The Nub

The One-Sided Games as Seen from the Pressbox

(Posted: 3/19/11; e-mail update 3/20)

Baseball’s bigs, buy stuff we know, were able to work out a schedule revision permitting the addition of a second wild card team in each league.  They made the complicated change with remarkable speed so as to get the new system started this season.  Yet they tell us now that they can’t arrange for expanded use in 2012 of a video-replay system to insure close plays are called correctly.  Why?  We’re told the umpires are balking; they feel their job-security is threatened.  That sounds like an issue that could be resolved through MLB’s renouncing such a threat through a contract amendment.  Why is that possibility not in play?  One answer:  press box people, by and large, accept what they’re told by baseball and pass the corporate pitch along to the fans.  The adversarial side doesn’t get a hearing.

Fans of Team USA, on the other hand, have gotten used to hearing the adversarial side – that is, our side – of arguments with clubs that aren’t playing ball.  Through the years, the USA side coincided with our strategic interests around the world.  In Latin America, we know, the yanqui game plan has long matched its corporate interests, mainly in oil and food production.  Texaco, Chevron, United Fruit, Dole are among our prominent teams found in the record book.  Last week, Ecuador’s Skipper Rafael Correa said he had enough of predictable one-sided stories favoring “elite” interests.  The imbalance of corporate-owned media coverage, he said has left “the poor (without) anyone” to represent their point of view.  He seeks to even the playing field, at least at election time, by barring news reports that favor one candidate over another.  Journalist groups have gotten a court to block the provision for the time being.

Correa calls the ongoing contest in Ecuador a crucial one; it’s “a battle,” he says, against an elite media “that have destroyed Latin America.”  The contest on the home field here continues.  To gauge which side is winning, think of how often reference to the plight of the “poor” (as distinguished from the “middle class”) appears in our media.                                                            

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The ‘Good Hands’ People: Mets fans might be amused, if they weren’t so forlorn, by Keith Hernandez’s dilemma.  Keith, one of the most interesting color men on the air (SNY), is cherished for speaking his mind about the Mets.  Until now.  He has said repeatedly “strength up the middle is how you win.”  But obliged to mention defensively challenged Daniel Murphy at second base, Hernandez avoids commenting, except to say: “With (coaches) Wally Backman and Tim Teufel tutoring him, Murph is in good hands.” 

Quotation Time:  I remember my name just about every day now, so that’s positive stuff.  It’s interesting how in real life you don’t get hit in the head much.  As long as I’m not getting hit in the head, everything’s good.” – New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on slow recovery from concussion (as told to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo).

“(Robin Ventura) is a lot like (Joe) Torre, the type of thing where ‘I played, I am in control, you know I am in control, so I don’t have to say it.’  He doesn’t havc to affirm himself.” – White Sox reliever Will Ohman, who played under Torre, Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, Bobby Cox and Ozzie Guillen (to Chi Trib’s Phil Rogers).

More on Matheny:  “(Former catcher) Matheny does not preach to his catchers to tag the runner and get out of the way. He teaches good positioning and to be ready for the impact of the collision.  He said Buster Posey got himself into trouble because he did not position himself well.”  – Cafardo

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey.  Comments to are welcome, and only they can be addressed by the skipper.  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.