The Nub

Pressure Building on Team Leaders in Both Fields

Rob Manfred hasn’t been perfect; but, sildenafil going on a year-and-a-half into his term as baseball commissioner, usa it’s fair to say he’s been doing pretty well in his new job. Two of our favorite moves: Manfred has followed through on predecessor Bud Selig’s push to get close plays called correctly through use of video. To Manfred’s credit, also, are the steps he’s approved – despite the frequent resort to video-monitoring of disputed calls – to speed up games. Equally satisfying, as we see it: his unwillingness to meddle with two other Selig initiatives – the quadrennial World Baseball Classic and the enhancement of the All-Star Game by making its result count. (At stake: home-field advantage in the World Series to the league with the winning team.)

Among those pressuring Manfred to do more is an unlikely campaigner: Hall of Famer John Smoltz. He says he wants to see an annual U.S.- World All-Star Game, and will keep lobbying the commissioner to get behind the idea. Smoltz hopes to see the world stars event become a reality, even at the cost of its possibly replacing the existing Game. “I won’t rest until it happens,” Smoltz has said repeatedly on MLB-TV.

Under pressure on the political field, Hillary Clinton is being urged to avoid playing a predictable presidential campaigning game: associating herself too closely to the current National Skipper. “She is the candidate of continuity,” notes left-of-center PBS commentator Mark Shields, at a time of strong desire for change. That stay-the-course stance may mean two tendencies the country can do without: a weakness for wars abroad and for Wall Street’s unchecked power at home. Still, if Clinton’s likely skipperdom leads to nothing more than a re-shaping of the Supreme Court, it would – will – be worth rallying behind.

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“I surrender,” e-mailed a Mets fan on the West Coast as Max Scherzer and the Nationals beat the Cubs, 4-1, last night, the win moving the Nats five games ahead of the NL’s defending champions. In the unlikely event the Cubs come back near the pack, loose defense may be the reason. Joe Maddon’s team is 22d of 30 in fielding, with 40 errors in 62 games. The Nationals are first, with only 23 errors in 64 games.

 

Tightener: “Adam Eaton’s single to center off Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, his fourth hit of the night, scored J.B.Shuck with the game-winning run as the White Sox completed an improbable comeback from seven runs down and claimed a 10-9 victory over the Tigers in 12 innings Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Shuck opened the frame with a double to right and was moved to third by Tim Anderson’s sacrifice bunt. ‘It’s huge,’ Eaton said. ‘To claw back the way we did, especially in the ninth to tie it up, it’s a huge win for the team. We can hopefully hop on this wave and ride it a little bit’.” (MLB.com) Chisox are now most distant of four top teams in the AL Central, but only 3.5 games behind first-place Cleveland.

 

Pleasant Surprise: While Mets pitching, burdened by the team’s usual weak offense, is not living up to expectations, the Tigers have found a top-of-the-rotation rookie in 23-year-old Michael Fulmer. A key piece in the deal that brought Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets, Fulmer, 7-1, has been unscored-upon for 28 innings. The newcomer from the Mets farm system has Detroit thinking its playoff hopes are realistic.

Notable Late Monday Night Scores: White Sox 10, Tigers 9; Royals 2, Indians 1; Oakland 14, Texas 5; D-backs 3, Dodgers 2 (Greinke the winner); Giants 11, Brewers 5

Streakers: Cardinals + 5, Pirates – 5

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. )

 

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.