Posts Tagged ‘Ned Yost’

The All-Decade Team

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Happy Holidays everyone! Since we are on the cusp of a new decade, I decided to put out the Milwaukee Brewers All-Decade team! This was quite an up and down decade for the Crew. We saw the end of our beloved Milwaukee County Stadium, but enjoyed the beauty that is Miller Park. We saw the worst of the worst (3 straight years of finishing last in the NL Central including a 100 loss season) and something we hadn’t seen in over 20 years: Playoffs.  We saw managers change (Lopes, Royster, Yost, Sveum, and Macha). We saw fan favorites come and go. We saw the rise of baseball in HD and a rise in Brewers payroll. Yes, it was quite a roller coaster being a Brewer fan in the 00’s. To look back on the decade that was, Here’s my 25-man All-Decade Roster.

Starters

C - The list of Brewers’ catchers from this decade reads like a sick joke: Bennett, Estrada, Bako, Moeller. It was hard to pick, but Damian Miller is my catcher of the decade. In ‘05 and ‘06, he was a solid catcher both offensively and defensively and had a lackluster ‘07 because of the amazingly underwhelming Johnny Estrada.

1B - Prince Fielder - It’s only been since ‘06 that the Brewers have had Fielder as their starting first baseman, but he’s only gotten better over time. He’s even had 2 seasons with over 40 HR’s. He’s been the leader of this team and has shown maturity beyond his years. He even improved his defense!

2B - Ron Belliard - We started off the decade with Belliard at second. He hit alright, but was great at the double play. He was part of turning 129 double plays in 2000.

3B -Ryan Braun - I don’t care how bad his defense was. I don’t care that he’s an outfielder more than a third baseman. He was the best third baseman the Brewers have and I’m putting him here dammit. What else can you say about Ryan Braun? He’s a stud. He does it all. He hits for power and average. He’s the Hebrew Hammer. He likes really ugly MMA shirts. He’s cocky, but says the right things almost all the time. The best thing you can say about him: He’ll be a Brewer far into this next decade!

SS - JJ Hardy - This JJ brought all the ladies to the yard, but behind his female appeal was a great defensive shortstop with a lot of pop in his bat. He made the All-Star team in 2007. His fire continued in 2008 with over 20 home runs again (which is great for a shortstop).

OF - Carlos Lee - We put up with his lazy outfield because you could count on 100 RBI’s. Before Prince was ready for Prime Time, there was Carlos Lee. Even though the Crew only had him for 1 3/4 years, he delivered over 60 home runs and almost 200 RBI’s.

OF - Geoff Jenkins - Roaming the outfield until 2007, Geoff hit 182 home runs and 71 Outfield Assists for the Brewers this decade. Jenks was also voted into the All-Star game in 2004 by the Brewers fans! He ended up having a stellar year that year hitting .296 with 28 HR’s.

OF - Scott Podsednik - Milwaukee’s ROY runner up was the beginning of the resurgence of interest in the Brewers. While he really only had one good year with the Brewers (and only two overall), he set a Brewers record for most SB’s in a year.

Bench

1B - Richie Sexson - While I have never been the biggest fan of Sexson because he would choke under pressure, his numbers as a Brewer don’t lie. He hit 133 home runs in a Brewer, including two seasons with 45 (2001 and 2003). He was  a two time All-Star and was involved in an amazing trade for the Brewers.

1B - Lyle Overbay - OK, so I have three first basemen. The Big O was a doubles machine after coming over in the Sexson trade and bridged the gap perfectly between Sexson and Fielder.

OF - Brady Clark - Most people laugh about Brady, but he was a solid member of the Brewers outfield for 4 years this decade. He hit an average of .283 and was a big part of 2005’s .500 year (which people forget was a big deal at the time)

INF - Mark Loretta - Mark had a really strong run in Milwaukee to start his career. And while most of his career was played in the previous decade, he still played for 2 3/4 of this one. Always one you could count on to get on base,  Mark never had more than 60 strikeouts in a season.

