Having lived in Seattle for the past four years, the Seattle Mariners are sort of my team away from home(everyone relax, they are in the AL West and we never play them). The voice of the Mariners was Dave Niehaus. As a baseball fan I listen to M’s games, believe me when I tell you that Niehaus was truly on of the finest game-callers we will ever know. Now matter how bad the team was, he still got excited about each homerun and every strikeout. Sadly, Dave passed in November. A man who loved baseball and loved his team. Now, for the record, I think that Seattle sports fans are the most fickle people on the sporting landscape. Despite that, when I saw the impact his death had on the Seattle community, I realized how lucky we are to have “Mr. Baseball” Bob Uecker.
Bob has been a Brewer since 1971. This season, will be his 40th in the booth. The man is a Brewers institution. Bob is a member of the Brewers ring of honor. He is still the most recognizable Brewer, mostly because of the Major League movies and of course Mr. Belvedere (not sure what I am talking about, click here). Bob was born and raised in Milwaukee and he deserves another playoff run, right? Our hometown hero. How amazing would it be to hear him call Game 1 of the 2011 World Series? Or to hear him announce, “THE BREWERS WIN THE PENNANT!!!!!”…….. again(I missed it the first time)?
Believe me when I tell you that this can happen!! Shwan Marcum is the key. Laugh if you want, but his performance in the middle of the lineup will dictate this season for the Crew. Shawn Marcum’s performance will have a direct impact on Randy Wolf’s season. If Marcum goes out and puts up good numbers, Wolf will relax and throw much more consistant games. Let’s be real, Wolf can be a really good pitcher at times. My biggest problem with him (other than his refusl to stache it up) is he is really incosistant. I also think that he thrives when there is no pressure. At the start of last season he had high expectations because of his contract and his pitching was……..well……..it was the oppostie of good. Once everyone realized we were not going to making a run to the playoffs, he threw deeper into games and gave up less runs.
That is 50% of my Mr. Baseball playoff recipe. I think that it is pretty cut and dry. If both halves of my recipe happen, Bob will have another playoff ride. This half is a little trickier. Corey Hart needs to be 2008 and 2010 Corey, not 2009 and 2007 C.Hart. If Corey can put up the numbers he did this past season, we are going to win plenty of games. Other bats in the lineup are very important, but Corey can reallyset us apart from other teams. Weeks, Hart, Braun, Fielder, and McGehee clicking on all cylinders can compete with EVERY team in baseball. Imagine for a second, that Carlos Gomez gets good again and he leads off, you could move Hart to the 6 spot in the lineup. There is no pitcher out there, who would feel comfortable facing the first 2/3rd’s of our lineup. So this part of the recipe calls for a solid Corey Hart, with a pinch of Carlos Gomez wishful La-La Land imagination time.
If those two things can come together, we will get a “Mr. Baseball” playoff cake/pie. Whichever one he prefers. I suspect that Ueck is pie man, but I have been wrong before. We can do this and I know it. Can anyone else feel this, or am I the only one drinking the Kool-Aid? You, me, and George Owens (see Mr. Belvedere) have to believe that this can happen. If we all catch the fever together we can add some kick to the cake/pie, maybe some whipped cream or something. I’m not much of a cook. Bob Uecker is the voice of our team, even if some people still think he works for the South Carolin Buzz (see Major League: Back to the Minors) I want this for him. Really, really badly.
This article is dedicated to my Grandpa. He bought me my first wooden bat and my first adult sized baseball glove. Gog, you are my Mr. Baseball. I love you, old man.