Quote of the Day: 'He's a lot more handsome today'

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Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on Vladimir Guerrero cutting his trademark dreadlocks and going with a shaved head in effort to break out his slump:

They found the Dead Sea Scrolls in there. I know one thing, he’s a
lot more handsome today than he was yesterday. … He feels he can
drive pitches he’s missing. It’s definitely not a bat-speed issue.
Hopefully he can ride this storm out and swing the bat like he did in
the second half last year.

Guerrero has batted at least .300 with 25 or more homers in 11 straight
seasons, joining Lou Gehrig as the only players in baseball history to
accomplish that feat, but the streak will be coming to an end this
year.

Because of a pectoral injury he’s missed half of the Angels’ games
and been limited primarily to designated hitter duties when he does
play, hitting just .273/.297/.341 with one homer in 138 plate
appearances.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.