MLB

MLB Star Power Index: Lucas Sims, Nelson Cruz and Kent Emanuel stick it to the man

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.

While this miserable scribe can typically not be bothered to layer this piece with basic coherence from week to week, what you are about to stop reading marks a departure from that order. This week brings us a unifying theme. That theme is the righteous rejection of those who would tell another what to do and how to do it. Worse is when such demands are costumed in officialdom, which gives them odorous whiff of inevitability. It follows, then, that we must exalt those who survey their obligations and declare in letters that burn, “I don’t feel like it.”

There is no graver disservice to impressionable young human spawn — be they planned blessings or unsolicited authors of misrule — than to teach them to respect authority. Authority’s powers are to be acknowledged only when it is convenient, only when the target of those plenary forces damned well feels like doing what is asked. 

The words above, which are inscribed upon the Nikki Sixx Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are sacred, yes, but to our diminishment they have also been subjected to cultural disinvestment over the years. Thankfully, Lucas Sims of the Cincinnati Reds is here to help right that particular ship, which we shall call the U.S.S. Defiant. 

Please witness Mr. Sims as he contemplates the assignments laid out before him and finds them to be lame-wad:

Atmospheric conditions? Ungentlemanly. Will and inclination to overcome them? Lacking, understandably and beautifully so. It’s cold and wet, and Lucas Sims just wants to repair to the nearest wood-paneled lodge for a blanket and idle contemplation of what’s next, and what’s next is something along the lines of a mug of hot cocoa and some color television. 

Given Sims’ commitment to eliminating his commitments, we are compelled to honor him with this space’s most exalted laurel wreath, which is inspired by this recent missive on media sociale: 

When we declare Lucas Sims to be this week’s Wild Boar in Haifa Taking a Nap After Eating All the Garbage, we do so in sky-scraping admiration of his recent life decisions. 

Indolence — real or imagined — remains our sole first principle, in partial measure because we didn’t feel like thinking of any other first principles. 

The right-right-wise and buccaneering among us know that rules are but polite suggestions. This goes for local ordinances, as well. Just as any judge who utters the falschool “my courtroom” at any point is to be swiftly power-bombed into the jury box, any sentence deemed immoderate is to be dishonored in public fashion. Take it away, rookie moundsman Kent Emanuel

Emanuel in the minors was dinged for 80 games for use of a banned substance, and he insisted that he had no idea how he ingested the substance in question. Even if he had knowingly taken it, he brought receipts to argue that it wouldn’t have conferred any benefit. Emanuel’s suspension ended on just in time for him to make a bit of history on the mound. The numeral upon his mighty back? Zero, which is also the number of league functionaries with the fortitude to tell him he can’t wear zero.

The officious buttfaces that populate the power structure will cavil about this, of course. Let them. You’ve already given them your time; do not let them have your heed. Contempt of court? Sure, but mostly contempt of the magistrate’s face, which as noted is a butt. Kent Emanuel has the blueprints — they’re somehow available at the library — and he’s put a crew together. Don’t be surprised when he busts you out of jail with nothing but a paintbrush, a utility knife, and seven herding dogs who owe him a favor of this scale from way back. 

When most of us — including you, certainly — are confronted with difficult circumstances, we should cease our efforts immediately. The task was beyond you even before you started, and nothing can be gained by operating in denial of your unconcealed limitations. No one wants to see you groaning and straining and howling lamentations like a pig trying to figure out how to sweat. Preserve the dignity that remains, which is none, and breathe through your mouth until you can calm down enough to nap. 

Veteran bombsman Nelson Cruz? He numbers not among those lessers. Nelson Cruz, who is capable of backing two Buick Wildcats into two separate parking spots at once, is encouraged to keep trying because things tend to work out for him when he does.

Take for instance, this moment earlier in the season when a baseball lawman declared that his grand slam was actually a ball most foul. And this brings us to our third and most towering example of how to deliver comeuppance to those who would deign to enforce rules that are momentarily inconvenient: 

When the rules do not willingly comply, Nelson Cruz bends them to his will. 

Ball don’t lie. Except when it does. In this instance, if you believe that the umpire’s call was correct, then the ball did lie. If you believe the cloutsman’s objections had merit, then it did not. However you unscramble that particular egg matters not to Nelson Cruz. For he has already eaten it. 



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