The Brewers announced today that Bob Uecker is getting a statue outside of Miller Park this summer. This led to the same Twitter joke being told over and over again, but Tyler Kepner said it best:
I laughed. Don’t pretend you didn’t.
As for the merits: it’s so easy to remember Uecker as Harry Doyle from “Major League” and, if you’re a tad older, as the funniest guy in those old Miller Lite commercials. But if you were unaware, Uecker is one of the best play-by-play guys around and has been for decades. Seriously: if you’re not in Wisconsin, get MLB.tv or XM radio or something and listen to some Brewers games this summer. He’s just fantastic.
And that’s definitely worth a statue. Especially in Milwaukee, where they honored Bud Selig with one. The least they can do is honor someone who has brought millions of people actual enjoyment.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.