The Nub

The Nub

"If you don't think life imitates sports, you're not reading The Nub”
                                                                                                             -  Bill Moyers

“Politics and baseball.  Interesting blog…called ‘The Nub’ on”
                                                                                                               - Boston Globe

One of Two Losing-side Teams That Were ‘Whupped’

The Cleveland Indians, viagra usa who lost the deciding Series game by a single run, could have cited this consolation, credited to the late Nobel author William Faulkner: “They may have killed us, but we haven’t been whupped.” The Dem team allowed itself to be whupped by clearing the basepaths for a single chosen player in the presidential playoffs.. That W-L record of the player, Hillary Clinton, suggests why so many angry voters opted for Trump: she was an insider, ready in their eyes to pitch with a familiar repertoire/ The party made the fatal mistake of putting her at the center of the doomed inside game.

Lost in the year-and-a-half of campaign name-calling was the shallowness of the Dem bench. Skipper Obama’s dominating presence made his fading party feel secure. The fact that two veteran players – Indiana’s Evan Bayh and Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold – were called out of retirement was a bad-but-ignored sign. Only when both quickly became early favorites to reclaim Senate seats, then lost, did reality begin to set in. The Dem Senate team is left with a meager group of potential game-changing players, including two progressives – 67-year-old Elizabeth Warren (Ma) and Jeff Merkley, 60, of Oregon. No one has emerged yet as a player with leadership potential on the Dem House team.

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Key Transactions: Braves sign R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon to one-year deals; Phillies acquire Howie Kendrick from Dodgers for Darin Ruf; Blue Jays sign Kendrys Morales, let go by KC;


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

Stat City Results – Some from the Bottom of 9th – on Two Fields

Some random sightseeing around Stat City: Mike Trout, viagra generic who many favor to be named AL MVP, cialis sale led in only one offense stat: walks. He drew 116 BBs in 150 games. D’back Paul Goldschmidt was second – 110 in 158. Josh Donaldson was third – 109 in 155. The Pirates’ Starling Marte had most outfield assists – 17 in 114 games. The White Sox’s Adam Eaton was a distant second – 15 in 157.

Scanning the U.S. Senate playoffs, Real Clear Politics scoring gives Team GOP nine of 15 key races. Tentative bottom line: the Dem team gains two seats, four short of winning back control of the Upper House from the GOP.   Dems (apparently) win Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. Team GOP’s apparent victories: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio.

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Transaction Talk: Two key 2016 Mets – Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker – are expected to walk away from qualifying offers. The Cubs and Orioles have not made one-year retainer offers to Jason Hammels andt Matt Wieters. Mark Trumbo has declined a Baltimore qualifier. The Dodgers have traded catcher Carlos Cruz to the Mariners for former Yankee pitcher Vidal Nuno. Two new manager signings; Tory Lovullo to D-backs, Bud Black to the Rockies.


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

Serious Games and Dismay on Two fields

Playing a serious game with the NY Times’ lead headline yesterday, best viagra here is our brush-back variation: “IN POLL, FANS EXPRESS DISGUST WITH MLB’S TV POLICY.” The fans in question, by our reckoning, live on the East Coast; they have no option but to stay up until midnight or after to catch the end of climactic season-ending contests. Yes, we’re talking in particular about the seventh game of this year’s World Series. It ended a few minutes before 1 a.m., eastern time, when surely half the regional fan audience had been denied season-ending drama: “for the ages,” was the popular description (especially of Cubs fans).

Clearly, no way to treat a huge chunk of the fan base. Similar widespread dismay is evident in the more serious political game in which the two opposing players are winding up the win-or-go-home week with what the media tell us are petty personal attacks instead of persuasive policy performance. Whatever the truth, Hillary should be vehement in rallying teammates on behalf of issues that resonate: concern about inequality, inferior education, lack of livable wage jobs, a federal itch to play with fire in overseas ballparks, etc. Trump, if he were well advised, and listened) could try to pitch a comprehensible, far-out way to “make America great again.” As it is, Donald threatens to make America a scary place.

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The Times’ Richard Sandomir quoted this tribute of Joe Buck’s for his World Series partner, John Smoltz: “He knows how to deal with (tense) moments with a glove in his hand or a mike in his hand. At no point d(o) things get too fast for him.”