OF - Corey Hart - Hart made his debut in 2004, but didn’t recieve the role of everyday starter until 2007. His speed and his bat make him a dynamic player even though his head has gotten in the way.

C - I guess you need two catchers on a 25 man roster so I pick Jason Kendall. I know there are a lot of fans who hate Kendall (such a strong feeling), but many of those fans don’t remember most of the catchers from this past decade. We didn’t have a Surhoff or a Nilsson. And I wouldn’t mind having a Jason Kendall who busts his ass every day on my team….problem is if this was real, he wouldn’t let me put him on the bench.

Pitchers

SP - Ben Sheets - Ben’s entire MLB career started in 2001 even though it seems like he’s been around for longer. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Cy Young and threw over 1200 K’s this decade. I won’t ever forget the day Jared and I saw Sheeter the night after he threw 18 K’s at a Bucks game (Jenkins had front row and Sheeter was sitting 8 rows back by us). He’s Milwaukee’s first legit ace since Higuera and I’d like to see him back in Brewer Blue.

SP - Doug Davis -Doug Davis isn’t flashy. He isn’t dominant. He isn’t fan friendly. He’s just there. And for 3+ years, he was the team’s dependable workhorse. Doug is the reason most Brewer fans check quality starts because 70% of his 2004 starts were quality, although he just won half.

SP - Chris Capuano - Yet another part of the Richie Sexson trade, Cappie was an All-Star in 2005. What people remember most about Capuano was his insane pick-off move which prompted umpires re-check their rule books about balks. He’s the final part of the MM3 (See Kolb)

SP - Yovani Gallardo - This young star in the making was better than expected in ‘09.  He also was helpful down the playoff stretch in ‘08 (even though a freak accident derailed almost all of that season). I’m excited to see how Yo matures in this next decade.

SP - C.C. Sabathia - Sure he grabbed the cash and left, but before he did, he gave Milwaukee a hero they have not seen in a long time. C.C. delivered the team the playoffs and for that, he will never be forgotten. We were able to see what C.C. would have been like in the playoffs had he not been used up, but most people would agree that the Brewers would have never gotten to the playoffs had he been used more sparingly.

RP - Dan Kolb - There are a group of pitchers I like to call the Mike Maddux Three. These pitchers had their highest levels of success under his tutelage and most came out of nowhere to become All-Stars, then fizzle away. The first of those three is Dan Kolb. Dan was all sorts of mediocre until in 2003 when he had an ERA of 1.99 and saved 21 games. The next year he saved 39 and became an All-Star. The following year, he was traded for Jose Capellan which was a move that benefited NO ONE.

RP -Derrick Turnbow - Turnbow is another member of the MM3. A fireballer picked off of waivers, Turnbow was known as the “Wild Thing”. He had wild hair and a wild streak, but his fastball could touch three digits. This streak caught up with him, but not before he was named to the All-Star game. Sadly, his bobblehead ended his career.

RP - Francisco Cordero - Another in the streak of Brewers All-Star Relievers, Cordero was a name on the Carlos Lee trade that quickly became so valuable, people forgot how bad Kevin Mench was. CoCo came in to Click, Click, Boom and saved 44 games with a 2.98 ERA. He was lost to Cincinatti because they offered him a couple extra million the following year.

RP - Brian Shouse - Lefty specialists are in high demand nowadays and the Brewers had a great one in Brian Shouse. When he was picked up, most people said “Who?”, but this lefty had 2+ strong years in Milwaukee and had a cult following.

RP - Trevor Hoffman - OK, so he only had one year in Milwaukee, but you would agree it was a great one, right? He exceeded expectations and was a highlight in a disappointing ‘09 effort. Plus he was the capper on a decade that saw 6 Brewers pitchers become All-Stars.

RP - I have one more reliever spot and it’s hard to give it to just one person because there were so many players that were similar. They weren’t great, but they were who the Brewers had so my last reliever is Matts DeSkanick. That’s right. A hybrid of Matt Wise, Mike DeJean, Curtis Leskanic, and Brooks Kieschnick. They were all middle of the road relievers, but were necessary or had a small following of fans at the time. (If Jared or Tyler could make a photoshop of this, that would be awesome)

Manager - Ned Yost - Love him or hate him, he’s the man that took the Brewers from awful to competitive.

