The Nub

Scrooge-Like Facts in a Season of Cheer

Consider how cold a pre-winter it is for fans of the Miami Marlins, Arizona D-backs, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, LA Angels, Oakland A’s. Those are just some of the nearly dozen teams which, according to media consensus, are neither rebuilding nor “going for it” with Tigers-like returning personnel. That is, these teams, stuck in the middle, are neither generating hope for the not-distant future, nor far-fetched optimism that something good can happen this season.

The eerie hot-stove silence in many of those home cities – while the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Astros, etc. are making headlines – matches similar quietude on the political field. Except for the CIA’s surmise-strong, fact-free Russia-bashing, the U.S. media have been obediently restrained in criticizing Saudi Arabia, Team Obama and Israel. The Saudis, the world knows, have been bombarding Yemen while trying in vain to unseat Syrian Skipper Assad. The U.S, meanwhile, has been supporting anti-Assad rebel forces in their losing fight and being careful not to offend its Saudi allies.. Then there is U.S. patience – along with complaints – about Israel’s building settlements on Palestinian land.

Protecting Saudi Arabia is not just a U.S. game. Watching the BBC not long ago, we noted its report of the catastrophic death and damage inflicted on the Yemenis made no mention of who did the main attacking – the Saudis. And when British diplomat Boris Johnson accused the Saudis by name, he was upbraided by Skipper Theresa May’s spokeswoman. The obvious reason: Saudi Arabia has been a lucrative market for UK – as well as US – arms exports.

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The Persistent Inequality Game: These Baseball inequality consequences, gleaned from MLB Now: nine of the 15 wealthiest teams made the playoffs last season; one of the 15 less funded group – the Indians – managed to make that privileged circle.

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(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.