Pictured above is the Northern Royal Albatross. Adult birds can have a wingspan between nine and ten feet, the largest in the world behind only other types of Albatross. They are solitary birds, sometimes leaving their nests for months at a time to glide effortlessly upon ocean winds in search of squid and fish.
Nearly all of their entire population is confined to a few islands north of New Zeland called the Chathams. The species is threatened by climate change, non-native species, longline fishing and pollution. The Chathams have been hit by several cyclones over the past few decades, reducing the soil cover and destroying much of the vegetation on the islands. They are an endangered species, and with such a limited range they face an inevitable decline.
I can think of an athlete who seems like a Northern Royal A-Lbatross. Northern because of where he plays. Royal because of his contract (which might be an endangered species). I think you know who I am talking about.
He is a physical marvel himself and solitary in nature. When he is firing on all cylinders, he makes pounding home runs to the opposite field look pretty easy. He has been said to be confined to an island himself, especially in the clubhouse.
His reputation has been tarnished several media storms, namely steroid use, dating a wretched-looking, washed-up pop star, a predilection for muscly strippers and a knack for almost always saying and doing the exact wrong things. He's on the wrong side of his prime and and was just diagnosed with a serious injury, both of which seem to indicate an imminent decline.
Care to venture a guess?
Pirela at third, Refsnyder at second vs. Pirates
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