Yankees player plays the “no one believed in us” card

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Normally that’s crazy, but actually, in this case, Kevin Youkilis was probably right. The Yankees were considered dead and buried by everyone before a pitch was thrown this season, and that was just irrational. But as Youk tells Mark Feinsand, the Yankees haven’t given up even though, as strange as it sounds to say it, no one believed in them:

“It’s a good thing; guys are swinging the bats well, and putting together great at-bats. I think we all had confidence within ourselves. And that’s probably been the biggest talk – no one’s had confidence in us. So we stick together as a team, keep trying to have good at-bats.”

The bigger question is whether this is still the case when the season is more than a week and change old, but his point is well-taken. Even if it’s weird to hear it with respect to the Yankees.

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.