Friday, February 01, 2008

Phillies Phlashback Phriday: Bob Uecker

"Just a bit outside." The famous line uttered by Bob Uecker in the all-time great baseball flick Major League. That same Bob Uecker who played Harry Doyle, the announcer for the hapless Cleveland Indians actually played Major League Baseball himself in real life and was a Phillie. His professional career in the bigs was lackluster at best- 6 seasons, .200 average, 297 games, and 14 homeruns while playing catcher for the Milwaukee Braves, Cardinals, Phillies (1966-67), and ending with the Atlanta Braves. Uecker isn't best remembered as an athlete though, he's known for his humor which has garnered him many roles after his playing days.

Uecker played the dad, George Owens, in the 80's tv sitcom Mr. Belvedere (one of Corey's favorites). He's currently doing radio for the Milwaukee Brewers, and I must admit he's a pleasure to listen to on XM. He made numerous appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and used to do humorous Miller Lite commercials. He's written two books- Catcher in the Wry and Catch 222 (those titles sound strangely familiar). He's also a member of the Radio Hall of Fame and has won the Ford C. Frick Award.

Some classic Uecker quotes:
"You know, I was once named Minor League Player of the Year...unfortunately, I had been in the majors for two years at the time."
"I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually, I was born in Illinois. My mother and father were on an oleo margarine run to Chicago back in 1934, because we couldn't get colored margarine in Wisconsin. On the way home, my mother was with child. Me. And the pains started, and my dad pulled off into an exit area, and that's where the event took place. I remember it was a Nativity type setting. An exit light shining down. There were three truck drivers there. One guy was carrying butter, one guy had frankfurters, and the other guy was a retired baseball scout who told my folks that I probably had a chance to play somewhere down the line."


Poker? I hardly know her!
New Phillie Geoff Jenkins is busy being a good boy this offseason. How? By playing poker of course. Hey, betting is cool as long as it's for charity. The charity Jenkins is helping to raise funds for is the Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix (where he resides during the winter). Pro athletes in attendance were MLB players Jermaine Dye, Chris Young, Conor Jackson, Doug Davis, Eric Chavez, Jacque Jones, Justin Morneau, Paul Konerko, Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, Aaron Boone, Ryan Garko, Russell Martin, Brian Roberts, Randy Flores, Mike Hampton, and Grady Sizemore; the NFL was represented too with Javon Walker and Larry Fitzgerald. The event, which Geoff hopes becomes annual, raised nearly $60k...not too shabby. Now time to focus on baseball, no more poking around with poker.



GM-Carson said...

In the Phils efforts to make BloodStripes feel more at home they signed Aussie Todd Van Steensel, a native of Sydney, Australia. Van Steensel, also 17, is a right-handed pitcher out of The Hills Sports High School.

They also signed their first European player- 17-year-old Czech infielder Jakub Sladek.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound lefty is a native of Prague and attends Gymnazium Nad Stolou.

"Jakub has a physical presence about him and a left-handed bat that has a chance to be an offensive threat," scouting director Marti Wolever said. "He's surprisingly athletic for his size. He has a lot of upside, and at 17 years old, he has plenty of room to develop."

Also- Amaro has said the Phils still have wiggle room in their budget, and adding pitching is the goal. Lohse is a possibility, even Livan is on the radar, the Benson is having another throwing session next week that the Phils will attend.

BenJah said...

6-6 and 220 at 17?? impressive!

all those superstar players and only 60k? not so impressive.

if the phils add another starter, who gets displaced in the rotation??

GM-Carson said...

Eaton gets displaced. But to be honest, Kendrick is a question mark heading into his sophomore season. He's got a good head on his shoulders and I think he'll do fine, but many people have their doubts. Also, Moyer is old, I could see him using a breather sometimes. Hamels is fragile. Basically, I'm saying we could use a 6th starter. Not going on a 6 man rotation but every few trips through the rotation give a guy a turn off. I know it sounds crazy but it could help. I'm not really a fan of that situation though, just throwing it out there.

furiousBall said...

