeks during your third trip through the Pioneer League just to give up a window seat to a non-roster invitee named Kashton Sexpepsi.
Naturally enough, this brings us to Angels utility man and 28-year-old rookie Jose Rojas. Rojas is light on MLB service time, yes, but he's long on the finer points of doing it his way. And when it comes to applying the tag to an imperiled baserunner, his way entails putting leather upon rascal basket. Please bear vaguely nauseated witness:
The outfielder -- even one as sage as Mookie Betts -- so often eschews the protective cup, the biscuit shield, on treacherous grounds of "what could possibly go wrong?" What could possibly go wrong is that Holy Smokes By Devil Jose Rojas might just be tending to business in the same general vicinity and might just take the quickest route from Point A to Point B without much heed for where Point B is. If Point B happens to be your unguarded giggle beans, then that's on you. You knew he was a 28-year-old rookie. Not sure what you expected.
If you will, a recent photo of Juan Soto's implements of leisure:
PS5 disc version at the ready? Sho nuff. A Jim Carrey film for "any port in a storm" viewing purposes? Yea and verily. 2020 Silver Slugger award? Yeah, sure, whatever. He keeps it around mostly because he forgets to not keep it around. The bat's at a good angle for hanging a bathrobe on it, and it's also cupped enough to serve as a lug wrench in a pinch. Use the flat side of the award and it makes a serviceable panini press. If a Call of Duty session brings injustice to your door, you can use it to beat your tv's ass. That thing also makes a pretty good paintball shield or umbrella or thatch rake or breakfast tray or cockroach smusher. Pretty handy piece of hardware, whatever it was for. Might get around to winning a spare one once the movie's over and he naps off that milkshake. He'll keep that one in the trunk.