Meanwhile, beat writers are demanding that Braun’s attorneys waive privilege

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I assumed this morning that we’d see baseball writers playing lawyer today.  I didn’t expect we’d see a baseball writer playing malpracticing lawyer, but here we are with Tom Haudricourt, speaking to WTMJ in Milwaukee this morning:

“Ryan Braun’s explanation was that this was money (reportedly $20,000 to $30,000) owed Tony Bosch for consulting for his appeal of his positive drug test that he had overturned last winter.  This should be easily provable by Braun’s attorneys … They should have correspondence with Bosch, hiring him as a consultant, paying him as a consultant.  They should have their own records, so this is a good time for them to come forward and back their client…They should back it up with their proof and be done with it.”

If Bosch was a consultant — and one of Braun’s attorneys did admit that he spoke with Bosch, even if he said Bosch’s help was “negligible” — the communications between them are protected by the attorney-client privilege and by the work product privilege.  It would be an ethical violation and a grounds for discipline by the state bar for Braun’s attorneys to release such information. It would also give Braun the right to sue his own attorneys.

I’m pretty sure Tom Haudricourt would never demand that one of his colleagues in the press reveal his source or his reporter’s notes simply because the subject matter suddenly becomes interesting. In light of that I’m rather surprised that he’d so cavalierly demand that an attorney abandon his legal and ethical obligations like this.

Or it’s quite possible that Haudricourt has no idea what he’s talking about and his demand here is made out of ignorance of the legal system as opposed to his disregard for it.

Imagine that. From a baseball writer.

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.