MLB Star Power Index: Yankees are powering back up; in praise of Josh Donaldson’s calculated pettiness

Welcome to the MLB Star Power Index — a weekly hootenanny 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.

Yankees first baseman/short yardage back Luke Voit has in 2020 racked up 20 whomping smackers, which is what we’re calling home runs in this particular sentence. That tally is notable because it presently leads the majors by a relatively cavernous margin. That tally is also notable because it puts the Rear Admiral of Thunderburgers within punching distance of history. 

The 2020 regular season, as you’re grimly aware, will span just 60 games, which means the usual record books are not welcome here. As noted within these World Wide Web pages before the season began, Matt Olson of the A’s with 24 holds the record for home runs in a season by a player playing no more than 60 games. At this writing, Voit’s Yankees have 10 regular season games left to play. Hitting four or more homers in just 10 games, which is what Voit needs to do in order to power-bomb history onto a nearby glass coffee table, would seem to be an onerous task, but note that our hero has reached such heights on two occasions this season. From Aug. 17 through Aug. 20, Voit homered five times in just four games. At this very moment, he’s homered six times in his last six games. 

At this point we should indulge in some relevant action sports footage. Regard this recent bit of handiwork by Big Voltage: 

That’s a true sky-scraper there — a home run ball that soared higher than baked eagles. Four more of those and shared history belongs to Voit. Five more and it belongs to him alone. As for the all-time record of home runs across any 60-game span, it belongs to Barry Bonds. Back in 2001 he hit 37 in 60 games. The worst kind of record is the unattainable one, so let us speak no more of that nonsense. 

Anyhow, note Voit’s standing among pinstripers prior to his 20th home run of the season on Thursday: 

Gods of the franchise, those. So are we saying Luke Voit is a good as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Alex Rodriguez? That, you miserable nerd, is precisely what we’re saying. 

Releasing flatulence from its moorings in the presence of more urgent bodily pressures is in essence an act of dead reckoning. You estimate your destination using situational awareness, but you proceed at great peril. The miscalculations compound; their effects multiply. It is one thing to misread the corporeal instruments while, say, idly watching “T.J. Hooker” reruns from your desperate sofa. It’s something else altogether — something far more harrowing — to do so at one’s office, where waddling toward fresh garments in a state of mounting chagrin ranges from impossible to damnably conspicuous. 

How is this relevant to This, Our Baseball? People, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, according to the unsparing testimony of his direct supervisor Aaron Boone, may have lost control of a Dangerous Payload while at his place of business. Please bear nose-pinching witness: 

Dangerous Payload or Dangerous Pantload? Yes, is the answer. More from the state’s witness: 

Call of Duty or Call of Doo Doo? Just the latter in this particular instance. Now you’re invited to make your own jokes about Mr. Chapman’s allegedly totaling of his rear end while on the mound. Maybe start with something about “leaving it all out there on the field.” 

A truth that might possibly be true: The human is the only animal capable of following up triumph with calculated pettiness. Discount history books hand-scrawled on construction paper and bound with decorative yarn teach us that Hannibal, following his successful siege of Carthage during the Third Punic War, spread mayonnaise all across the land so that nothing would grow there again. Twins cloutsman Josh Donaldson did something similar during a recent game of baseball. Please turn your attention to the embedded state-of-the-art Curtis Mathes console color television in cherry wood cabinetry below:

Donaldson homered, which is the ideal outcome for the batsman, but successfully completing his assigned tasks and duties did not sate him. He remained in a state of agitation over a strike call from plate sheriff Dan Bellino. While the home run should have washed the disputed call from Donaldson’s memory, it remained lodged there. So Donaldson before returning to dugout hosannas made time to cover Bellino’s workspace in barren soil so that never again would any missed calls flower there. 

Pettiness is not a first principle. Lo, it is the only principle. If there were another principle — again, there is not, but if there were — it would be “disrespect authority without ceasing.” Donaldson is to be praised for using one in the service of the other. Next time, may he cover the plate in mayonnaise. 

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