The Nub

On Taking Sides Against the Home Team

“I’m not a ‘homer’, pills said Bobby Ojeda on MLB Now the other day. What he said next, buy tadalafil after six years of commentary on the Mets for SNY, confirmed his objectivity. Asked to assess the Mets’ playoff chances this season, Ojeda was pessimistic. “David Wright has to bounce back, Curtis Granderson has to bounce,” he said, his voice expressing doubt. Then he talked about the team’s middle-infield weakness, noting that shortstop Wilmer Flores and second baseman Daniel Murphy are both sub-par defensively. Compounding the problem, he added, catcher Travis D-Arnaud doesn’t throw well: “he rarely cuts down runners, and his throws can be wild, not easy for Murphy and Flores to handle.” Ojeda acknowledged the Mets’ strong rotation and identified center fielder Juan Lagares as an all-star in the making. Fellow panelists Brian Kenny, Eric Byrnes and Dan Plesac agreed with Ojeda on the unlikelihood of post-season play at Citifield

We know there aren’t many Team Obama “homers” in the political field press box. After the Skipper called on Wednesday for 60 nations to join the fight against violent extremism, the NY Times, quoting an Ethics and Public Policy official, said the effort was one of “self-deception.” We fool ourselves in believing that we stand on high moral ground in the conflict., says former Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges:

“The barbarism we condemn is the barbarism we commit. The line that separates us from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is technological, not moral. We are those we fight. ‘From violence, only violence is born,’ wrote Primo Levi…Death is the primary spectacle of war. If ISIS had fighter jets, missiles, drones and heavy artillery to bomb American cities there would be no need to light a captured pilot on fire; ISIS would be able to burn human beings, as we do, from several thousand feet up. But since ISIS is limited in its capacity for war it must broadcast to the world a miniature version of what we do to people in the Middle East. The ISIS process is cruder. The result is the same.”


Second Thoughts: Lots of verbal foul-backs over the just-announced clock-monitored plan to speed up the game. The Padres’ Ian Kennedy says, flat out, that he will “ignore” the clock. MLB’s Eric Byrnes says introducing the clock into the game “irritates me.” Says Ron Darling about the speeded-up challenge procedure – manager, unhappy with a call, can’t leave the dugout: “All we need is a fifth umpire, sitting up high with a video monitor and three buttons. If, after a close play, he pushes one, it’s a good call, a second signals ‘you blew it’, a third says ‘we have to look at the play again.’ The whole procedure wouldn’t take more than 20 seconds.” Also noted: The rule that hitters must keep one foot in the batter’s box between pitches has been in existence, but unenforced by umpires, for a decade.

Nevertheless…Everybody agrees that accelerating the pace of the game is a worthwhile goal. Joe Girardi (with a shrug): “We’ll give it a try in spring training, and see how the changes work.”

What It’s About: The ballplayer’s ultimate goal, as seen by Cole Hamels: “I want to be in the playoffs every year. That’s where you make a name for yourself. It’s not about the Cy Young awards and MVP awards. It’s about winning championships. You want to be in a place where you have a chance to win.” (quoted by USA’s Bob Nightingale)

Met-rospective: Bobby Ojeda, who was a member of the “Miracle Mets” rotation in 1986, during the team’s climactic World Series experience against the Red Sox: “After we came from behind to win game 6 (in part, because of first baseman Bill Buckner’s error), we knew we didn’t have to show up for game 7. They were through.”


(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.