The Nub

How Baseball and Education Disappoint Young People

Why isn’t there more daylight baseball on TV? We know the answer: more people watch at night, generic ampoule so sponsors pay more for commercials. It’s – of course – about money. In the previous Nub, generic for sale we noted that Commissioner Rob Manfred ignored the scarcity of day games when he was asked about attracting more young people to the sport. “We want them to play the game,” he said, “and become fans.” The questioner suggested arranging for the All-Star game to be played by day to help attract future fans. Manfred’s silence said that idea was a non-starter…as is the likelihood young people will rally to the game.

Don’t get us started, railing about playoff and Series games climaxing around midnight in the East. It’s crass mistreatment of many adult fans, and especially, of the target young-people’s audience. And, speaking of school-age would-be fans, the role of education as a key player in the income-inequality muddle has gained a prominent place on the national electronic scoreboard. The inferior job schools are doing has been pitched as the reason for the widening financial gap between heavy hitters and utility players. Back-to-back sluggers Paul Krugman of the Times and Vox’s Ezra Klein swung out hard against the right-handed delivery:

“All the big gains are going to a tiny group of individuals holding strategic positions in corporate suites or astride the crossroads of finance,” writes Krugman. “Rising inequality isn’t about who has the knowledge; it’s about who has the power.”

‘But there’s a reason,’ says Klein, ‘Washington prefers talking about education than power. If the answer to inequality is simply more education, than that’s relatively easy: most everyone agrees… that a better education system would be better. But if the answer to inequality is redistributing economic power, well, that’s more controversial — particularly among those who currently hold the power.’

Controversial, because the economic redistribution would start with a more equitable, left-leaning tax system. It will take a huge amount of political clout to make that happen.  

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A Worst Case Scenario: “It would be horrible not to make the playoffs three years in a row. We’d be embarrassed. So anything [firings or restructuring] would be on the table, yes.” – Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner (quoted by Joel Sherman, NY Post)

Views of an Expert: John Smoltz (on MLB-TV) assessing the 2015 outlook for two young New York-team pitchers. On the Yankees’ probable closer Dellin Betances: “He has what it takes to be dominant. I see him strong enough to pitch two innings twice a week (in addition to normal closing work).” On Mets’ likely ace Matt Harvey: “He will return to form, but fans must be patient: it takes at least two months on return from Tommy John surgery to be back to where you were.”

Self-Imposed Pressure: 37-year-old Marlon Byrd, on what’s expected of him with his new, allegedly leader-light team, the Reds: I need to fill th(e) role of veteran leadership…I have to produce. I have to put up the numbers. I have to fit into this lineup and make sure it flows, one through eight. I also have to play good defense out there.” – (quoted by Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)

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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.)

 

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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.