The Nub

The Distraction Game: How Rookie Team Trump Is Making It Work

Here’s to Phillies rookie Brock Stassi, who made this year’s team without ever coming close to the big leagues before. And he made it at age 27 after long years of trying. And here’s to him for not taking his achievement for granted: “It’s not done,” he said.” I don’t just want to get here. I want to stay here.”

Stassi embodies high prospect – and team – hopes as the new season gets under way. How great it would be if one of the outsider teams – like the Phils – could make it to the playoffs. His experience in the minors suggests Stassi has the savvy, as well as the tools, to help Skipper Peter Mackanin’s team pull a long-shot surprise.

The country is learning that, on the political field, Team USA is suffering from a rookie-like shortage of savvy. As the NY Times’ Robert Draper noted in Sunday’s magazine: “The business of governing ha(s) little to do with any trade (President Trump) had previously practiced.” And except for the Skipper’s top bench coach – and VP – Mike Pence, his main dugout staffers are as innocent of how the government game is played as is he.

Well, maybe not.entirely: Team Trump has learned how to execute distractions when under pressure and to take advantage of the Skipper’s legal privileges. Thus, the crucial question of whether he and his teammates colluded with Russia’s cyber-warriors to defeat Hillary Clinton remains under an unanswered cloud, as does the refusal to make public the president’s tax returns.

The TT’s avoidance plays are described as “inappropriate”, “not unlawful” “legal flexible tools” rather than seeking to evade a “monolithic statute.” Press box observers are also barred from pursuing reports of “incidental” cyber-contacts because Washington has spared them the taint of illegality. Fans in the national ballpark have a right to wonder if the game, presumably linked to Constitutional gaps, will continue without a hitch through 2020.

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Teams Supposed to Win Opening Day Games, but Didn’t: The Cubs, losers in the ninth to the Cardinals, 4-3; the Giants, also losers in the ninth to the Diamondbacks, also by 4-3; The Yankees, losers to the Rays, 7-3; Royals, losers to Twins, 7-1; Angels, losers to A’s, 4-2.

Most impressive win: Indians overcoming Rangers lead, with help from Edwin Encarnacion (HR) and winning reliever Andrew Miller. Final: Cleveland, 8-5.


(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.