Hmmm. Maybe Bud Selig is retiring next year after all

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Bud Selig has said he plans to retire after the 2012 season. Most people don’t believe he will. They believe that some emergency or some groundswell of support from the owners or the simple fact that there isn’t an obvious successor will cause him to extend his time in a job that (a) he truly seems to love; and (b) everyone who has a say in the matter loves him to be in.

But maybe he is retiring. Or at least moving MLB headquarters to the History Department of the University of Wisconsin, because they have a whole office set up for him with furniture and TVs and everything. There’s a nice story about it complete with pics and stuff here. It’s actually a sweet little setup and — for a guy who has been able to have minor leaguers killed at his command and who has been fed the finest meats and cheeses by the fairest maidens in the land for the past 18 years — the digs are fairly modest.

He plans to write his memoirs and help the nearby Wisconsin Historical Society archive his papers. He has endowed a history chair for someone there too because Bud loves history.  People in the department seem to like him a lot and call him “kind of fun.”

Will Bud really go gentle into that good night?  Watch the Madison office sublease listings on Craigslist next year to be sure.

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.