Bob Uecker prepping for 41st season after two heart surgeries

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Adam McCalvy of MLB.com caught up with legendary Brewers announcer Bob Uecker, who’s spending the offseason in Arizona resting up after undergoing two heart surgeries this year and plans to return to the broadcast booth for his 41st season in 2011.

At age 75 he “plans to work a full schedule” of games and Uecker told McCalvy that he’s looking forward to spring training more than ever after a 2010 filled with health problems:

It makes you appreciate things around you that you don’t pay a lot of attention to normally. It makes you appreciate your job. It makes you appreciate all of the guys who worked on me and all of the great baseball fans who say they want you back. There’s no way I’m going to quit. I wouldn’t know what the heck to do. I feel good. When I start slobbering, then it will be a different story. They won’t have to tell me when to quit. I’ll know.

McCalvy described Uecker as “choking up” when discussing the outpouring of fan support he received while in the hospital. In four decades calling Brewers games it was just the second time he’s missed a large number of games.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.