The Nub

Connecting the Numbers in Both Pastimes

Playoff Crystal Ball 2017: Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Giants, Nationals, Rangers, Cardinals, Cubs. Presidential Primary Record Book 2015-16: Team GOP Candidates – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Lindsay Graham, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Jim Gilmore. Dem team candidates (originals, who stayed in field, even briefly): Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley,

What We Know About the MLB: There are wealthier teams – many shown above – and small-market clubs like the Rays, Twins, Brewers, Padres. Two venerable billionaire owners, Mike Illitch of the Tigers and Ted Lerner of the Nationals, are willing to spend whatever it takes to see their team win a World Series in their lifetime. Overall: half the MLB clubs have little (or no) chance of qualifying each year for the playoffs.

What We Know About Political Party Politics: Would-be candidates who have a personal war chest or can rally support to raise one will run if they see an opening. As listed above, 18 members of Team GOP were in that category. The Dem team had a single well-heeled candidate and one outlier who rallied support. The lesson: when the presidency is open, Team GOP can attract a broader roster of candidates with a greater chance than limited opponents of repeating what just happened.

Organizing Outlook: This year’s losing team must recognize that, more than ever, the progressive game is “all about money.”

Blanked:”(Owing to losses at four levels, including most state power bases), we have just witnessed the political equivalent of a baseball shutout.” – John Nichols, The Nation

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Versatility: The Braves, fresh from signing two over-40 pitchers Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey, have added a versatile position player. He’s infielder-outfielder Sean Rodriguez, who batted .270 and hit 18 HRs for the Pirates last season. Atlanta will pay him $11 million in a two-year deal. Rodriguez will be 32 next season.

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

About Richard Starkey

Dick Starkey handled media for former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and many other office-holders and candidates. He was sports editor of the Paris-based Herald Tribune. Perfect Pitch partner Robert Sullivan was the first to adapt focus groups to politics and has been called by Cuomo and others one of the "best" pollsters in the country.