Top O' The Order: What Johan Santana can learn from Pedro

Five quick links to start your day ...

1. Our own Jeff Plochman Passan has a great column this morning about Johan Santana and exactly what he must do to become an ace on the level of Pedro Martinez back in the day. It's good food for thought, especially since it should spark a few good discussions over how we should define the leadership role of a staff ace. [Yahoo! Sports]

2. Phil Rogers starts hanging the bunting for an all-Chicago World Series and says the White Sox are the Cubs' worst nightmare. My worst nightmare? National baseball columnists that write columns that pretty much jinx either team's chances of getting there. [Chicago Tribune]

3. Whiny commie atheist bozo refuses to stick around for "God Bless America" at Yankee Stadium and is dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Next time you'll hold it, pal. [Deadspin]

4. This about as exciting as it gets for Pirates fans these days. An arbitrator will rule on Sept. 10 whether or not Pittsburgh signed their top pick, Pedro Alvarez, a minute BEFORE or a minute AFTER the signing deadline. He or she can also rule that the deadline doesn't matter at all and that Pedro Alvarez has to get his keister to the Iron City and autograph that contract. Scott Boras, what a guy. [Pittsburgh P-G]

5. A New Hampshire mailman claims he has a "disease" that was responsible for him lifting a $655 Christy Matthewson baseball card from someone's mail. Somehow, he believes the compulsion only relates to baseball cards. In related news, I tried the same defense when my friend Frankie's Gary Sheffield rookie got "mixed up" in my binder. Didn't work. [Walkoff Walk]

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