Potent quotables: Lowell sums up loss to Yanks

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“I think that it was plain and simple that we got our asses kicked pretty good.”



– Mike Lowell just about sums up
the 20-11 trouncing the Red Sox experienced at the hand of the Yankees
on Friday night. The Bombers have now won five straight over their
division rivals and sit 7 1/2 games ahead in the American League East.




“He called me in the office, I was in the lineup and he just went over
the whole waiver thing with me because I guess a lot of people in the
media were speculating a lot of different things and he wanted to clear
that up. So I asked him after that, well, if you pull
me back and you’re keeping me from going to a contending team, what’s
my future? And basically I got a maybe, maybe not. And that’s basically
not much of a future.”




– Gary Sheffield explains a conversation he had with general manager Omar Minaya on Thursday. The 40-year-old outfielder denies asking for a contract extension, as reported in various media outlets.



“To me, an ace is not something that floats. It’s career
numbers stuff, to have that dominating pitcher year in and year out.
It’s an overused term.”




– Despite a 2.94 ERA since July, Randy Wolf deflects any talk about him as the staff ace.
He may never be an ace, but he’d be a decent cleanup hitter for the
Dodgers right now. After knocking in three runs with a homer, double
and single against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, Wolf drove in the only
two runs of Friday’s victory over the Cubs.




“I didn’t know I was like that. That would be a first for me.”



– Derek Jeter responds to comments made by Hall of Famer Jim Rice earlier this week.

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.