In the most unsurprising news since your mom drunk dialed me last night, the Milwaukee Brewers decided not to retain the services of Ken Macha. Those of you who wished for his firing will be disappointed to know that he wasn't actually fired and his contract simply wasn't renewed. On his last day Doug Melvin and Gord Ash even helped him pack. The Ken Macha era ends not with a bang, but a whimper and every rose has it's thorn.
What can I say about the guy that hasn't already been said? I didn't like Ken Macha for awhile, but then I did. Now I like him and he's fired. Baseball is funny like that. I don't think he did anything to deserve getting fired (besides manage a team with a bad record), but he was hired to win and whether or not it was his fault that they didn't doesn't matter because they didn't. (Got that?) He could have made Gallardo pitch underhanded, batted Prince leadoff and changed the team uniform to Remetee if he won, but he didn't win so he's gone. It doesn't matter if he did a good or bad job because all that matters is the results. Ken Macha knows this:
"There's a lot of people who don't necessarily merit getting a promotion or getting fired. That's just the nature of this game. Do I think that I merited this? I don't know. Did I merit getting the job in the beginning? I'm not sure. That's just how things work out in baseball. That's the game. That's the business."
It is what it is. The next guy will come in and we will like or dislike him for awhile and then he'll be gone.
2010 was a bad season and someday had to pay. They blamed the pitching coach last season, it was Macha's turn. On to the next one.
Now, what if I told you that the Brewers were going to hire a former WORLD SERIES winning manager? That's what we need right, a winner? Somebody who has won before and knows how to do it again? A no-nonsense manager who has the experience and tools to succeed, that's what this team needs and that's what this team is looking to get.
Unfortunately, the man Doug Melvin has (allegedly) chosen to (possibly) do the job is Bob Brenly.
There is no good way to analyze a manager, but I can say that Bob Brenly is probably a bad choice for this job. I know you are easily fooled by a nice mustache, but hear me out. As a color commentator for the Chicago Cubs he often voiced his opinion that the Cubs should bunt more or hit and run more. Now that could very easily be something that he says because he's on TV, but I doubt it. The Milwaukee Brewers, btw, should do neither of those things.
Then there is this thread I found titled 'Bob Brenly is the stupidest person on the fact of the earth' that features these gems:
What kind of moron pitches his closer for three innings, during the second inning of which he gives up a two-run homer to tie the game and a couple more baserunners even after that, and during the third inning of which the closer gives up a game-ending homer? And what kind of moron then turns around the next night and, with a two run lead, puts that same closer in the game despite the fact that he threw sixty-two pitches the night before, and despite the obvious conclusion that the opposing team was teeing off on him like it was a Saturday morning at St. Andrews?
In Brenly's defense the closer in question is Byung Hyung Kim. Oh wait, that's a terrible defense.
I have been watching, playing, and studying baseball for more than two decades. Long ago I came to the conclusion that people's views of managers are generally flawed. It is a much-loved myth that a manager's key skill is in-game decisions; I don't believe that's true. Generally speaking, 99% of in-game decision (who to pinch ht for, when to bring the reliever in, etc.) are the same ones anyone will make. For the most part stuff like bunts and hitting and running has very little impact on a team's success. The REALLY important decisions a manager makes are long-term decisions - how to put the oster together, wther to cut the veteran or keep the kid in the minors, who the fifth starter will be, stuff like that.
But last night was different. In the thousands and thousands and thousands of baseball games I've watched, Bob Brenley's decision to bring in Byung-Hung Kim last night was the stupidest decision I have ever seen a manager make, of any sort, in any SPORT. I was absolutely flabbergasted, and I told Mrs. RickJay and my best friend "They're gonna kill this guy. Why is Brenly doing this? They're toast." It was, to my eye, a much worse decision that, say, pinch hitting for Babe Ruth with Mario Mendoza. It was so stupid that I still cannot understand why he did it. I can understand why he bunts too much or leads off Tony Womack. Those are stupid decisions too, but I understand his thinking. But brining in Kim after he had practically pitched a short start tbhe night before makes you question his sanity or whether he's been bribed. It was very likely the stupidest in-game managerial decision in 125 years of major league history.
The complaint so nice I posted it twice. By the way his career winning percentage is .536.
Brenly, however, has now blown TWO games, both of which were completely winnable, and has done so with a number of hideously dumb moves. With a conservative, logical series of moves, Arizona wins the World Series 4-1. Today we'd be talking about Curt Schilling being series MVP. With Bob Brenly, they're losing 2-3. That tops McNamara.
Wait, didn't they win that series?
Well, DESPITE the fact that Bob Brenly shouldn't be managing a McDonald's, they won
It's like they always say, history is written by the weiners.
Of course, none of this compares to the fact that Bob Brenly once thought it would be a good idea to throw at our best player. In a game last year Ryan Braun did a little showboating after a homerun against the Cubs. It's Ryan Braun, what do you expect? During his trot Bob Brenly had this to say:
"Braun had some issues with some rib muscles early in the season; he may have some issues with his rib muscles as this season progresses if he acts like that on every home run he hits."
Considering he's probably not that good of a manger, that there were rumors that Braun and Macha didn't get along and that Brenly has basically already said he doesn't like him, you should probably look for someone else Doug. I know you don't like to do interviews that much (Macha was Yost's runner up, Brenly was Macha's), but you need to get out there and do something different.
UPDATE: It's all a dumb rumor.