A word about that bandage on Joaquin Benoit’s face

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We had a tense three and a half hour playoff elimination game last night. Some of baseball’s biggest names coming to bat and hurling pitches in clutch situations. Drama. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  And the subject that took up the most real estate in our live chat last night?  That thing on Joaquin Benoit’s face.

For those who missed it, Benoit came into the game in the seventh inning. On his left cheek: a bandage the size of a pool tarp.  Joe Girardi came out of the dugout and complained about it to the home plate umpire who then made Benoit remove it.  Underneath the bandage was either a giant boil or a zit or Kuato or something. It was quite the scene, man.

On Twitter, in the chat and around the blogosphere this morning I’ve seen references to this being one of Joe Girardi’s mind games.  I’m not buying it.  I could see the bandage from here in Ohio, even when I turned my TV off.  It interfered with the landing pattern at LaGuardia. While the thing under the bandage wasn’t pretty, with the bandage on, Benoit looked like Darkman.

I guess what I’m saying is, no, that wasn’t an instance of Joe Girardi playing mind games. The only thing that would have made the bandage more distracting would be if it was lit with neon. It had to go.

Best part:  He somehow found an even bigger one for the postgame celebration!

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Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.