Counting On The Klubot

The last two games haven’t worked out very well for the Cleveland Indians.  After surging to a 3-1 lead in the World Series — and being a tantalizing one game away from the World Series title that has eluded the Tribe since 1948 — the Indians lost a close game in Chicago and then had a train wreck last night in Cleveland.

So now the Series is knotted, 3-3, and tonight’s game will determine the champion.  After the last two games, Chicago Cubs players and fans have regained their swagger and are expecting to be the first team in years to win after trailing 3-1.  Tribe fans, on the other hand, are hoping that a team that has been riddled with injuries to key players can somehow win just one, last game.

World Series Cubs Indians BaseballTonight Cleveland will be banking on pitcher Corey Kluber — known to some as “Klubot” because of his unchanging expression and apparently unflappable demeanor.  The hope is that Kluber can hold the Cubs’ powerful lineup in check and the Indians’ struggling hitters can produce enough runs to get a lead, and the bullpen can eke out a win and finally get Cleveland that long-dreamed-of World Series title.

Kluber has pitched brilliantly in the playoffs and in the Series so far, but he’s pitching for the second time in a row on three days’ rest.  That means he won’t be following his normal routine, and it also means that Chicago batters will be facing him for the third time in only a few days.  They’ll be looking to make adjustments in how they approach Kluber in view of those two very recent experiences — and we’ve seen in the Series, and in last night’s game particularly, that the Cubs are perfectly capable of changing their approach to Cleveland pitchers.

It’s a lot of pressure to put on Corey Kluber, with the hopes and fervent aspirations of generations of long-disappointed fans riding on his arm — but we hope that, if anyone can handle that pressure, it is the calm, cool, and collected “Klubot.”  Go Tribe!

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Voters’ Remorse

With the onset of early voting in Ohio and many other states, and the increasing number of people who decide to exercise that option, you have to wonder if last-minute revelations and disclosures — like, this year, FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure about the resurrection of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices — will have much of an impact on national elections.

After all, if people have already voted, they’re done, right?

indecisive-peopleNot so fast!  It turns out that, in seven states, you can change your early vote.  Connecticut, Michigan,  Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all let early voters change their minds and correct their ballots.

In Wisconsin, early voters can change their ballots up to three times before the votes are officially deemed to have been cast– but if they’re going to do it, they have to act by November 4.  It’s a cumbersome process that involves election officials individually retrieving the person’s completed ballot and then having the voter document that they have changed their mind and are submitting a second, superseding ballot.  This year, according to a report from a Wisconsin TV station, some voters in fact have changed their mind and invoked the so-called “three strikes” re-vote process.

People argue about whether early voting is a good idea, with some opponents noting that it results in voters having different levels of information because of the possibility of late-breaking developments.  I’m in favor of early voting, because I think anything that allows more people to vote, easily and consistent with their work and child care and other obligations, is a good thing.  But the notion that, under some states’ laws, early voters can change their mind is an intriguing concept.  And in this election, where the choice is bemoaned by so many people, the “fickleness factor” may be magnified.  Indeed, apparently the Google search for “change early voting” was trending over this past weekend, after Comey’s announcement.

I’m not sure how I feel about people who have voted early changing their minds and getting a “do over” on their ballots . . . much less doing so three times.  Obviously, that’s not something you can do if you vote on Election Day, and I’m not sure the rules should be different.  But I do know this:  if you haven’t reached a clear, settled, and final decision in your own mind on how to vote — one way, or the other, or not at all in the presidential election — you probably shouldn’t be voting.