The Nub

Delusional Hopes of Stopping Teams with Clout

(Posted 12/23/17)

Ever since the injury bug knocked the Mets out of playoff contention by mid-season 2017, the team all but disappeared from serious media attention in its home city. And there, we know, it threatens to remain. Thus it came as a surprise early this week when panelists on MLB Now all recommended recent members the large-market, low-budget team as invest-worthy free agents.. Two of them are probably out of the 2018 team’s reduce-payroll reach.

The list (in order mentioned): Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson. Bruce and Walker would surely be assets this season if the team wasn’t intent on cutting payroll. The Giants, with big bucks to spend, are expected to take Bruce out of circulation. In a separate category, the panelists agreed that Matt Harvey, still under contract, should not be traded. Why? The team wouldn’t get much back for him; and, as soon as he’s moved to another team, he’s liable to recapture some of his early promise for spite.

The ‘‘Corker Kickback:” In the political field, the Dem team saw early promise in GOP Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. Corker stood tall in opposition to the size of the federal deficit envisaged in his party’s tax plan. When he switched his stance on gaining a change in the bill favorable to the real estate industry that would enrich him, his kickback caused him to shrink. Asked on CNN how much he would be making under the new arrangement, he declined to answer except to talk about the many charitable donations he makes that diminish his income.

Worrisome: Dem team Senator Mark Warner has stoked the GOP/media-incited flap over the possible ousting of Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Warner said such a move would be the “crossing of a red line” in position to protect the nation’s Constitutional stability. Nowhere in the warning, however, is there any assurance that, under the GOP’s current control of Executive, Senate and Congressional power, such a “coup” could be stopped. Bottom line: the Dem team’s drive to turn back Team Trump seems to stand for Delusional.
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More on the Mets: What are we to make of the announced two-year renewal of the contract of GM Sandy Alderson?. The guess here: if the team stumbles early, he’ll be let go by mid-season. If the Mets stay competitive but fail to qualify for the playoffs, Alderson, who’ll be 71 after next season, will step down rather than wait to be pushed. When Alderson departs, waiting in the wings are former GM Omar Ominaya and Fred Wilpon’s legacy son Jeff. The latter was a savvy-lacking laughing stock when the team blew two homestretch pennant races in 2007 and 2008. Ominaya was dropped for, among other things, closeness to Jeff by association. Now, it looks as though they’ll soon be together again.
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(The Nub, a team effort, is produced by Dick Starkey. More of the Nub is available is at the team’s website, perfectpitcher.org)

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.