With the news coming in that the Royals have reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with erstwhile major league closer Ryan Madson, the question getting tossed around Twitter and the aether of our universe is to come up with some sort of determinacy as to the meaning behind such a move. The why of it all, because in the process of defining the necessity of such a transaction may we find the necessity of our own existence, the universe, and everything.
In the macro sense, signing Ryan Madson could be the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of everything. Matter and anti-matter colliding at the periphery of our cosmos, the accretion disc of the Milky Way spinning and spinning until the inevitable onset of entropy becomes too great, and the heat death of the universe besieges us, crumbling matter into matter, atoms collapsing and crushed in the infinite abyss of a cosmic black hole, all things that have been and ever will be formed into a glorious singularity until all light has been obliterated, and in that cosmic unknown the birth of a new world, a new solar system, a new galaxy and new universe at the crucible of another big bang.
In the micro sense, Madson is a no-risk maneuver for an organization that is replete with bullpen options. At his best, Madson was a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher who walked very few (career 2.73 BB/9) and struck out several (7.81 K/9), who hasn't thrown a major league inning since 2011 and has thrown only one minor league inning since 2012. If he is able to pitch this year, cool. Alright. He might even throw a couple of innings in meaningless games later on in the year. If he doesn't, and the damage to his elbow proves to be simply irreparable, then life for everyone not named Ryan Madson continues on as it had before. You know, until the sun goes nova and consumes the Earth in plasma fire.
The frustrating thing about Madson is that he was at his best right before he got hurt. After posting a career-best K/9 in 2010 (10.87) along with a career-best FIP (2.67), he backed it up in 2011 with 9.20 K/9 and a 2.25 FIP in 60.2 innings in 2011. That's also the year that everything started going wrong with his elbow, and after rehabbing in 2012, the Angels thought enough about his prospects to sign him in 2013. He was able to throw a single inning in High-A ball before taking the entire 2014 season off. As recently as eight months ago, it was speculated that Madson was simply done with being a major league pitcher. But much like mankind's indomitable spirit, he presses on, collar to the wind, eyes bitten by the bitter cold, darkness enveloping him as he marches to the unknown, uncertain future just out of view.
But if Ryan Madson can find purpose and meaning for the Royals, maybe we can find purpose and meaning in our own lives.