The Nub

The Challenge of Competing Without Enough Help

A scan of rosters of playoff-competitive teams suggests that – after the World Champion Royals, bereft of studs Alex Gordon for awhile and Mike Moustakas for the season, sildenafil – two of the most injury-plagued clubs are matched this weekend in New York. The Dodgers and Mets are scuffling to keep pace with division front-runners, the Giants and Nationals, while key players linger on each squad’s disabled list. The Dodgers have lost right fielder Andre Ethier and a passel of starting pitchers, including – Ryu, Hyun-Jin, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson. The Mets are playing without their regular first baseman Lucas Duda and first-string catcher Travis d’Arnaud, as well as a full-time third baseman, owing to David Wright’s debilitating back problem.

And we know about the coincidental problem of key political player Bernie Sanders: he was a wild card in the presidential playoffs without a strong, supportive bench who now refuses to acknowledge he’s failed to make the Series match-up. Of the many explanations why a long-shot player with so many enthusiastic fans came up short, the inadequate, almost invisible bench may be the most persuasive. The absence of a strong back-up team to provide detail, the “beef”, to buttress his policies – as his opponent could hers, certainly undercut Bernie’s appeal to many voters. Two observers in the Vox press box put part of the case this way:

“Sanders’s problem is that he was not successful in co-opting elites or in persuading a majority of the party’s rank and file to turn against them…Sanders hasn’t even been a member of the Democratic Party for most of his tenure in Congress. His campaign was, in essence, an attempted hostile takeover of a major political party. That’s not impossible (see Trump), but it’s difficult (without the bench his opponent recruited)..and Sanders…was disadvantaged by a process that meant he was fighting an (under-equipped) uphill battle the whole way.” (Matthew Yglesias and Jeff Stein)

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Sprinters: The Giants, who have won 13 of 14, and sprinted four games ahead of the Dodgers, aren’t doing it with mirrors. But Matt Cain (1-5) and Jake Peavy (0-4) haven’t been much help (although Peavy turned in a one-run, no-decision gem against the Padres on Wednesday). If one or both get straightened out, SF will have a scary rotation, headed by Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Sam Samarzdja. Together, the three are 20-5. Overall, the Giants are 30-19, the MLB’s best record at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

Snap Quiz: Which of the six divisions is the most broadly competitive as the season reaches the one-third point? The AL East: Only seven games separating teams at the top (Red Sox) and bottom (Rays).

Streakers: Giants + 5

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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.