I can't wait for the call on when the Czech gets beaned in the balls.

Jameson said...

Yeah thanks for adding our link. Love this site.

I link to you guys in posts probably two to three times a week.

I loved our Star Wars series you guys did.

GM-Carson said...

I loved the Star Wars series too. One of the funnier things on our blog since the beginning.

SirAlden said...

00 days, 03 hours, 04 minutes, 16 seconds
until the deadline for the Mets to sign Johan Santana or the trade with the Twins falls through...

Thanks to Balls and Sticks and Stuff!

GM-Carson said...

I'd love nothing more than the Johan trade to fall through, but it won't. Hopefully Johan milks the Mets for every single last cent though.

GM-Carson said...

Via Zolecki and MLBTR-
The Phils haven't closed the door on re-signing free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, although Amaro Jr. said the likelihood was "fairly low."

I'd guess that the Phils might do a deal for two years, $18MM or so but only want Lohse if he's a relative bargain. Lohse once called the American League "arena baseball," so I think he'll sign in the NL. I can't really see a team giving him the four or five-year deal we've heard about.

SirAlden said...

00 days, 00 hours, 58 minutes, 18 seconds
until the deadline for the Mets to sign Johan Santana or the trade with the Twins falls through...


SirAlden said...

Mets get 2 hour extension

80 minutes to go!

SirAlden said...

The New York Post is reporting that the Mets and Johan Santana have agreed to a contract extension.
No terms yet. Now only the physicals is standing in the way of the five-player deal. Feb. 1 - 6:33 pm et

Hope he pushed them up over $150 Million.

SirAlden said...

Johan Santana reportedly will make $150.75 million over the next seven years under the terms of his deal with the Mets.

Dats sa BIG Contract!

Congratulations Johan. Break a leg!

chuckm said...

My Favorite Uecker quote: "I honestly liked Philadelphia. The fans there were smart and mean and you could count on them"

note: Johans #s in his final 7 starts in 2007:

ERA: 5.32
WHIP: 1.54
Quality starts: 1

That and reports of him only hitting the high 80's MPH

BloodStripes said...

Awesome news about the Australian being signed.

The Phils will belt Johan all over the Cit pit.

GM-Carson said...

My prediction- Johan wins 22 games this season and the Cy Young.

I officially hate myself for saying that.

GM-Carson said...

From Jayson Stark's latest post-
• We polled 12 front-office types this week on whether they thought the Phillies or post-Johan Mets would win the NL East. Ten of them took the Mets. But one who didn't, an NL executive, was adamant that the Phillies have an energy and a personality the Mets lack.

"I'm talking about the way guys like (Jimmy) Rollins and (Chase) Utley and (Shane) Victorino play," he said. "Guys like that find ways to grind out wins. The Mets don't have those kinds of guys. Both those teams had a lot of guys who got hurt last year. But after the Mets got hurt, they didn't play the same way. Chase Utley got hurt and the Phillies kept on coming. To me, that's because that 'gamer quotient' was still there."

*I hope those 10 bastards are dead wrong!

GM-Carson said...

Also from Stark-
• Pedro Feliz may not be Mike Schmidt reincarnate, but here's one reason he's an important signing: The Phillies were one of only two teams in baseball last year that got twice as many errors (25) as homers (11) at third base. (Pittsburgh was the other.) "He's a hell of a third baseman," one scout said of Feliz. "And he might hit 40 home runs in that park." Then again, he might not. But A-Rod had more home runs by last April 20 than the Phillies' three third basemen hit all year combined. So at the very least, Feliz is a legit upgrade.

*Our 3rd baseman were pitiful last season!

Bob D said...

Johan is only 1 guy, 1 guy may help the team alot but for someone who plays only 1/5th of the games he will likely have less of an impact than most think. He will provide a breather for most of the bullpen each week and give the Mets a 70%+ chance of winning each outing. But to go from the Phils as favorites to the Mets as huge favorites is a little much for just 1 signing.

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