The Nub went on the disabled list in early April, preceding by a few days the Mets’ David Wright (strained Achilles tendon) and Travis d’Arnaud (fractured finger) and the Yankees’ Mashiro Tanaka (wrist tendonitis and forearm strain). The N-team’s return this week, will make it the first of the group back in action. During its long absence there has been shuffling, but minimal change in most division standings – streakings, up and down, but, few permanent-seeming realignments.
Amid comments received while sidelined: about pace of game, the surprising Astros, the early firings of Brewers’ Skipper Ron Roenicke and the Marlins’ Mike Redmond, the predictable fade of the Mets, etc., this from Nubbite Dan Appel of Greenpoint NYC, attracted our particular notice: “The notion that baseball should make massive rule changes because of the need for ‘more excitement’ is deranged. Also deranged: the notion that more offense equals more excitement.”
We agree, at least as much for political as for baseball reasons. The resort to more and more offense as an answer to battlefield challenges has become a predictable Team Obama strategy. The Skipper, skilled at hitting up the middle on domestic matters, lets his front shoulder fly open when the military signals a need to go for the fences. The increasing use of drone warfare and resulting innocent casualties, are a perplexing response to the long-ball approach. The drones’ still-frequent forays come just two years after the President announced a scaling back of the remote-control aerial campaign. When, a month ago, he had to apologize for a drone strike’s killing of an American hostage in Pakistan, there was talk that the scaling back would finally take place.
A NY Times headline, two days later, suggested nothing would change, and why; it read: “DEEP SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON FOR CIA’S DRONE MISSIONS.” A further reminder that the Skipper, his own man on so many issues, caves unfailingly to the military when additional offense is the name of the game.
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Stat City: Two teams – both from the NL West – have made the lists of top-ten clubs so far in hitting, pitching and fielding: the Dodgers are sixth in hitting, fourth in pitching and seventh in fielding. The Giants, third in hitting, 10th in pitching, and ninth in fielding. The Royals, Cardinals and Marlins are number 1 in the three respective lists. KC, by the way, leads all 30 clubs in delivering runners in scoring position (RISP), with a .309 average.
Some Flexible DL Updates: Yasiel Puig, shut down April 24 with a strained hamstring, is now not due back to Dodgers until sometime next month. Orioles’ Matt Wieters (recovering from Tommy John surgery), now on 60-day list, could return in early June. Brewers’ Jonathon Lucroy (broken left toe), sidelined April 21, expected back early June. Mets’ David Wright (hamstring strain late April); possible return: mid-June.
What’s Clear as Memorial Day Milestone Looms: Billy Beane’s off-season shakeup of the A’s, considered daring at first, has turned out to be reckless. Brewers GM Doug Melvin is similarly on the spot for going to other extreme – doing almost nothing off-season to upgrade his Milwaukee club..
Streakers: White Sox +6, Phillies +6
(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)