The Nub

Making Both Worlds Safe Through Stability

– Boston Globe

(Posted: 3/2/13)

Whaddaya know, Joe: The flurry of Miami-based foul calls against several drugs-implicated players has faded like fly balls drifting wide of the outfield fence. The newspaper that broke the story rightly ducked away from sharing its info with fed and baseball birddogs. The players have either pleaded innocent or stayed mute back in the clubhouse. End of story, ask except for evidence-free chatter emanating from the press box.

Baseball thus emerges without any further uncontainable damage or fan-base defections. Stability has been maintained. That goal, see we know, is common to all wide-ranging clubs operating in the big leagues worldwide. We thought of it when we saw former Team USA insider Richard Haass on BBC America the other day. Haass, now skipper of the quasi-official Council on Foreign Relations, called Team USA a “model” for nations around the world. They count on us, he said, to help keep both the international economy and political leadership inside traditional baselines.

Haass hinted that it was in the game of leadership that our military clout comes into play. What he didn’t say, but could have, is that, instead of making the world “safe for democracy,” Skipper Obama’s team is seeking to impose stability wherever its interests are under challenge, including here at home. The O-team’s successful legal defense of its right to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails is one example. Then there’s the response to this hot potato: Why hasn’t the Air Force hit harder at personnel accused of sexual assaults? That high, hard one was fought off this way:

“The military justice system is not only to judge innocence or guilt, but is also designed to help a commander ensure good order…” (An Air Force defense counsel quoted in the NY Times)

“Good order”, as defined by our scorebook: Keeping a lid on media noise that might lead to public outcry. That effort is certainly in play as Team Obama seeks to send whistleblowing Pfc. Bradley Manning to jail for anywhere from 20 years to life. He is being prosecuted for flipping damaging confidential info to WiKi Leaks and thus giving aid to the enemy. Fans of whistleblowers consider Manning a hero for acting to upset “good order.” In his defense, he said “I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Says the O-team (in so many words): “That man is clearly dangerous.”

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Which Rich, Revamped Team Will Jell? WashPost columnist Tom Boswell sees only one of three recent wallet-built teams – the Angels, Blue Jays and Dodgers – making it to the World Series this season. Potentially disruptive players are the disqualifying factors in his view. The likely exception: Of the slapped-together teams, only the Jays, the current Series favorite, have much chance to jell this year. With classy Jose Bautista and R.A, Dickey to set an example for maturity, Toronto may have a clubhouse that can even withstand the addition of the prima donna (Jose) Reyes and PED-cheater (Melky) Cabrera.”

A Slow-to-Jell Sign? Dodger Skipper Don Mattingly, on irritation to surgically treated elbow sidelining Carl Crawford: “This is a little bit more of a setback than I (thought it was). He can’t throw or hit… I think it definitely challenges opening day.”

Stating a Preference: It’s boring watching American League games…There’s much more strategy (in the National League). I don’t know anyone who likes the American League games better. Maybe some fans do. But if you’re not an actual DH, you probably prefer the National League.” – Zack Greinke, former LA Angel, now a Dodger

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments to are welcome, and only they can be addressed by the skipper. 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.