Who Will Be Roenicke’s New Mark Kotsay?


Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke is a very likeable guy.  The man flies his emotions under the radar.  Sometimes while I meditate (I don’t meditate, but go with me on this), my mind ponders the scenarios that would cause RRR to blow his haystack.  There are not many to chose from.  I go after something he loves…very dearly.  So, in my collective sub-conscious I run him through gauntlets of anti-Kotsay signs, force him to watch Mark Kotsay strikeout to end the 2011 season…over and over again, but usually I just have him fill out the lineup card without Kotsay on it.  These thoughts soothe me.  Anyway, the recent development of Kotsay not coming back has really thrown a kink into my quest for spiritaul oneness.  Not to mention the fact, that now Roenicke will build up even more immunity to pain!!

We need our Mark Kotsay, Ron and I.  He needs him, so that he has a bench guy who is not Craig Counsell (another problem solved).  I need Kotsay so that I can make fun of him and Roenicke having a strange father and son-ish relationship.  I’ve written essays on the subject,  Ron Roenicke loves Mark Kotsay, but why? , and Why did Roenicke start Kotsay? .  There will never be a day when I understand what RR saw in Mark, that aside.  Someone on the Brewers must pick up the Mark Kotsay torch, but whom?

Teams need a guy that the skipper trusts to hit in those clutch situations.  Unfortunately for Brewers fans, last season that man was Mark f-ing Kotsay.  Fortunately for Brewers fans, no more Mark f-ing Kotsay.  This player will serve a vital role on the 2012 Brewers.  We need to see what kind of “talent” we are working with.  Being the new Kotsay is not just a title, it is a job.  A way of life.  Only a select few can truly fill this role, many players are out of the running because they are too good or are pitchers.  Who does that leave us with?

Mat Gamel

Key Kotsay Qualities:  Under-performance, mediocre fielding, left-handed

RR Relationship Index: Not much to go off of here.  Gamel spent almost all of last season in Triple-A.  Roenicke only knows him from Spring Training and 15 AB’s with the Brewers.  Mat Gamel also has a young soul, still a little cocky.  Seems like RR likes them road worn by the game…as is tradition in the Brewers organization.

KKS (Kotsay Strikeout Scale): 8 of 10, Gamel has proven that he has the strikeout ability to some day be a Mark Kotsay.  Early career numbers would warrant a 10, but Gamel is young and still has a chance to correct his swing. 

Hot Wife/Girlfriend:  Sure does.  Compliments of their wedding blog, see picture.

*Clearly the most qualified, but will that earn him this coveted role.

George Kottaras

Key Kotsay Qualities:  Spotty Power, Low Batting Average but high On-Base Percentage, Weak Beard

RR Relationship Index:  Kottaras has the edge here.  George has had a full season with Ron, so he already has an inside joke or two with the skipper.  Plus it helps that his name is George, it gives him the feeling of an old soul.

KKS: 2 OF 10, GK is way behind some of our other applicants.  The guy does not swing and miss very frequently, which is great!!  Just not for this job.

Hot Wife/Girlfriend:  He’s not a player, but he crushes a lot. 

*Kottaras could be a sleeper pick based on relationship with Roenicke

Brooks Conrad

Key Kotsay Qualities: Old, No Natural Position, Sometimes Hits for Power

RR Relationship Index:  Unless I am mistaken, these two will meet for the first time next month.  Based on age, inability to fill any actual position, and his flare for game winning hits…Conrad will certainly start with strong consideration for the role of Kotsay. 

KKS: 10 of 10, based on a small sample Conrad is actually worse than Kotsay…by a lot.  Brooks strikes out 1 out of every 3 at-bats.  That is straight fact.  Conrad is hard to beat in this category.

Hot Wife/Girlfriend:  I know that he is married and has two kids.  Since I could not find a picture, RtB’s official stance is that she is in fact hot. 

*Conrad scores very highly on several key Kotsay areas 

Which one of these players could possibly fill the hole in Ron Roenicke’s heart?  My money is on Conrad, but he has to make the team first.  You can bet your sweet tea that if he makes the team, Brooks will get almost every late inning pinch-hit opportunity.  A role once reserved for you know who.  Odds are good that Gamel will be the opening day 1st baseman, but that could change over the course of the season.  Kottaras will see some playing time, thanks to his awesome relationship with Randy Wolf (another plus on the RRR Index).  However, that will leave him on the bench 80% of the time.

The point is, we all need a Mark Kotsay.  Without guys like Kotsay, who will we have to complain about with our friends as we drink the summer away?  No one.  Let’s just hope that Ron makes the right choice.  It will be a decision that affects all of us.

Who is your Mark Kotsay?  I want to hear from you!!!!