Buster Olney said this past week that "unless there is a last-hour change of heart on the part of the Brewers, Manager Ken Macha will not be retained." Is this the right move?
Here's a few facts about Ken Macha and managers in general:
- Ken Macha does a pretty good job with the bullpen.
- It wasn't Ken Macha's fault that the pitching was terrible.
- It wasn't his fault last year either.
- The offense has remained one of the best in the league.
- There have been no public feuds with any of the players or among any of the players.
- Despite what some Kameron Loe fans may say, he's been very good at protecting pitchers.
- Too much credit is given to managers for a team's success or lack thereof.
- A great manager is, at best, worth about two extra wins a year.
These are all true things. I didn't just make them up. They are reason enough to give Ken Macha another chance, but they are not why I am arguing to bring him back. The reason I think the Brewers should consider bringing back Ken Macha is this:
Teams with interim managers
Teams with managers who are retiring at the end of the season (and are yet to name a replacement)
Toronto Blue Jays
Team that is likely to fire its manager before next season
New York Mets
Team that should fire its manager before next season
St. Louis Cardinals
Team that could have its manager leave because of contract expiry
New York Yankees
Team that question mark
Chicago White Sox
That's ten (eleven if you count the Brewers) teams that could be looking for a new manager this offseason and a lot of those jobs look at lot more attractive to a perspective manager than the Milwaukee Brewers. A few of these teams are larger markets with rich baseball histories. Seattle has better sushi. Toronto is located in Canada. Florida has the best cocaine. Milwaukee is Milwaukee. There is going to be a lot of competition for managers and the best of them are likely not to come to Milwaukee. (That being said, if they were the best they would probably already have a job.) We might not be the first choice of the guy we want.
So what exactly is the point of getting a different person to do the same thing that Ken Macha already does? Or worse, what is the point of getting rid of Macha and hiring someone who does a worse job than he does? If the team wanted to fire him they should have done it back in May when it might have ignited the team or at least inspired the fanbase. Who cares now?
You can't blame Macha for the team's success because he's done the best that he could with what he had. He didn't have any pitching and you can't win with an incomplete team. The team has played hard all season long with no obvious signs of quitting like you see a lot of other teams doing this time of year. I don't think you can fire him based on results and if you can't do that, why fire him at all?
Ghost of Miller Park Drunk's Past says:
Because he batted Corey Patterson leadoff, that's why. Don't you remember? He batted Corey Patterson in the leadoff spot. COREY PATTERSON! ARE YOU F'N KIDDING ME!?
You know one of the things that old school people will say is "at the end of the season, players always hit what's on the back of their baseball card." I would consider Ken Macha to be an old school guy. Therefore, what does he see on the back of this baseball card that I don't? Because all I can see is mediocrity.
Now, it's not so much that he batted Corey Patterson leadoff that has me calling for his head. I mean on it's own that is pretty indefensible, but you could make a rather poor case for it without Hart, Cameron or Braun playing. What really pissed me off though was his use of him in the ninth inning of Monday's game. Namely, he let him bat when Ryan Braun was available.
In the eighth, Braun stepped into the on-deck circle to bat for the pitcher, but ended up not getting to bat. (You can't make the argument that he wasn't available because he was pretty clearly ready to bat in that inning.) Then in the ninth, that pinch hitting spot was taken by Craig Counsell who promptly drew a walk. Now with a runner on first with nobody out and down by only three, what would you do? Call on the best hitter not in the game, Ryan Braun, to pinch hit? The second best, Mike Cameron? The third best? Yovani? Well, if you are Ken Macha you let the absolute worst hitter on your team and quite possibly in all of baseball swing away and ground into a game defining, might as well be game ending double play.
And then after being completely hopeless in that leadoff spot, what does Macha do? BAT HIM LEAD OFF AGAIN THE NEXT DAY.
There is no forgiving rape and there is definitely not any forgiveness for child molesters, but batting Corey Patterson leadoff? ABSOLUTELY NO FORGIVENESS.
Fire this idiot.
Oh. Yeah. Forgot about that. Well..
Suck it Macha!