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MLB Star Power Index: Brett Phillips’ mound adventure; minor leaguer’s slide comes up comically short

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.

When in this fetid space we introduced the honorific, Homemade Camper Taking a U-turn on Two Wheels through Flood Waters, we did so girded by the assumption that Rob Refsnyder would be the sole possessor. About this we were criminally mistaken. 

Our error is in our unknowing — our unknowing that a minor leaguer name of Keithron Moss would author a stolen base attempt that calls to mind an overambitious fourth grader trying to skip a rock across a roadbed of freshly laid hot tar. Please witness the splendor of miscalculation and the stopping power of baseball soil: 

A mighty hearkening seizes us by our fraying lapels and declares: A Homemade Camper Taking a U-turn on Two Wheels through Flood Waters can be a signifier of hellbentedness, yes, but it can also denote an elemental conspiracy against our enterprises. We know from the oral tradition of hoot owls that the natural world sometimes grows weary of our striving, and in those moments when we over-reckon our sense of dominion… the talons sharpen, the loam becomes quicksand. 

So it is that Keithron Moss, contrary to his devising, has become a Homemade Camper Taking a U-turn on Two Wheels through Flood Waters:

Because long ago we used too many hearts of too many oaks for commercial ship timber — and because Keithron Moss possibly used old-growth planks to build the homemade camper that has come to embody his recent stolen base attempt — Gaia has proclaimed that on this night Keithron Moss shall not use her dirt as a means to advance his baseball cause. 

Becoming a Homemade Camper Taking a U-turn on Two Wheels through Flood Waters is not a matter of design, not something to be authored; it is consequence — the boomerang of birch plywood returning to us and finding our skulls. 

The actual gods have unsparing demands of us — i.e., that we are generous with our pre-tax doubloons and attend weddings — but the gods we wish the firmament held, the gods of our dreams, anticipate little from us and are fine with it when we give them exactly that. The prophet in good standing of the gods we wish we had? It’s Rays fly-catcher turned moundsman-in-lieu-of-slaughter-rule Brett Phillips. 

Please admire the forthcoming balk and towering example of expectations met: 

“Grip the ball loosely, as though presenting a Fabergé egg at auction,” would be advice for the pitching craftsman. “Grip the ball to the extent you care what happens to it,” would be advice for Brett Phillips and the God of Getting by Half of Half of the Time that supervises him.

The Lesser God of Token Effort is pleased. Note that this god is not lesser because of a lack of power; rather this god is lesser because the checks are still clearing so why bother with conducting yourself further up the ladder. As for Brett “Well, You Asked for It” Phillips, one can liken his laudable approach to side-hustle pitching to, yes, this: 

We do not take lightly the solemn charge of naming each new Wild Boar in Haifa Taking a Nap after Eating All the Garbage; we fully grasp that they shall wander halls of white marble forevermore. 

And now we present the updated ledger of honorary Wild Boars in Haifa Taking a Nap After Eating All the Garbage: 

For the Wild Boar, awareness is key. Are the stakes low? If you have to ask, then assume they are. Do not allow yourself to become tired of something. Rather, recognize that which carries with it the promise of tiresomeness and address it briefly or not at all. And what if it comes back on you? For repercussions to be realized they must first find you, and they won’t find you as long as you’re watching some color television in the basement. 

In the case of Monsieur Phillips, he was given an assignment of no demonstrable importance, and he grasped the implement provided him as though nothing depended upon it. And lo the jurisdictional god, peering up from his lap tray of inadequately microwaved pizza rolls, was pleased by what he saw. 




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