There you have it! Feel free to post your own! I know we’re all looking forward to another up and down decade of Brewer baseball. I hoped to do a Brewer of the Decade Vote in lieu of a fan favorite vote, but we’ll see if the site is around long enough for that.

Think you’re better than Yost or Sveum? Try it! Make a lineup!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

So to go along with my lineup analysis post, I’ve calculated the run value for every brewer player with over 100 ABs for every lineup slot, as well as some platoon values for selected players.  So now I can find the optimal lineup for the Brewers 2008 season.

But now I ask you - can you?

We’re assuming that every player listed below can finish a full season (or in the case of Branyan, a full season as the lefty half of a platoon).  I want to see how well you guys can make a lineup.  You might be surprised at what the optimal lineup actually is.

RULES -
1.  You must fill each position.
2.  You will have some platoon options.  If you use a platoon, you must post two SEPARATE lineups for vs. RHP and vs. LHP.
3. Platoons will be counted as vs. RHP 2/3 of the time, vs. LHP 1/3.  This is crude but it tends to work well for platoons.
4. Each lineup must include a pitcher.  The pitcher’s spot is counted at 65% pitcher batting, 35% league average pinch hitter batting.

OPTIONS FOR EACH POSITION.
C: Kendall
1B: Fielder, Fielder/Branyan Platoon
2B: Durham, Hall, Weeks, Counsell, any platoon of those.
SS: Hardy, Counsell, Hall, any platoon.
3B: Hall, Counsell, Hall/Branyan, Hall/Counsell, Counsell/Branyan.
OF: Kapler, Hart, Cameron, Braun, any platoon.

Whoever makes the best lineup wins some pride.  Sorry,  I don’t have anything to offer!

Mark Me Down for Macha

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Ken Macha is the right man for the Brewers’ manager position.

I felt the former Oakland A’s manager was the strongest choice before I started looking deeper into his background. After doing some digging, I’m more convinced than ever.

The Upside

Doug Melvin has emphasized past success in his search for manager. Macha has been nothing but successful as a manager. In four seasons as the A’s manager, he led the team to two division titles. His worst season in Oakland was good for 88 wins and second in the division. And while Yost’s Brewers stumbled in the second halves of seasons, Macha’s A’s thrived. The A’s were 178-116 (.605) after the all-star break in his four years as manager. Macha brings important playoff experience as well, having taken the A’s to the ALDS twice and the ALCS once. Macha’s stint in Oakland was so successful, many wondered out loud why he was let go, including David Pinto of Baseball Musings.

How have the A’s done since Macha was fired? They’ve had two losing seasons in a row.

Macha proved in Oakland that he can manage a young team in a small market and have success. His philosophies — not utilizing many “small ball” tactics and using the individual strengths of his players to win as a team — would suit Milwaukee’s power-hitting approach well:

You manage to your players and that’s really what you try to do. When I managed in Oakland, we didn’t have many runners. We didn’t steal bases. Why bunt when you’ve got a guy who may hit a home run? You know, you hear what I’m saying? Maybe that doesn’t endear you to fans because the fans want to see more bunting and hit-and-runs and action and things like that, but as a manager, what you need to do is have your players do what they do best and win the game.

And he became known for his level-headed, even-tempered approach:

My philosophy was always try to remain calm at all times because it’s tough to make good decisions when you do have calm in your brain. To not be calm, it makes it even tougher to make good decisions. My philosophy is to try to remain calm at all times and I was hoping that my players would reflect the same thing because it’s tough to play angry. You’ve got to be under control.

Macha’s Midwest background and down-to-earth personality should also appeal to Brewers fans and the local media, who would not have to put up with a surly, short-tempered manager anymore. While Macha has been criticized for being a bit dry at times, he is friendly, personable and honest (sometimes to a fault). He even has something in common with Mark Attanasio. In a strange coincidence, the Pittsburgh native’s birthday is the same as the Brewers’ owner’s — Sept. 29.

