Bob Uecker to have heart surgery


Bob Uecker broadcasting.jpgUPDATE:  Turns out that Uecker is going to have his aortic valve replaced and his aortic root
replaced on Friday morning. The surgery was described by his doctor as “relatively common.”

Trevor Hoffman, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee, Craig Counsell and Ken Macha were all at the presser, inspiring Uecker to say that “I’m part of the team.” Uecker added “I don’t ever want to quit . . . I look forward to
coming to the park every day. That’s the highlight of the day.”

Excuse me, but it just got a bit misty in here.

3:12 P.M.: Adam McCalvy reports that Brewers’ broadcaster Bob Uecker is going to miss 10-12 weeks as a result of heart surgery, which he will undergo on Friday.  There aren’t many details yet, but the Brewers will be holding a press conference at 4:30PM eastern.

Uecker is best known to most of you as Harry Doyle from “Major League,” or the dad from “Mr. Belvedere” or — if you’re a bit older — the character from those old Miller Lite commercials from the 1970s and 80s, which were really “This is SportsCenter” before “This is SportsCenter” existed. He did a great job in those roles — and was absolutely killer on the “Tonight Show” back in the day — so that’s totally cool.

But even if he had never become as famous as he has, Uecker would be known as a really a fantastic broadcaster. He’s held the job since 1971, and if you’ve never had a chance to take in a Brewers’ game he’s doing you’ve really missed out. I was unlucky enough to get stuck in Milwaukee on a miserable three-week trial several summers ago and the only thing that made those three weeks bearable was Uecker calling Brewers games every night.  He’s got an easy delivery and demeanor that matches a midsummer night game absolutely perfectly.

Here’s hoping Uecker gets well and gets back to calling games as soon as possible.

Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract.’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …

Mark McGwire to become the Padres bench coach

Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire roams the field during practice for the National League baseball championship series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. The Dodgers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.

McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.