Bob Uecker is one of the finest announcers baseball has ever seen. He created an iconic role as Harry Doyle in the “Major League” movies. He parlayed an otherwise insignificant playing career into an asset as a pitchman. He starred in a sitcom that, by the low standards of the era in which it aired, was actually pretty good. It is not hyperbole at all to call Uecker a “great.”
But he was not the greatest scout baseball has ever seen. Not by a longshot:
That is taken from the Uecker documentary MLB Network is running tonight at 7PM called “Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker.” Based on that, I feel like my theory of documentaries — that ones about people who failed in some cases are far better than ones about people who knew nothing but success are kind of boring — still holds.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.