MLB

MLB Star Power Index: Shohei Ohtani’s Golden Hand; Zac Gallen gets hit by improbably placed comebacker

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.

Classicists are wont to remind you at this and every cocktail party that the Law of the Golden Hand states that only those who have at least an OPS+ of 160 at the plate and an ERA+ of at least 160 on the mound across a meaningful sample in the same season while also being pure of heart are to be honored with the Golden Hand. 

You, with no Golden Hand of your own but rather encumbered by a wan and ashen paw capable of lifting a 96-ounce can of Mountain Dew Mango Lime Kickstart (five percent juice) only with the aid of the other wan and ashen paw, are surely unable to fathom such worthiness. Luckily for your deficient imagination — an imagination that somehow discharges body odor of room-clearing grade and volume — Angels smith of miracles Shohei Ohtani is here to show you what it’s like.  

Famously, Ohtani is both tosser and masher, and this season he’s been those things to unimaginable effect. This, then, follows quite logically and fittingly: 

As MLB.com’s Matt Monagan explains, the living, breathing art you see above is the Golden Hand of Mr. Ohtani found in his hometown of Oshu City, Japan. Yes, you should very probably make plans to go visit it. 

No one can stop you from glimpsing the Golden Hand from a sensible remove, but you may shake it only if you are at least one-third as pure of heart as Ohtani himself. Even then, you may be greeted with a punishing handshake — precisely one-third as punishing as Ohtani’s actual handshake — that crumbles you and forces from your gaping yap the plaints of a stupid baby screech owl. And that’s if you approach the Golden Hand with proper humility and deference, palms up in front of you and eyes downcast. 

If imprudence takes hold and you advance upon the Golden Hand in a state of cocksurety, then you’ll receive an open-handed slap across the chops that will leave you doubled over, hands on knees, spitting out the bloody flotsam of what were once your scarcely functioning teeth, wan and ashen one and all. Then the infections shall set in. 

So, yes, make offseason plans to visit Oshu City, Japan, fount of a certain purveyor of miracles. Realize, though, the power of that to which you are bearing inadequate witness. Proceed with diffidence, as one does when journeying to view a flow of lava. Sally forth knowing that your search for beauty and uplift could lead to your destruction. 

Just to be safe, you should worship the Golden Hand of Shohei Ohtani as a graven image. Your former gods shall understand, lest they too be slapped half to death by the Golden Hand of Shohei Ohtani.

Not so long ago in this space we christened moundsman Robbie Ray as Señor Buttcheeks. We did this because his form-fitting sports knickers could scarcely conceal the canned hams beneath. Now, though, Zac Gallen presents himself for your consideration and in the hopes of obtaining both belt and title — i.e., the name Señor Buttcheeks. 

Briefly, his case: 

This scribe conducted a cursory HotBot search for the relevant color television footage; alas and alack, his efforts came to grief. It seems within the realm of possibility to dial up the game of note and “drag the lake” for the exact moment this happened, but this writer can hardly be bothered. So he takes the chronicler at his word. Zac Gallen claims, we are told, that a struck baseball in turn struck not one but both of his dangerous payloads. 

How did this happen? That much is lost to butt history and or the history of butts. Did the baseball carom off one devil’s burger and then hit the other Mongolian Stomper? Or was the site of impact centralized such that the baseball made contact with both dirty dumplings at once? 

No one knows for sure but … Señor Buttcheeks.



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