The Nub

‘Dark Knight’ and a ‘Showman’ in Focus on Both Fields

Non-New Yorkers may not be aware that these are dark times for the Mets’ “Dark Knight.” The team’s then-ace Matt Harvey embraced the description after a 2013 Sports Illustrated cover showed him in a Batman-like pose. Harvey, a natural attention-grabber, had “Dark Night” inscribed on his bats, and resumed his role successfully after being sidelined for a year-and-a-half, recovering from Tommy John surgery. Harvey is now 2-4, with a 4.76 ERA, diminished velocity and wobbly command. He has moved from top to bottom of the Mets’ talented young four-man rotation. The once-complicit media no longer hails Harvey’s potential, embarrassed instead by the way Harvey’s self-promotion so captivated them.

New York has another instructive saga about a much-hyped “showman”, this in the field of law enforcement. The media are justifiably hailing U.S, Attorney Preet Bahara for overseeing conviction of corrupt leaders of both houses of the state Legislature. They are giving him a pass, however, on some aspects of his oversight of Wall Street. Mentored by Senator Chuck (“Where’s Charlie?) Schumer, a master of both banker and media-friendliness, Bahara plays that cozying game well. Jeffrey Toobin notes in the New Yorker mag that “(Bahara’s) personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament…He sometimes acts like a budding pol.” Like his cautious mentor, Bahara has learned respect for Wall Street players with the clout that comes from access to big money. As to why his probes into such individuals involved in the 2009 mortgage crisis didn’t lead to prosecutions of a single leading executive, Bahara gave this politic-sounding explanation to Toobin:

“You see a building go up in flames, you have to wonder if there’s arson…(and) if there’s anybody prosecuting…sometimes it is arson, and you can’t prove it.” Speaking about Team Obama’s performance in general, Bernie Sanders has said: “The failure to prosecute the crooks on Wall Street…is a clear indictment of our broken criminal-justice system.” Given such a reminder, Bahara’s enduring popularity – and that of other federal prosecutors – may hinge on finally exposing executive corruption in the tightly defended,, too-big-to-fail bastions of his bailiwick.

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Cubbernaut: It’s five weeks into the season, with the Cubs demonstrating each day that they are the class of the entire MLB. Consider that, after 27 games,- of which they’ve won 21 – they have not lost two straight. They did drop two of three to the Rockies in the middle of last month. Their other single losses came in games with the D-backs, Cardinals, Reds and Braves. What Theo Epstein has wrought.

One-Sided, So Far: The Nationals have dropped the first two of four games with the Cubs, but Daniel Murphy has used the series thus far to move to the top of MLB hitters. He’s gone eight-for-eight over games so far. His BA now: .406..

Streakers: Cubs + 5

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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.