The Nub

The ‘Relentless’ Game and the Sometimes Need to Challenge It

“They have won 200 regular-season games in two years and now three playoff series. Had they known it wasn’t so hard, buy they might have done it earlier”: that was LA Daily News columnist Mark Whicker’s comment on the Cubs after their clinching victory over the Dodgers Saturday night. “I wish we could have played cleaner; but that’s a great team…they’re relentless,” was Dave Roberts’ tribute.

“Relentless” is an apt one-word summary of the way Hillary Clinton and the U.S. media have been hammering Vladimir Putin and his official Russian team for hacking into our presidential race. Various home-based experts have been cited in support of the charge without a hint of a challenge to the contrary. That’s no longer the case, thanks to the BBC. British journalists looked into U.S. fear-based accusations, finding them credible to an extent, but far from ironclad. This is how the BBC reported on the finding:

“US intelligence said th(e hacking) may have originated from servers operated by a Russian company but it said it was not in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government…The Kremlin has rejected the accusations, describing them as ‘nonsense’.”

Reason for fair-minded fans to treat with caution what can turn out to be unverified claims leveled from our side of the field,

Another way or applying the blind-acceptance point to the presidential game is this friendly jab at Vox’s Ezra Klein from The Atlantic’s Molly Ball: “I think it’s adorable that you continue to evaluate the candidates based on the plans they post in their websites. It’s really quaint.”

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Cubs in…Anybody out there think the Indians have a shot? We don’t. Yet home-field-advantage teams have won eight of 11 Series since Bud Selig ruled the All-Star game winner would get a home-edge reward. That should count for something. One reason it probably doesn’t this time: the Cubs will likely add Kyle Schwarber, a potential pinch-hit menace, to their already loaded roster. The Indians have a potentially key addition of their own – the return of mid-rotation pitcher Danny Salazar, who can start or relieve..

Asked to choose the manager who influenced him most over his early years on various team staffs, Cubs Skipper Joe Maddon named Gene Mauch, who led the Phillies, Expos, Twins and Angels over a 27-period (until 1987): “He could walk into a room, and with your head turned the other way, feel that he was there.”

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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.)

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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.