As the 2007 season came to a close, El Guapo was on top of the wiffle world, charging hard towards his first LowBall Player of the Year. He dominated the field from both sides; destroying batters with a pocketful of punishing pitches while bashing virtually every ball within the vicinity of the zone into the long grass. It should have been his year and his league. Unfortunately in LowBall, success can be fleeting and reality unforgiving. This is the El Guapo story.

The start of Guap's slide can be traced to a contract dispute with the Commish. In the early fall of 2007, Guap sent a formal contract extension request to the offices of LowBall. Bolstered by an incredible year, he demanded that his salary for 2008 be increased from the league minimum (and maximum) of no bottles of beer to a 40 ounce of High Life. The Commissioner swiftly issued a public statement reinforcing the league's long standing rule of not paying players a dime. Guap continued to press the office and eventually the dispute spilled onto the field as the league's star sat out the Wifftober Finale in protest.

It appeared that the snows of winter had cooled the dispute and all would be forgotten on opening day at HST. However, the day arrived without the larger than life El Guapo in the starting line-up. Rumors swirled that he had chosen to take up softball or worse yet tennis. The truth was even more painful for a league swirling in controversesy. Guap had elected to have a scheduled offseason surgery during the opening week. He was quoted as saying,"They're paying now, I am taking it easy recovering on 'company time'."

Despite looking dire for fledgling league, the Commish and Guap reached a resolution in early May. Guap would make a commission on all El Guapo bobbly head figures sold during games played on Monday. Some estimates have put the worth of this contract between $2 and $3, slightly lower than the 40 ounce he had sought.

With his much desired contract in hand, Guap appearred to be concentrating on a return to the top, even scheduling an opening day game at his homefield. Once again misfortune struck the star as tenants of The Friendly Confines filed a lengthy and scathing legal complaint against El Guapo. He was forced to break from his training regiment to make repeated appearrances against the wooly prosecution. Ultimately an amicable resolution was reached but not before the cancellation of the Confines opening day and many weeks of missed training.

Perhaps it was stress of a lengthy trial or complications with the recovery, whatever the case El Guapo struggled to regain form. There were flashes of his previous dominance here and there but largely it was a muddled mess of mecrocrity. With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see his slow mental dismantling. At the time, no one saw it coming.
It was at GapBridge on a stormy Sunday morning, that Guap's sweater of sanity finally was pulled one too many times. Ironically, it was his contractual nemesis that dealt the roundhouse brainbuster. With a single pitch, The Commish sent Guap away with another K to add to his bulging collection. An ACL makes an audible pop when it ruptures. There was no such sound when Guap's fragile mental state snapped. With the ferocity of a hungover beast, he brutally attacked the sacred strike zone of the hallowed grounds of GapBridge. At the conclusion, a stunned crowd watched as the deflated hero struggled back to the bench muttering, "I have issues."

El Guapo disappeared off the LowBall map after the tragic incident. Rumors have run rampant that he moved to Port Henry to live the "island life." The above photo surfaced on the internet suggesting that there may be truth to the nasty tale. Though some have questioned his ability to grow such a mean mullet and not have a mean mustache to match.

As the debate of Guap's future in LowBall and his eligibility for the hall rages on, a small coalition of supporters has started to demand his reinstatement. Led by Lonichiro, they have instigated a campaign called "oBamBama for President". Despite the incoherence in the coalition's message, the Commish has issued a statement saying that Guap will always have a home in LowBall amongst the other flawed purveyors of the plastic.

This is not a story of sorrow, but instead a story of hope. Hope that one of the league's brightest stars and most vibrant personalities will return to the top. I am sure the fans and players will welcome him back with open arms.