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

On Chi-Town’s Possible Champions and National Skipper

The verdict – as fans know – is just about unanimous: the young talent-laden Cubs will be winning for years to come. Their still-possible 2016 world championship is just the beginning. Theo Epstein and his staff have done a remarkable job of top-level recruitment. (Doesn’t Kyle Schwerber look like a budding Babe Ruth?). Thus, viagra buy the good news for Cubs fans. The challenge the other 29 clubs face – especially the 14 in the NL – is daunting; worse yet, viagra canada the Cubs’ dominance could discourage fan interest around both leagues.

The challenge facing the other owners and Commissioner Rob Manfred is to resuscitate hopes of an even playing field; that is, find a way to raise the competitive level of the rest of the teams.

On the political field, the take-home-pay gap separating well-educated, mostly white, members of the work force and their less-advantaged counterparts is a looming headache for the next president (a Chicago-area girl). A rise in the minimum wage would help. But one obvious way of narrowing the gap has been largely ignored by the likely new Skipper. Except for strong pro-union statements on Labor Day, Clinton has been restrained in her courtship of an organized blue collar work force. Two reasons for her possible discomfort: her six years as a member of Walmart’s board of directors; and, despite her current pro-union stance, lukewarm supporting labor leaders say they’d prefer that Bill Clinton’s close union advisers not be returned to the White House.

The two-field guess here: Hillary will weather the late e-mail storm and win with a narrower margin than anticipated a week ago. The Indians, with Corey Kluber, their ready-if-needed unconcealed weapon, will deny the Cubs their championship this year, a crown that will come in 2017 or ’18.


(More of The Nub, a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey, can be found at

(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

Brief Look at Sudden Positive Turn of Events for Underdogs

The Indians have given fans in Cleveland what they’ve earned: their team returning home and avoiding the possibility of seeing a Cubs sweep in Chicago. The Tribe did it with their scintillating 1-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley last night: thank you, discount cialis Coco Crisp, Josh Tomlin, Andrew Miller, etc.

On the political field, FBI director James Comey gave Team GOP and the Trump campaign what they think they deserved: disclosing, months after clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in her use of e-mails, that a new trove of e-mails has been uncovered in the case.

After a thorough sifting, the new batch seems likely to show nothing damaging. But the temporary furor may affect voting in House and Senate races, nudging some GOP candidates to victory and keeping the party in control of the upper chamber. For the moment, however, Hillary’s lead going into the presidential election in a week-and-a-half looks safe.


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

The ‘Relentless’ Game and the Sometimes Need to Challenge It

“They have won 200 regular-season games in two years and now three playoff series. Had they known it wasn’t so hard, buy cialis they might have done it earlier”: that was LA Daily News columnist Mark Whicker’s comment on the Cubs after their clinching victory over the Dodgers Saturday night. “I wish we could have played cleaner; but that’s a great team…they’re relentless,” was Dave Roberts’ tribute.

“Relentless” is an apt one-word summary of the way Hillary Clinton and the U.S. media have been hammering Vladimir Putin and his official Russian team for hacking into our presidential race. Various home-based experts have been cited in support of the charge without a hint of a challenge to the contrary. That’s no longer the case, thanks to the BBC. British journalists looked into U.S. fear-based accusations, finding them credible to an extent, but far from ironclad. This is how the BBC reported on the finding:

“US intelligence said th(e hacking) may have originated from servers operated by a Russian company but it said it was not in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government…The Kremlin has rejected the accusations, describing them as ‘nonsense’.”

Reason for fair-minded fans to treat with caution what can turn out to be unverified claims leveled from our side of the field,

Another way or applying the blind-acceptance point to the presidential game is this friendly jab at Vox’s Ezra Klein from The Atlantic’s Molly Ball: “I think it’s adorable that you continue to evaluate the candidates based on the plans they post in their websites. It’s really quaint.”

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Cubs in…Anybody out there think the Indians have a shot? We don’t. Yet home-field-advantage teams have won eight of 11 Series since Bud Selig ruled the All-Star game winner would get a home-edge reward. That should count for something. One reason it probably doesn’t this time: the Cubs will likely add Kyle Schwarber, a potential pinch-hit menace, to their already loaded roster. The Indians have a potentially key addition of their own – the return of mid-rotation pitcher Danny Salazar, who can start or relieve..

