The Nub

Gane-Changers Roiling Both Fields

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)

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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.