Diminished returns in Milwaukee

By Troy A. Sparks, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 14, 2010

Normal 0

MILWAUKEE (BASN) — All the Brewer fans were excited last winter after being reassured that we’d have better pitching, hitting and leadership.

After all the necessary signings were made and the money spent, there’s nothing to be excited about now.

Instead of jockeying for position in the National League Central, the Milwaukee Brewers are a distant third in their division with a 40-49 record at the All-Star break.

You know, the starting pitching was supposed to work out for us.

Randy Wolf, who ate up innings for the L.A. Dodgers last season, can’t make it past the fifth or sixth inning. The bullpen, when they get a chance to come in the game, can’t maintain a lead.

All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman blew some saves earlier this year. Manager Ken Macha lost the confidence to put him in save situations, using reliever John Axford instead.

As a result, the sign hanging in center field at Miller Park still says, “596 saves.”

When the team returns from their road trip after the All-Star break, they should be one man short. That is, if general manager Doug Melvin get on his high horses and act immediately.

It’s better for the organization to pay Macha to stay home for good. His two-year deal ends after this season. As for Macha himself, he knows that professional sports is a business, and there’s a small margin between keeping or losing his job.

One example of exercising his lame duck position was in last Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Several of the Brewer hitters were plunked with a pitch. What did Macha do? Nothing!

At the least, he should’ve retaliated and told his pitchers to hit some of their players.

Another example reflects on addressing the local press in the media room. Before answering questions, he’ll flip the lineup card over and over about 20 times, looking at the notes he took during the game at how players from both teams performed.

Sometimes, Macha looks as if he doesn’t want to talk to the media.

If he feels like that, it’s best for Melvin to take him out of his misery. And fire pitching coach, Rick Peterson, who was handpicked by Macha to coach the underachieving pitchers.

Ryan Braun isn’t happy with batting fourth. Prince Fielder isn’t happy batting third. That was Macha’s idea to switch them around. He’s trying not to lose patience with Alcides Escobar, who’s making a ton of errors at shortstop.

It seems that Macha has lost the clubhouse. It’s clear that he’s an old man surrounded by lots of young players, most under 30-years-old. I think a change in temporary leadership is needed.

Why do you think Willie Randolph is the bench coach? He managed in the majors before. A new voice will bring fun back in the clubhouse.

It may be too late to rally for a playoff run. But, on the other hand, trading players before the July 31st deadline won’t improve the club one iota. Meanwhile, we’ll hold our breaths and see what happens.

It may be another 26 years before we see a pot of gold again.