The political league’s hard lefty hitter Bernie Sanders complained the other day about lack of fan concern as to “why the middle class is collapsing.” If we would talk about that “half of the time…as opposed to…baseball,” he said, “we would revolutionize what’s going on in America.”
Bernie doesn’t realize there’s little talk about Baseball in Milwaukee, Oakland, Cleveland, Seattle, San Diego, or even Boston. This is the high point, less for fans in general, than for the media people. It’s the midsummer separation period when beat writers revel in tracking pre-deadline deals of playoff contenders: wealthy teams solidifying their competitive standing, the budget-conscious clubs making do with rosters that got them this far.
It’s the time when Baseball abandons the idea of an even playing field, exchanging it for the excitement well-healed teams, as well as the press people, love. We’ve long shouted how much we dislike this upsetting of the comparatively fair fight that unfolded in both leagues since early April. Sanders advanced the fairness idea that he says should be playing out in part of the Middle East, In so doing, he has to hitt against a bi-partisan shift:
“(Am I) a Zionist?…Do I think Israel has a right to exist, yeah, I do. Do I believe that the United States should be playing an even-handed role in terms of its dealings with the Palestinian community in Israel? Absolutely I do…I think that you have volatile regions in the world… and the United States has got to work with other countries around the world to fight for Israel’s security and existence at the same time as we fight for a Palestinian state where the people in that country can enjoy a decent standard of living, which is certainly not the case right now. My long-term hope is that instead of pouring so much military aid into Israel, into Egypt, we can provide more economic aid to help improve the standard of living of the people in that area.” (From interview with Ezra Klein on Vox)
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Key Pre-7/31 Deals: Dustin Ackley (Mariners to Yankees); Bronson Arroyo (Braves to Dodgers); Jonathon Broxton (Brewers to Cardinals); Yoenis Cespedes (Tigers to Mets); Steve Cishek (Marlins to Cardinals); Tyler Clippard (Athletics to Mets); Ryan Cook (Athletics to Red Sox); Johnny Cueto (Reds to Royals); Mike Fiers (Brewers to Astros); Conor Gillaspie (White Sox to Angels); Carlos Gomez (Brewers to Astros); Cole Hamels (Phillies to Rangers); J.A. Happ (Mariners to Pirates); Dan Haren (Marlins to Cubs); Tommy Hunter (Orioles to Cubs); Kevin Jepsen (Rays to Twins); Kelly Johnson (Braves to Mets) Mat Latos (Marlins to Dodgers); Mike Leake (Reds to Giants); (Indians to Angels); Brandon Moss (Indians to Cardinals); David Murphy (Indians to Angels); Gerardo Parra (Brewers to Orioles); Jonathon Papelbon (Phillies to Nationals; David Price (Tigers to Blue Jays); Ben Revere (Phillies to Blue Jays); Jose Reyes (Blue Jays to Rockies); Josh Rutledge (Angels to Red Sox); Joakim Soria (Tigers to Pirates); Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies to Blue Jays); Juan Uribe (Braves to Mets)Shane Victorino (Red Sox to Angels); Alex Wood (Braves to Dodgers); Ben Zobrist (Athletics to Royals)
Noticable: The outpouring of negative media comments about Jose Reyes’ diminished value – after his trade from Toronto to Colorado. One explanation: his asking out of the last game of the 2011 season – his last as a Met – after getting a hit in the first inning. He did it to protect his batting title lead, and turned off home-team fans as well as many around the country.
Consensus: Despite the Blue Jays’ addition of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, , the offense-blessed team doesn’t have deep enough pitching to ensure making the AL playoffs: that’s how an MLB-TV panel, including former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd and ex-players Dan Plesac and Brian Roberts, see it. Roberts’ old team the Orioles are their choice for a wild-card spot, at least.
(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)