Imagine how Blue Jays fans feel these days: a dream that seemed inconceivable – their team bolstered overnight into a credible World Series contender – now a reality. That Jays ownership and GM Alex Anthopoulos would jump at a chance to obtain three pricey top-tier performers in an 11-player trade with the Miami Marlins was, usa ailment owing to the huge cost involved, Fantasy League stuff.
With the trade – that added Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to its roster – plus the signing of Melky Cabrera – Toronto became the latest addition to a growing number of top-dollar teams: the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Tigers among the most prominent. The deal’s one sure signal: Big bucks pose a greater challenge to the MoneyBall game (making do with less through player development) than ever before.
Mention of money and its role in California has less to do with the Dodgers at this point in the political season. While handing Team Obama nearly 60 percent of their vote, Golden State residents gave Democrats super majorities in both legislative clubhouses, which means Team GOP- enacted limits on tax collections will be lifted after 34 years. Equally important, reports TruthDig’s Robert Scheer:
“Voters raised corporate taxes on businesses based out of state and raised income taxes on the wealthiest residents. What’s more, the measure, which passed 53.9% to 46.1% statewide, received strong support in some of the counties where those tax increases will sting. In San Mateo, the home of Silicon Valley, the measure passed 63.2% to 36.8%. In Marin, where annual income ranks in the top 20 of all U.S. counties, the margin was even higher, 68.2% to 31.8%. So it isn’t just brown and black or poorer voters, who are barely present in those two counties, who explain the shift in the political outlook of Californians as much as it is a notion of what a modern society requires for its economic success and social stability.”
The Percentage Game: As the Wall Street Journal acknowledged that the team it supports “took a beating at the polls,” many press box observers credited Occupy Wall Street for setting up the 2012 national scoring opportunity two summers ago. Team OWS’s focus on control by the rich of the “99 percent” resonated in the presidential playoff when Mitt Romney dismissed 47 percent of the people as low-income non-fans of his.
Stat City Inequality League: $3,837, annual income slippage of typical middle class family from 2000 to 2010; 17.42 percent, slice of national income acquired by richest 1 percent in 2010. “If we want a robust safety net…we will eventually need taxes on the middle class similar to what you see in (Europe). If that tax burden is deemed unacceptable, then (we) will have to rethink the social safety net.” – N. Gregory Mankiw, Harvard economics prof. (quoted by Times-man Eduardo Porter, who also cited the stats.)
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Tough Guy Gibby: The Jays new – and former – manager John Gibbons is the skipper who several years ago challenged the bumptious Shea Hillenbrand, and (according to Keith Olbermann) “decked him.” Hillenbrand’s teammates at the time applauded.
Gloom Over Miami: “This betrayal is going to echo and cost the Marlins paying customers. There is only one thing about this entire organization that anyone trusts today. It is Giancarlo Stanton’s bat. That’s it.” – Dan Le Batard, Miami Herald
Roaring Twenties: “Of the 180 votes for the top three spots on the 60 MVP ballots, 161 of them, or 89 percent, went to players in their age 29 season or younger: Mike Trout, 20, Buster Posey, 25, Andrew McCutchen, 25, Craig Kimbrel, 25, David Price, 27, Ryan Braun, 28, Miguel Cabrera, 29, Robinson Cano, 29, Yadier Molina, 29, and Jim Johnson, 29. Nobody in his 30s got a first-place vote.” – Tom Verducci, SI
Dickey’s Strong Hand: The Mets know the two-year-$20 million contract they’re offering R.A. Dickey contains a built-in “local discount.” After all, they paid Ollie Perez $36 million for three years (2008-10) in which he went 13-16, with an aggregate ERA just under 6. Dickey, fresh from winning the NL’s Cy Young award, can surely command something approaching that Ollie money. Perez, by the way, is signed with the Mariners for 2013, at $1.5 million.
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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org are welcome, and only they can be addressed by the skipper. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)