Another Heir Apparent, Uke, And Papi Pinch-Hit For

The estimable Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle adds to the previous post about Heirs Apparent that the insider for the Giants’ manager’s job the next time it comes open is former catcher Steve Decker, now managing for them at Fresno. He was, briefly, part of the Giants’ Black and Decker battery, which could be revived in the NL West if he got the San Francisco job while Bud Black is still running San Diego.
Good thoughts for Bob Uecker, who you know is one of the great baseball announcers and baseball people. You may not have had the honor I’ve had, to have worked with Bob during the ’97 World Series, and to stay in touch ever since. They do not make them better than Uke and metaphorically speaking, that they are treating his heart means they will have something big and robust to work with.

Lastly, when Tito Francona pinch-hit Mike Lowell for David Ortiz with the lead run on in the 8th and righty Kevin Gregg coming in at Toronto in the 8th, I thought, gee I like my AL predictions four weeks after I posted them here:

Here is the unasked question in BOSTON: would the Red Sox rather have David Ortiz at DH this year… or Luke Scott? Where, production-wise, will Not-So-Big-Papi fall in 2010? I think he’s behind Guerrero, Kubel, Lind, Matsui, Scott, and maybe others. If the demise of the beast continues, the Red Sox are suddenly presenting a very pedestrian line-up…keep the Ortiz thought in the back of your mind. What if the second half of ’09 was the aberration, not the first half? Will the Sox have to bench him? And if so, could the twists and turns of fate find them suddenly grateful that they had been unable to trade Mike Lowell?…As I have written here before, I am not buying the premise that what in essence was a trade of Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, for a full-time Brett Gardner plus Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson was necessarily an upgrade – even if Javier Vazquez (9 career post-season innings; 11 career post-season earned runs) was thrown in, in the bargain… In TAMPA BAY, I’m betting 2009 was the fluke and not 2008. What does one not like about this team? Is rightfield confused? Stick Ben Zobrist there and let Sean Rodriguez have a shot at second. That doesn’t work? Wait for mid-season and the promotion of Desmond Jennings. You don’t like Crawford and Upton? Bartlett and Longoria? Pena? The law firm of Shoppach and Navarro? The Rays seem to summon a fully-grown starter from the minors each year – Price in ’08, Niemann in ’09, Wade Davis in ’10. 

5 Comments

Nice work Keith, at least a month in…I though the Sox line-up was weak as well, but the struggles of Lester, Lackey, and Becket have compounded them. As for the Rays, you can’t underestimate a team built on young energy, especially since so many of these players were developed within.

I have to talk about Uke, and I write from Las Vegas, where we don’t get his broadcasts. At the moment we don’t even get the Dodgers on the radio. But like everyone else I’ve heard Uke for years and wanted to add a couple of things.

His first partner in Milwaukee was the late Merle Harmon, who wrote about him in his autobiography and whom Uke has acknowledged as helping him a great deal. Merle said that Brewers players even back then were always asking Uecker for advice on baseball. For all of the jokes, he knows the game backward and forward, and the players know it–and so do the fans who listen to him.

Since Uke is off to the hospital, I remember when he had his surgery a few years ago and was asked the toughest part about it. He said, “The suppository. They put it in with a pea-shooter from eight feet.”

On Uke as well…Even though I am a Cubs fan, and live in south Chicagoland, I enjoy listening to the Brewers on 620 AM (albeit a bit scratchy). The Simpsons baseball emulates Uke, not to mention the movies he’s in. Major applause to Pat Hughes as well for compiling legendary play-by-play men, including Uke. As a person who would LOVE to sit in Uke’s chair and has called collegiate baseball, we all owe him one. My thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the Brewers organization.

Right you are sir, here in Tampa Bay we like growing our team from little sprouts into mighty oaks and bringing baseball a fine looking upstanding young men lead by the cool uncle Joe who makes playing and watching FUN, and the owners really try to make the experience for us the fans worth the price of admission (the lowest in professional sports by the way). thanks for noticing now if we can just get more fans in the seats life in this baseball town will be grand….GO RAYS..Rayzor X

I’m very impressed that you, a shameless Yankee fanboy, would post such a wonderful tribute to one of my favorite Red Sox players, Kevin Youkilis.

It’s true about Youk, as you say (even though you misspell his name, which surprises me): “They do not make them better than Uke and metaphorically speaking, that they are treating his heart means they will have something big and robust to work with.”

Doesn’t he have the heart of a champion! YOUK! YOUK! YOUK!

YOUK….!

What’s that?

He’s writing a tribute to Bob Uecker? Who the hell is Bob Uecker? Oh, he is?

Never mind.

Love,

Houndcat

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