Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More looks at the management of the Brewers

By Nicole
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Did you know that of the 17  managers who managed in the big leagues prior to 2006, only two have failed to take their team to the postseason:  Ned Yost and John Gibbons. Gibbons has the excuse that he plays in the same league as the Yankees and Red Sox. What's Ned got? Tons of homegrown, young talent? Support and money from a new owner?

That detail about Yost was in a column in the Denver Post by Woody Paige where the local sports media is calling for the firing of Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. This in the season following a World Series appearance. It includes this line: "He has problems with in-game management, handling of pitchers and snippiness with those he believes are not as baseball-wise as he is. " Sound familiar?

Of course, those of us fed up with Ned are told to quiet down, it's not Ned's fault despite the fact that he's had 6 years to give us a playoff team.

While searching the Denver Post webiste for the link to that column, I came across this comment on another Rockies tidbit. Replace Hurdle's name with Ned's and the comment still resonates in Milwaukee - maybe more-so.

Clint Hurdle is a care-taker, not a MLB manager. He has no fire or passion and can't make adjustments when the team loses. His pitching staff is a joke and his team can't hit. When the Tigers started the season off bad, Jim Leyland was screaming and yelling at his players to improve. They did and now they win more games. Clint Hurdle shrugs his shoulders, smiles, and walks out of the locker room after the Rocks get pounded.. If the Rockies want to be a consistently good club, they need to hire people with fire and passion for the game.

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Of course, it's becoming abundantly clear that Ned's not the only member of Brewer's management who warrants a good look. Have we moved past the point where we can blindly think that Ned's the only one responsible for the shape of the team?

I've been a pretty blind Melvin supporter, but we're in the third year of a serious pitching shortage. Why hasn't the front office realized the lack of sustainable starting pitching is going to be a detriment to our post-season hopes?

And isn't this on Melvin, not Ned? I mean, Ned's not out there with the ball and he's certainly not coaching the pitchers. He's working with what he's got, right? So why isn't what he's got a better core? In terms of starting pitching in the past three years, we've made one major move: acquiring Jeff Suppan.

Can we really argue that as a positive handling of the starting pitching situation? Sure, we had a dearth of starters at the beginning of the season, but that doesn't mean they were good, just that we had a lot of them. Should we really follow unquestionably a GM who is pushing this as the
"now-or-never" team when it rides on the shoulders of a injury-plagued ace, an aging #2 and #3-5 that have consistently underperformed?

Sure, the defense has improved, but I think we'll see that level off. Rickie will always be Rickie. Prince isn't suddenly going to become 6'3". There are limits to these guys and what they can do.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready for the media and fans around here to be as up in arms over the mediocrity of this ballclub.

I'm not sure what Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and Mark Attanasio are waiting for. We're at the point where no one would accuse them of acting too hastily. They've shown patience in abundance.

I think fans want and deserve a change. They've been sold on a playoff team this year by management and that team simply hasn't been getting it done in spite of the talent level, just like last year.

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Finally, a discussion of the game 9th inning on Sunday came up over at Brewerfan.net and the following argument was made:


It didn't end up figuring in the result due to Mota's wild pitch, but can someone please explain Yost's 9th inning defensive strategy to me?

1 out, men on the corners, tie game. And you bring the infield in? WHY?

The only way you gun down the runner at home is if someone hits a ball right at an infielder...if that happens, why would you not be playing for a double play?

Maybe I'm missing something here, someone please explain this. Many people defend Yost and say the players are responsbile...not here. It's overlooked because it didn't matter, but I don't get it at all.

Another thing about this strategy: The Brewers weren't holding the man on first, so as Mota delivered the fateful pitch, the runner on first broke for second and would have arrived easily.

After the first pitch, the Nats would have had 2nd and 3rd with one out. I would imagine that Yost would have walked the batter to load the bases to set up a force at every base. So, the pitch that Mota threw was a meaningless pitch. Nice call, Ned.

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