From the typical fan’s casual distance, this year’s version of the old ballgame has a familiar look; except,, perhaps, for no-pitch purposeful walks. But the attentive among us are aware of once noticed gradual changes that now have become permanent. The shift is a prime example. Its success has devalued ground-ball hitters and put ball-in-the-air batters in greater demand than ever. Another infield-out changing alteration: since runners must avoid barreling into fielders at second, double plays on ground balls have become almost automatic. Finally, there’s the arm-saving consensus that starting pitchers should seldom go more than six innings:
There’s been as well a barely appreciated but seismic shift on the political field: Michael Bennet, Team Dem’s Senator from Colorado described it this way the other night on MSNBC: Legisators from Dem and GOP teams , Bennet said, are afraid to agree jointly on any potentially game-changing issue. Why? The voters in both parties have become vehement in opposition to anything adversary office-holders say, no matter how meaningful.
The careful political comments, pro and con, on the bombing of the air base in Syria is an example of avoidance of bi-partisanship. None of the comments we’ve heard suggests that Team USA send humanitarian aid rather than missiles into that war-torn country. The idea of a humanitarian rather than a violent response to hardship is a reminder of how regularly Baseball chooses to honor our fighting men and women while all but ignoring medical care-givers.l
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Weather Watch: April is the cruellist spring-like baseball month for Atlanta and Toronto (1-5), but not for Arizona (6-2), Minnesota (5-1) and Baltimore (4-1)
(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)