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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.