WASHINGTON — Even if, inexplicably, you occasionally think about things other than major league baseball, consider this: Why are many premier free agents, particularly sluggers and starting pitchers, unsigned even while we are hearing the loveliest four words, “Pitchers and catchers report”? The Major League Baseball Players Association angrily says some teams are more interested in economizing than in winning. The real explanation is that teams are intelligently aligning their behavior with changing information.
WASHINGTON — The Washington Post’s scoop about President Trump’s plans for a grand military parade in Washington brings to mind Evelyn Waugh’s classic satire about England’s upper crust in the early days of World War II, “Put Out More Flags,” named after a Chinese proverb:
Declarations that Islamic State is on the verge of defeat keep piling up. During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said he was proud to report “the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.” In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told his country in December “we can announce the end of the war against (Islamic State).”