Melvin was confident enough in Macha in 2002 to offer him the manager’s position over Yost. Macha declined and went to Oakland, but it’s hard to imagine he did anything there but reinforce Melvin’s confidence in the man he believed in six years ago.  If anything, Macha has established himself as an above-average manager and one that is ready for a second chance.

The Downside

There’s a downside to every candidate and Macha is no exception. In fact, after reading the opinions of hundreds of posters on BrewerFan.net concerning the manager debate, it became clear to me that if Macha did not have this one perceived blemish, he would likely be the number one choice in the eye’s of many, if not most, Brewer’s fans.

The perceived knock on Macha is that there was a “disconnect” between him and his players. A handful of those players were very vocal following his dismissal after the 2006 season. They used words like “friction,” “negative cloud,” a lack of protection, disrespect, a lack of trust, deteriorating relationships and “callous attitude” to describe the environment under Macha during his final season as manager (San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle (Pre-Firing), MLB.com, ESPN.com).

Brewers’ catcher Jason Kendall, who played under Macha in Oakland, even weighed in:

I know that the one thing any player wants from his manager is to be protected. If there’s a bang-bang play at first, even if you’re out, if you’re arguing, you want someone there behind you. If you argue a pitch, even if you’re wrong, you want someone joining in. And I’m not sure Macha did that.

What was lacking from those articles, however, was the whole story. That story surrounded a feud between Macha and Oakland’s brilliant but over-controlling and egotistical general manager Billy Beane:

“The reason I was fired, there was too much interference with the job I was trying to do,” Macha said.

He elaborated on that in a 2007 interview with WEEI radio in Boston, calling Beane a “tough guy to work for”:

The manager has a job to write the lineup out, to set the rotation. He has to be able to handle these players and when somebody gets put on the bench, for whatever reason it is, that player comes in and asks the manager. The manager has to be the one responsible for putting him on the bench and handling the player afterwards. And when you’re not working together (with the GM) in that type of situation, it puts you as a manager in a tough situation because the GM wants someone to play and you might not want that person to play… You hear what I’m saying? And now you have to bring somebody in and explain to them why they’re not playing. That makes for a difficult situation.

Macha said all he wanted was to “work together” with Beane and get on the “same page,” but he was never able to do that. He was not the only one that saw the relationship that way. In fact, one source marveled at how long Macha put up with Beane’s meddling:

I don’t know how he put up with it for that long. Everybody has to answer to their general manager and you want feedback and suggestions from the organization. The best organizations are the ones who do things together and are on the same page. But in the end, it’s the manager’s decision who to play, when to play them.

Nico of Athletic’s Nation even took it a step further:

So if you’re wondering how the same Ken Macha who seemed to be a “good enough” communicator, personality and overall manager through 2005 could suddenly not be “good enough” with mostly the same players and actually more on-field success, the answer is simple: It was not the same Ken Macha. It was the neutered, resentful version that Beane crafted. Macha may never have been the best manager available, but he is the victim this time — the victim of an evolution that was so inevitable, anyone but the boss’ boss could have seen it coming a mile away.

And Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News summed up the shattered relationship with one story:

So I saw Billy after a game and asked to talk to him. He said fine, but he had some food and wanted to sit down during the interview.

Where did we go for the talk? Billy zipped right into Macha’s office, which was empty for the time being, plopped down and started eating.

Looked at me, said, “Go ahead, ask.” Usually, everybody stays out  of the manager’s office, by the way, unless the manager is there and is fine with it. Not the A’s way, though.

I started asking, but a few minutes later Macha and Curt Young came back, with plates of food and just in their underwear, obviously looking to eat, change clothes and relax.

They stared at us, I stared at them, Billy just kept eating and talking.

Macha tenatively sat down behind his desk for a few seconds. Very uncomfortable. Shot another glance at Beane. Glared at me. I shrugged, said to Beane, “Umm, maybe we should do this somewhere else.”

