Link-O-Rama: Spahn, Carlton, Grove … Moyer?

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* Hard as it may be to believe, here’s the complete list
of every left-handed pitcher in baseball history with more wins than
Jamie Moyer: Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton, Eddie Plank, Tom Glavine,
Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Eppa Rixey, Carl
Hubbell. All of which is made even more amazing by the fact that Moyer
had a 34-54 record when he turned 30 years old.

* A’s manager Bob Geren said yesterday
that Justin Duchscherer’s recovery from spring elbow surgery has been
delayed because of back problems, making him unlikely to return from
the disabled list before the All-Star break.

* On the other hand, it sounds like Kelvim Escobar will come off the DL this weekend despite struggling in last night’s rehab start at Triple-A.

* Ozzie Guillen continues to downplay the notion of Gordon Beckham joining the White Sox in the second half, saying:
“The last thing we worry about is Beckham, and I don’t know why people
in Chicago fell in love with this kid. He’s a great player, he’s going
to be in the big leagues, he’s going to be a big part of this
organization pretty soon. But we don’t have Beckham on our mind right
now. I don’t and I’m the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham
here, we’re in trouble.”

* Miguel Angel Sano, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, is the latest stud international prospect to have MLB teams salivating.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.

Theo Epstein named The World’s Greatest Leader

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Fortune Magazine has put out a list of The World’s Greatest Leaders. Not the greatest business leaders, not the greatest leaders in a given industry, but the Greatest Leaders, full stop. The greatest according to Fortune: The Cubs’ Theo Epstein.

For some context, Pope Francis was third. Angela Merkel was 10th. Lebron James was the next greatest sports leader, ranked 11th. Take Fortune’s methodology with a grain of salt, however, given that it has John McCain above Merkel — what, exactly, does he lead now? — and Samantha Bee in the top 20.

So what makes Theo the world’s best leader according to Fortune?

The Cubs owe their success to a five-year rebuilding program that featured a concatenation of different leadership styles. The team thrived under the affable patience of owner Tom Ricketts, and, later, under the innovative eccentricity of manager Joe Maddon. But most important of all was the evolution of the club’s president for baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the wunderkind executive who realized he would need to grow as a leader in order to replicate in Chicago the success he’d had with the Boston Red Sox.

I don’t want to take anything away from what Theo has done — he’s a Hall of Fame executive already in my view — but I feel like maybe one needs to adjust for the fact that this is a baseball team we’re talking about. They’re the whole world to us and their brands are nationally and even world famous, but as an organization, sports teams are rather small. There are guys who run reasonably-sized HVAC companies with more employees than a baseball team and they don’t get the benefit of an antitrust exemption and a rule which allows them to get their pick of the best new employees if they had a bad year the year before.

Really, not trying to throw shade here, just thinking that being the spiritual father for 1.2 billion Catholics or running a foundation that serves 55 million needy children — like the woman who comes in at number 14 — is a bit of a tougher trick.

But this will make a great framed magazine article on Theo’s wall in Wrigley Field.