The Nub

The Midsummer State of Baseball and Politics: Almost Cheerless

A fan-unfriendly move by Baseball provides mid-summer grounds for malaise on the sporting field, with a dour political landscape waiting in the wings. Instead of an All-Star game that counts, the competition tonight in Miami will be a meaningless exhibition. MLB gave up a year ago making the game a battle to decide which league would get home-field advantage at World Series time. Fans are thus left with a ho-hum matchup to watch tonight. On MLB-TV yesterday, anchorman Brian Kenny described the don’t-count tradition of the game “sloppy.”.

Of greater dismaying consequence is the bungled way Team USA has played the international political game. The Trump-ian squad ignored the two main calls at the G-20 gathering in Germany. Those were: for serious worldwide environmental protection, and an equally serious effort to end warfare throughout the global ballpark. While still facing an unpredictable international player, Skipper Donald’s smoothing over relations with Vladimir Putin could be a positive peace-seeking gestiure., Unpopular as it may be with most Americans, the move,, if nothing else, could soften the tension that has dogged the two nations since the end of the cold war.

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More Reason for Dismay: It’s a good bet that titles in three of the MLB’s six divisions are already locked: AL West (Astros), NL East (Nationals), and NL West (Dodgers). Nothing is sure in the other three, although, pending key pre-deadline deals, favorites look to be as follows: AL East: Red Sox/Yankees, AL Central: Indians, NL Central: Brewers/Cubs.

P.S. In the All-Star event’s lone crowd-pleasing competition, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge won the Home Run Derby last night, dethroning last year’s winner, Giancarlo Stanton.

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(More of The Nub, produced by Dick Starkey, can be found by clicking below)