Bob Uecker has already been immortalized in bronze outside Miller Park for his several decades of wonderful service as the Brewers’ radio announcer. Now he’s getting a second statue which is more about honoring his career as an everyman/pitchman.
It’s in the last row of the so-called “Uecker Seats” in the upper deck, and pays tribute to his time in those Miller Lite commercials in the 70s and 80s in which Uecker is considered not good enough to be given anything but cheap seats:
The statue has Uecker seated with an empty seat next to him, providing a perfect photo opportunity for fans at the ball park. The statue is made of bronze but also has color effects and was designed by Brian Maughan, the artist responsible for the four statues outside of Miller Park of Uecker, Robin Yount, Hank Aaron and Bud Selig.
Now, to complete things, Uecker needs a Harry Doyle statue someplace in Cleveland and a statue representing his time on “Mr. Belvedere” someplace in Pittsburgh.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.