Nick Markakis aims for October return after surgery


Nick Markakis had pins inserted into his broken left thumb during surgery Tuesday morning and is still hoping to play next month if the Orioles reach the postseason.

“Originally, they thought they were going to put a plate in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They were concerned about the range of motion. They were able to put the pins in there and align it properly.”

The pins are expected to be removed in three weeks. If everything heals properly, it’s possible Markakis would be ready to play in the ALDS, should the Orioles advance.

Markakis was hitting .298/.363/.471 when his regular season was ended by a CC Sabathia fastball Saturday. Chris Davis replaced him in right field on Sunday.

Bob Uecker is basically indestructible

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Tom Haurdicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a story about beloved Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker’s frighteningly eventful offseason that’s definitely worth a read.

The frightening part: Uecker got bit by a brown recluse spider last October. He didn’t realize it at first and happened to show the bite to a doctor a couple of days later. The doctor realized how serious it was — brown recluses can kill people — and Uecker was rushed off to surgery. He’s fine now, back in the Brewers booth and actually joking about the spider bite.

The incident, though, leads Haudricourt to chronicle all of Uecker’s health issues over the years and the list is fairly amazing. I mean, we’ve written about some of his more recent health issues on this site, but I was unaware of just how many potentially fatal ailments Uecker has dealt with and beat in the past 25-30 years or so. Not that he’s too fazed by it all:

“I know I’m lucky. I’ve had 11 major surgeries overall. But, through all of that stuff, I made some unbelievable friends. All those doctors at Froedtert [Hospital]. We’re all friends now. So, a lot of good came out of it.”

That’s quite the perspective.

Uecker is 84. Counting his playing career he’s entering his 63rd year in baseball. He’s still one of the best, if not the best, broadcasters going. Thank goodness he wasn’t stopped by a spider of all things. Here’s hoping he keeps going for many more years to come.