Baseball team needs help? Call Wall Street

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In light of hedge fund manager David Einhorn buying into the Mets, The Wall Street Journal makes an observation this morning:

Einhorn is poised to join a growing number of sports team stakeholders who have come to this highly eccentric vocation bearing one basic skill: the ability to manage enormous sums of money. Over the past decade, hedge-fund managers and elite financiers—many of whom are from New York or who made their fortunes here—have emerged as the first people bankers call when they have a major sports franchise to dispose of.

I suppose courting owners whose skill is “manging enormous sums of money” is preferable to baseball’s old m.o. of courting owners whose calling card seems to be a striking inability to manage enormous sums of money. So hey — progress.

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.