Asked to choose the manager who influenced him most over his early years on various team staffs, Cubs Skipper Joe Maddon named Gene Mauch, who led the Phillies, Expos, Twins and Angels over a 27-period (until 1987): “He could walk into a room, and with your head turned the other way, feel that he was there.”


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)


Cubs, Clinton Taking Charge as Contests Near Finish Line

Dave Roberts stuck to his refusal to use Clayton Kershaw in Thursday night’s crucial game-five loss to the Cubs. Many insider-observers thought Roberts would bring in his not-so-secret weapon if a narrow lead had to be protected, buy viagra as had happened in game two. The Cubs made sure that wouldn’t be the case in a five-run eighth inning. So a rested Kershaw will start game six tonight, and if his team wins, he will likely be ready for a late call in an elimination game Sunday.

Kershaw’s willingness to spare the Dodgers another crushing playoff defeat is what political-field progressives think their loyal support for Hillary Clinton has earned them, if she wins; the reward: Clinton will move her administration leftward. Barack Obama’s resistance to catering to the left disabled his skipperdom in their eyes, as they move into position to influence his successor. “The president appoints people,” said Bernie Sanders in a recent New York magazine interview. He made a “big mistake,” Sanders added, in giving powerful appointments to conservatives.

Liberal Senators like Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown will be among legislators reminding Clinton of the debt she owes the left. Sanders seems primed to press the progressive case: “In 2008, (Obama) ran one of the great campaigns in the history of the United States,“ said Sanders in the New York interview. “Brilliant campaign. Did he mobilize th(at) energy and coalition…into a powerful political force which would have helped him fight for the change this country needed? The answer is no.”

So far, Hillary has showed signs of heeding the progressive team, and avoiding Obama’s domestic-policy errors. How she’ll do on the foreign policy field we’ll only know after she leaves the on-deck circle. For the moment – for some of us – her hawkishness is worrisome,

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Puzzlement: The invaluable Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz launched a barrage of negative shots at the Dodger brain trust on FS1 Thursday night. It started with the Cubs ahead 1-0 and LA leadoff man KiKi Hernandez working a walk in the bottom of the first. Hernandez, then dared the pickoff-reluctant Jon Lester to throw over as he edged halfway to second. “It’s no use if he doesn’t steal,” said Smoltz. “He HAS to steal,” Smoltz added,,“if the Dodgers want to tie the score.” Hernandez made it to second on a Corey Seager single. “He could have made it to third and scored if he had been on second,” Smoltz groaned. Hernandez was stuck on third when the inning ended. “Getting the first run early is important,” said Smoltz, refusing to move on from what he had seen.


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)


Snapshot: Latinos Making a Mark on Both Fields

How many fans saw Jason Kipnis chase a laughing Francisco Lindor off the field last night after the young Cleveland shortstop nudged his infield partner aside to take a ground ball? Those who were watching may have understood why the Indians are just a game from the AL pennant: they’re not only good, buy viagra they’re having fun – a sure sign of a team that’s clicking.

Lindor and the Cubs second baseman Javier Baez – both Puerto Rican-born, by the way, have almost overshadowed pitching stars Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Andrew Miller. They’ve certainly attracted as much playoff excitement. And why not? Both relative newcomers, still in their early 20s, have dazzled both at bat and in the field. Here is what they’ve done in the two current series so far: Baez stole home and made an eye-popping “viper-like slap tag” (thank you Times-man Billy Witz) in game 1 with the Dodgers, then hit the nearest thing to a home run against Kershaw in game 2; Before last night, Lindor hit the game-winning homer in game 1 over the Blue Jays, then knocked in the deciding run in game 2.

Both are undeclared members of the Latino voting bloc that could make a difference in this year’s election. The Latino population, now at 27 million, has been energized by what many consider to be Donald Trump’s unfriendly attitude toward the community. Pew Research Center’s Latino specialist Jens Krogstadt says Florida, Nevada and Colorado are three of five heavily Latino-populated states where the Hispanic vote could tip the Hillary Clinton.. (Baez hails from Jacksonville, FL, Lindor calls Cleveland, where he lives with his mother, home.)

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Today’s Schedule: Indians – Blue Jays (game 4) 4p, TBS; Cubs-Dodgers (game 2) 8p, FS1.


