Leave it to the Mets. Their mid-season morass featuring the likes of Eric Campbell, Kirk Nieuwerhuis and John Mayberry behind them, capsule they’ve bumbled again, prostate en route to the World Series.. How? By undercutting the positive fan vibes the team has generated. They’ve done it by leaking to the media the probable departures of both playoff-darling Daniel Murphy and slugging rental Yoenis Cespedes. The tentative word is both will be allowed to leave when they become free agents in November.
The message: the team will revert to the same tight-fisted Mets as soon as the post-season starts. No reprise of this year’s excitement – and late box office surge – not with their best hitters gone. Pitching goes a long way, but, alone, can only be effective if competitive teams (like the Nats) collapse. Of course, front office mismanagement is not a Mets exclusive: the Blue Jays have been doing the opposite of the Mets, spending on makeovers for the last several years. The trend started in 2012 when they dealt for the pricey Marlins package of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and adding R.A, Dickey a short while later. Then came this year’s additions of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki, which got them to the ALCS, but not as far as they hoped. The expensive lesson learned: jelling into a championship unit takes time.
It will surely take time for Canada’s newly elected Premier Justin Trudeau to put together a smooth-working team. The 43-year-old Trudeau, a Liberal, unseated Righthander Stephen Harper, who has been pitching for nearly 10 years. Trudeau inherited a left-of-center stance from his father Pierre, the country’s Premier when he was a boy. The new leader demonstrated his savvy on election night this week by pledging to pull Canada out of the U.S.-led air combat coalition operating in the midst of the chaos over Syria.
More on Air-Borne Chaos: In Bob Woodward’s new book, “The Last of the President’s Men,” Richard Nixon is quoted (in the 70’s) as saying this to Henry Kissinger:After 10 years of dropping bombs over Southeast Asia, here is what we have to show for it: “Zilch.”
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The Basepath Game: Alert base-running, displayed by both Mets and Royals in their successful pennant chases, should be a lively feature of the World Series. Curtis Granderson does his derring-go with flare, Lorenzo Cain with gigantic strides.
The Score-Early Imperative: Deep lineup vs. deep starting pitching – that’s this year’s World Series matchup. If those two strengths neutralize each other, KC’s shut-down relief pitching may give the Royals a winning edge.
Discomfort: Don Mattingly clearly had no qualms about separating himself from the Dodgers. The grapevine’s repeated suggestions that boss Andrew Friedman would like to name his own skipper was a nudging message. The question isn’t whether, but where Mattingly will land as manager before next season.
(The Nub, is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)