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.
There is no sturdier Rorschach than the word "bad." For those with defined-benefit pensions, literalism typically prevails. Bad means not good. However, those from Gen X, the actual greatest generation, on down -- a subset that includes Dangerous Teens who set off Mentos-cola geysers during very serious proctored exams -- take the word bad to indicate something perilous in the most tantalizing sense, a cigarette with a tattoo, for instance. The thing in question is "bad" in a negative way only if you unwisely stand athwart it.
This brings us to the recent heavyweight championship remarks of Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. You'll recall that Lindor recently inked a $341 million extension with the Queenslanders. During the run-up to the agreement, owner Steve Cohen's obliging valets in the media tut-tutted that Lindor and his reps could not possibly budge the Mets off their supposed last, best offer of $325 million. Yet Lindor in the end did just that and in the process fetched the largest contract ever for a shortstop.
This, though, is not really about that. This is about this:
Francisco Lindor on what kind of player he'll be at the end of his Mets contract: "I'll be a bad motherf'er."— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) April 1, 2021
It is not immediately clear whether Lindor uttered the profanity in question and the scribe ruined it or whether Lindor for reasons sufficient unto himself indulged in lamentable self-censorship. The hope here is that Lindor went Naughtyus Maximus because athletes are role models and impressionable children should learn curse words as early in life as possible. Cuss without ceasing, children of the world. It's the only way to prevent the monsters of your nightmares from getting you.
As for Mr. Lindor's stirring claims of forthcoming bad mofo-dom when his contract nears the end, this brings us back to the beauty of the word "bad." He'll be right about that to one subset or the other. It says here the man is already baaaad and likely to remain that way.
So it matters not whether, by the time his Mets contract winds down, he's a useful on-field contributor or a check-cashing millstone. He wins either way, and either way he's bad -- baaaad, actually.
A sure sign that you have been named properly is that you could insert the word "the" between your first and last names, and things would still track, still make perfect sense. Genghis the Kahn. Francisco the Pizzaro. Virginia the Woolf. Bo the Outlaw. Pauly the Shore.
This brings us to Jake Cave, whose current aspect calls to mind a cave named Jake:
Jake Cave or Jake the Cave? Yes, is the answer.
All of this flows from the nest of stalactites upon his countenance. Note the haphazard dusting of grey, which suggests a recent meal of wholesome, restorative asbestos. It's an old growth beard that was motivated not by fashion but rather by a pressing need to cool one's heels in those thick woods beyond the gulch, where even the game trails stop suddenly. He'll be there at least until winter passes. After the snow melts, it will all hinge on whether he can remember where in the abandoned quarry he buried the garbage bag of bullion. He'll comb through the pea gravel at night. He worries someone in the lookout tower will spot the shine of his headlamp. He worries about other things, too, but you wouldn't know it.
Indubitably, the philosopher-king-warrior-poet of this space is Reds moundsman Amir Garrett. Mr. Garrett has graced these state-of-the-art HTML pages before on account of his justified mockery of Kyle Schwarber and manifest willingness to trade soupbones with all of coal country.
Now he's back for the first SPI of 2021. Why is he back? Anyone earns this laurel wreath if you call an opponent a wee, crappy baby and then find a scorpion in your commode (acknowledge that "commode" is a better word than "toilet"), but you make it with wings of flame when those things happen and you're Amir Dangerous Payload Garrett.
First, witness this recent bit of Cactus League ownership:
What did that post-strikeout gesture mean? Was he referencing the location of the pitch for some reason? No, he was not:
Those guys I struck out and I said he’s a baby to. They will get me back and I will have to respect it.. it’s all love. It’s how the game go..— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) March 21, 2021
In point of fact, he was informing the batsman that we was but a wee, crappy baby. A.G. the O.G. recognizes, however, no one remains on top forever, and the cost of calling a hitter a wee, crappy baby is quite possibly being taken yard at some point in the indeterminate future by that same wee, crappy baby. He's aware of all that and is not daunted by it.
As for the commode scorpion, know that we tell tales but not lies:
Presumably, Amir Garrett did not burn the house down, but even if he did he has another house. That house is the Star Power Index.