Great moments in provocation: the Giants take their trophy to San Jose

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Bruce Newman of the San Jose Mercury News has a column today about the Giants bringing their World Series trophy for display in San Jose.  According to Newman This Means Something. This is Important:

On Tuesday, the Giants brought their precious metal mantelpiece to San Jose to mark their territorial rights in the most public way possible. Standing 24 inches high and 11 inches in diameter, the trophy looked like what you might get if you asked Tiffany to design a gaudy fire hydrant … If there was any doubt that the Giants will dig in their heels to protect their territory, managing partner Bill Neukom made the trip down to the South Bay to put it to rest. “This county is the heart of our marketplace,” Neukom said. Then he got on the public address system and told the fans the trophy was really theirs.

I guess that means the Giants taking the trophy to Sacramento, Modesto, New York, Monterey and the couple dozen other places they’re going with it means that the Giants are the most expansionist, territory-claiming group of people since Napoleon.

Look, I’m totally sympathetic to the whole A’s-to-San Jose movement, and I know the Mercury-News has been strongly advocating for it for a long time.  But really: sometimes a goodwill tour is just a goodwill tour.  It’s not a shot across anyone’s bow.

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.