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)


Rendezvous-Time Enlivening the National Ballpark

Game 5 Win-or-Go Home Snapshot: Daniel Murphy at the plate for the Nationals; two men on with one out in the bottom of the ninth, cialis sale the Dodgers just one run (4-3) ahead. We’re thinking Skipper Dave Roberts will be sorry if he doesn’t call in ace Clayton Kershaw for this pivotal moment. That’s what he does. Dodger pitchers haven’t gotten by the hitting machine up to now: after a first-bat single, Murphy’s been walked intentionally three times.

We’ve been watching the televised game sound-free. Focusing on the action in the silence, we see the tension of each taut moment through Roberts’ changing expressions. Sunglasses shield much of how Nats’ Skipper Dusty Baker is responding; that is, until Kershaw delivers to Murphy, no walk on purpose this time. Murph’s level, left-handed swing comes right away. He connects, as usual, but this time one can almost hear a “pop” instead of a “thwack.” Murphy’s and Baker’s bowed heads confirm that the ball hangs over the infield and is catchable. Also that the Dodgers will soon have today’s rendezvous with the Cubs.

And On the Other Field: The media-dispensed wisdom is that Hillary, not Donald, has a post-election rendezvous with a new political base, the White House. We know, however, that a lot of on-field action remains over the next three-and-a-half weeks. Press box observers remain intrigued by what they see keeping the Trump game viable: his fans’ anger over unhelpful (to them) steady-as-she-goes politics coupled with an embrace of simplified solutions to what they see as wrong. Clinton’s lead, meanwhile, stems, we know, less from her elusive promises than from Donald’s counter-productive bench-jockeying.

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Shocker: A shut out of the Blue Jays was a rare event during the regular season. So the Indians’ 2-0 victory last night suggests that Terry Francona’s team could take Toronto in seven or less, and match up with the Cubs for this year’s championship. That’s unless the Dodgers have a surprise of their own to spring, beginning tonight at Wrigley.

‘Paradigm’ is becoming a popular word among baseball pundits since Francona took to using would-be closer Andrew Miller at tight moments mid-game. On MLB Now yesterday, panelists agreed that the trend became solidified when Dodger Skipper inserted closer Kenley Jansen in the seventh inning of the climactic game with the Nationals.


(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

Excitement Ahead in Both Roiled Fields

(Posted : 10/1/16)

Excitement Still Ahead in Both Roiled Fields

A short while before the second Clinton-Trump debate Sunday night, discount cialis we watched a pre-third-game interview with Rangers Skipper Jeff Banister in Toronto.   His team was facing a three-and-out defeat at the hands of the home-field Blue Jays. How did he feel, cialis buy Banister was asked, to be possibly standing on the season’s brink. “I think how nice it will be to get some sleep,” he said (to our surprise). “I don’t sleep much during the season.” He added, as if anticipating the worst – which we know happened – “You can’t let yourself dwell on the past.”

Donald Trump made like Banister Sunday night in the debate with regard to one unsavory part of his past: his dated sexually insulting remarks about women that surfaced over the weekend; they were only “locker room banter,” he said. He’d like them to be forgotten, as he’d like other eye-opening statements made during the debate, such as his plan to put Hillary “in jail” if he’s elected. Since most observers thought Trump held his own with Clinton in the second debate, the diversion he’s offering potential supporters shouldn’t work (or could it?), allowing most of us to “get some sleep,” at last.

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Bye, Bye Boston: We thought this when Dustin Pedroia came to bat in the ninth with a man on base and the Sox trailing the Indians by a run: “Petey” will bail the home team out; he’ll never let Sox Nation down. When he walked, however, we suspected Boston’s season was over. Amid the gloom in Fenway after the final out, many Sox fans had to be happy for Tito Francona and his earned satisfaction in beating his old team.

Not Yet Over in SF: We admit it: after Jake Arrieta hit a three-run homer in the second inning off Madison Bumgarner, we turned out the lights on the Giants’ season. Mistake. SF clawed back to send the game into extras. And in the 13th, NY boy Joe Panic hit a game-winning double. Bruce Bochy’s squad could still be an alternate-year team of destiny.

Cloud Over LA: Falling behind the Nationals, 2-1, in games with only Clayton Kershaw standing in the way of elimination can’t be a comfort to Dodger fans. Not with Washington’s ace Max Scherzer waiting in the fifth-game wings. But it’s been a surprising post-season so far…

Today’s Schedule: Nationals-Dodgers, 5p; Cubs-Giants, 8:30p. Both games on FS1.

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