Tim Lincecum misses celebration, scratched from start

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The Giants celebrated their second National League West title in three years on Saturday night at AT&T Park without a certain eccentric right-hander.

According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Tim Lincecum was sent home early so that he could rest up for his scheduled Sunday start. Once the Giants clinched with an 8-4 victory over the Padres, manager Bruce Bochy called him back to join in on the fun and told Yusmeiro Petit that he’d be taking the bump in the series finale. But Timmy was unable to return to the stadium because of congestion on the streets of San Francisco.

Which, as Baggarly explains, is highly unfortunate:

Two years ago, Tim Lincecum was a holy terror to anyone with a hot microphone in a champagne-soaked clubhouse. He snuck enough four-letter words on the air to make the FCC blush.

But Saturday night, as the Giants celebrated another NL West title, Lincecum was nowhere to be found.

The 28-year-old has bounced back nicely from a dismal second half, boasting a 3.06 ERA and 79/34 K/BB ratio in 79 1/3 innings since the All-Star break. He’ll take his next turn in the rotation later this week.

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.