It had to be someone.
I couldn’t tell you exactly why Casey McGehee will be absorbing the majority of my Brewers-related disdain as long as he has a chance of cracking camp—yet he will.
With significantly better players ahead of him, multi-position versatility and the look of displaced farm-hand moxie about him, McGehee resembles the type of Spring Training invitee whose name I’d usually be doodling beside hearts and shooting stars in my Lisa Frank Siberian Tiger Trapper Keeper. Yet he isn’t.
Instead, Casey McGehee’s name sits beside Tony Gwynn Jr.’s on my random shit list...and I don’t know why. But in effort to convince myself I’m not a terrible human to wish failure upon a man not too much older (or evidently better at baseball) than myself, I’ll hazard a guess to why McGehee seems to just rub me the wrong way.
1. Blocked… so very, very blocked: One of the few things I’ve cared enough to learn about McGehee in his brief stint as a Brewer is the position he plays. As a third baseman with prior catching experience, I think his chances at stealing Uecker’s job seem more realistic.
Save for Bill Hall, the 3B class isn’t pants-tightening by any means - but Casey sits at the bottom of the landfill that rounds out the realistic options. Craig Counsell… ugh, still better than this hack. He’ll obviously make the team.
Mike Lamb is awful, and is old...but at least he’s racked up some decent numbers over the course of his 36-year career. McGehee’s lifetime line? .167, 4 hits, 5 RBI. Plus, with the Twinks still paying Lamb $3.something M, Milwaukee is on the hook to pay these players the same amount of money.
Mat Gamel isn’t ready to start the season in Milwaukee. If you think he is, you probably wear your hat backwards, have just heard the name Mat Gamel for the first time and own stock in Remetee.
Thus, I excluded him. And notice how these other guys (even Gamel) got to pick their own numbers? Not a good sign, Case.
2. Casey McGehee is not Brad Nelson or Vinny Rottino: That is perhaps the most glaring stat to support his necessary exile from Brewers camp. Being that this stupid planet seems to frown upon a scenario that will bring Eric Hinske to Milwaukee, I had to settle for Rottino to symbolize the weak branch in which to balance my desperate hopes upon...a player to identify with.
As it became ever more apparent Rottino will grow old, build a cottage, whittle duck statues and eventually die on Nashville’s bench, I’ve since adopted Brad Nelson as the primary being to cradle in his burly frame my desire to see the underdog prosper.
In short, if you’re not from the Midwest and/or haven’t been met with constant obstacles that I’ve had years to personally observe and build up exponentially in my mind, then I don’t owe you shit, Votto.
3. Based on pure speculation, no facts, and a series of unlikely situations, he seems totally lame: You know that guy from high school gym class, college intramural, or rec league softball (Joe) who took things way too seriously? McGehee kind of looks like that guy.
I envision this first week of Spring Training down time features Corey Hart telling Jason Kendall racist jokes, Prince Fielder mistakenly trying to eat Jason Bourgeois, thinking he’s candy—twice (that’s a he’s little joke, not a he’s black joke...for those of you scoring at home), Craig Counsell teaching Manny Parra Nordic Mythology, and Casey friendless, alone in the workout facility grunting loudly in a sleeveless shirt, embroidered with his collegiate insignia.
When he does talk to teammates, it’s probably about “carb intake”, “delts” and “shredding his delts” while sweating constantly and reeking of oniony B.O.
4. The name “Casey McGehee” is annoying - and now I’m officially reaching: I don’t ever want to willingly allow a situation that requires me to cheer the name Casey aloud—unless she’s hot, and we’re alone (HEY-O!).
And is it Mick - GAY - he? MIG - ay - hee, or something weird and overtly Irish that I haven’t even considered? Don’t tell me… I’m hoping I never have to find out.
I know none of these reasons are fair, accurate, well-thought or even well-written. But it’s my right to say them. After all, Spring Training is always long, often boring and full of optimistic fluff features of glory chases (not be confused with glory holes).
If rooting for some dude to not make the team is the most investment in Brewers baseball I can manage before opening day, then it’ll have to be enough.
I’m sorry, Casey. But it had to be someone...and Trot Nixon was too easy.