MLB Star Power Index: Nolan Gorman worships at Church of Morning Doubles; Mets reliever improves seat

Welcome to the MLB Star Power Index – a weekly enterprise which determines with terrible authority which players dominate the current sports zeitgeist, at least according to the narrow perceptions of this wretched scribe. While his presence on this list is often celebratory in nature, it can also be for purposes of lament or ridicule. The players listed are in no particular order, as is the phone book. To this week’s winners…


Achtung: Cardinals rookie Nolan Gorman skipped church on Sunday. Here’s how we know:

And now a color television sampling:

That, people, is a ringing double instead of a ringing cathedral bell.

On Sunday, St. Louis applied all the punishments found in the Book of Leviticus to the pirates, and during the ritual, Gorman had three hits, four total bases, three runs scored and no sermons passively absorbed. While Gorman handled the baseball side, the calendar provided the means to avoid the church.

You see, Peacock, which is the over-the-top streaming network that will inspire Americans to take the cords they’ve cut and weld them together, airs This, Our Baseball at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sundays, when everyone who are not playing in their broadcast game is either in church or asleep or asleep in church.

The Cottons and Augmentation Mathers among us might see this as a grave affront – that is, Nolan Gorman’s skipped church – but no one likes a Puritan minister, let alone the Puritan minister himself. Also, Gorman is young, and the church of any creed is not for young people.

Why do so many sacred texts have maps attached? It is not in the service of the advancement of hermeneutics and gnosis. Instead, the cards are there so thugs who attend services under duress can retrieve a pencil meant to be used on tithe envelopes and draw ass-kicking battle scenes. Otherwise, how can a beleaguered youth tolerate 35 minutes of thunder from the pulpit and 40 more of hymns announcing death sung in all keys at once? Yes, once a driver’s license is at stake, the afflicted can pretend to be present by smoking cigarettes while idling the used Buick coupe (the one on which the driver’s side door doesn’t open no) in a cul-de-sac, showing up in time for the last verse of the recession anthem, then pretending to have been on the balcony the whole time. However, such a weekly ploy can be exhausting. Better to have a paying job as an excuse, like Nolan Gorman does.

“You can’t do that,” Cotton Mather was telling her in the circle on the bridge. “It is the darkest of iniquities.”

“Get behind me,” replies Nolan Gorman. “Now look at the baseball cap and the baseball itself. Don’t they look like the cupola on top of the Sacred Heart?”

“Yes, but what is your point of view.”

“My point is baseball is church. Now is the time to smoke Sabbath ribbies.”

“I am not consoled,” says Cotton Mather.

“Here,” says Nolan Gorman. “Console yourself with one of my rookie cards.”

He hands this to Cotton Mather:

Nolan Gorman rookie card, 2022.

The World Wide Web


Coors Field, home of baseball’s weirdest team, has entered into an uneasy armistice with the natural world. Nature wants to reclaim what was once hers, which is everything Gaia studies. One day it will happen, but Coors Field has ensured that it will survive longer than most man-made spaces by ceding territory to the natural world beyond the outer fences and soothing the Ents that gather forces just beyond the crest line. That brings us to Mets reliever Joely Rodríguez, who is the MLB decider of the week. Please consider:

Fernando Rodney first taught us that it is possible to commune with nature in the remote areas of Coors Field. Rodney opted for a leisurely stroll; Mr. Rodríguez, however, went from sitting in the bullpen to sitting among the trembling aspens, poplars and Douglas firs. We can’t verify, but we’re forced to assume that the crackling campfire and long puffs of an Old Milwaukee big boy housed in a koozie that says “Josh’s Bachelor Party” are as rejuvenating as any siesta in the air conditioning of the hotel.

Sure, he’ll pitch if called – especially if Pete Coors and his trekking poles show up to answer questions no one asks – but preferably Joely Rodríguez and the Chinook winds that herald him won’t be called to the mound until the trout stop biting.

Better pitch the tent before the sun goes downhe believes. Ah, Charlie Blackmon is there too.

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