What they're saying about Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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The blogosphere reacts just as much to DeWayne Wise’s catch as they do Buehrle’s perfect game:

Sports by Brooks:
“Say, remember a couple days ago when White Sox fans were whipped up in
a lather about Ozzie Guillen’s decision to demote Brian Anderson
instead of DeWayne Wise in order to make room for Carlos Quentin?
Remember how people had gone so far as to claim racism in emails to
Guillen? Well, it turns out that was far more of a consequential
decision than anybody could have imagined . . . Maybe we should just
let Ozzie make the personnel decisions in peace from here on out,
folks.”

On that same note, South Side Sox says: “would BA have had it?”

And the Sun Times blog too: “That’s why D. Wise is on the team. The BA lovers can now shutup.”

Rob Neyer:
“Well, Mark Buehrle has thrown two more no-hitters than Roger Clemens,
Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. Combined. Does that mean Buehrle’s a Hall
of Famer someday, too? Hardly.”

Danny Knobler, CBS Sports:
“With a week to go before the July 31 deadline, the White Sox were
supposedly focused on starting pitching and center field. This
afternoon, sure enough, the White Sox were focused on a starting
pitcher and a center fielder. Mark Buehrle. Dewayne Wise. Who needs a
trade?”

Bronx Banter: “Why baseball matters: Because on any given day something great can happen.”

Over the Monster:
“It would have been cool if Buehrle had pitched his perfect game in a
Red Sox uniform. Unfortunately, knowing our porous defense, it probably
would’ve been a 10-run rout for Tampa.”

I think the most telling thing about all of this is how
underrepresented the White Sox are in the blogosphere. If this had
happened on any number of other teams I would have had to sift through
dozens of blog posts about it. As it is this, and a whole bunch of
short “Mark Buehrle threw a perfecto; neat” posts is all there really
is this morning. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Overanalysis can be a
drag sometimes, and what Buehrle — and DeWise — did kind of speaks
for itself, ya know?

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.

 

 

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.