Beane looked up like this was the first he’d noticed Macha was there — or cared that he was there — dropped his plate, then just waved at Macha, pointing him out the door. Remember, this was Macha’s own office. After winning for something like the 33rd time in 40 games.

“Ken, you can let us do this, right?” Beane said as he waved.

Beane turned back to me and never looked at Macha again as Macha and Young sighed, got up, and moved out.

That was the relationship. Right there. Beane is the man. Macha always knew it, even when he was in his own office.

Many of the player’s frustrations that came out following the season were rooted in the battles that Macha was having with Beane. For example, Beane and Mocha argued about whether Bobby Kielty and Mark Kotsay should be platooned and about the makeup of the postseason pitching rotation. Those disagreements were microcosms of the larger issues the overbearing Beane was creating:

“Billy wanted Kielty in the postseason, and I play Kotsay, and then Kotsay comes out and says bad things about me while I basically got fired because I played him,” Macha said. “It’s kind of sad. That’s one instance, but it happened a lot.”

Macha decided to take the high road and did not make any of these battles with Beane public until after the season, when he was being attacked in the media. Still, he reserved his criticisms and was largely complimentary of Beane.

There is no question that there were issues in the clubhouse, but how many of those issues were Macha’s fault? And were those issues blown out of proportion by a frustrated team shortly after getting swept in the ALCS? A Boston Globe story offered a very different view of the Oakland clubhouse under Macha:

Macha is blunt and my experience with him is that he tells his players what’s expected of them, and he doesn’t coddle them. He took three players with troubled pasts — Jay Payton (who clashed with Terry Francona), Frank Thomas (considered a bad clubhouse influence with the White Sox at the end) and Milton Bradley (incidents everywhere he’s played) — and guided them to productive seasons. He got them playing together. The team thrived.

And, as late as Sept. 24, only a few weeks before Macha was let go, a San Francisco Chronicle blogger said, “The clubhouse mood and atmosphere are partly dependent on the ‘tude of the manager, and the A’s clubhouse has a good vibe.”

Macha also contended the notion that he was not available to his players:

I’m on the field (before games) everyday. I’m on the airplane with them. In my office with the door open. If anyone wants to talk to me about something, I’ll give them an answer. Maybe people didn’t want to hear the answers I was going to give them, and maybe that’s why they didn’t want to come in. But I was available.

For anyone, like myself, who has read “Moneyball,” it’s hard not to admire Beane. He is a visionary and his aggressive — some would say destructive — personality will not allow him to rest until he builds a winner. It’s that same personality, however, that leads him to belittle his managers and create conflict in his own clubhouse, as is well documented in “Moneyball.”

Macha was caught in the environment Beane created and he still finished with at least 88 wins every season and took his team to the playoffs twice in four years, including a trip to the ALCS. He deserves another opportunity, one where he can work with management to establish a winning franchise. Milwaukee is the perfect place for him to get that second chance, a fact illustrated by a telling quote Macha made in May 2007 as he pondered his future as a manager:

I’m hoping that if I do manage again that I’m going to be able to have a relationship with the GM that is going to be a real good, positive relationship.

I was watching the Sunday night game the other day. The Cardinals were playing the Brewers and Doug Melvin came on. He was talking about his relationship with Ned, how much respect he has for the job that Ned does and how much trust he has in him. Really, to build your relationship with your manager on trust and respect is something I’d be looking for if I do get another job.

Doug said, “I back this guy 100 percent. I only had one manager when I was with the Texas Rangers as the GM. I had Johnny Oates there and we built a tremendous relationship and it wound up being a terrific, terrific experience down there in Texas.”

So, just listening to his words, they kind of resonate with me. Hopefully, as I said, if I do get another job, I’ll be able to have a relationship with the GM similar to that.

I think the relationship can be more similar to that than Macha ever dreamed. Make it happen, Doug.

Leadership In Limbo?

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

The Brewers just made the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and the news is filled with speculation about their already fired manager, their interim manager being in jeopardy of not retaining the job, their general manager beginning a lame duck season and their director of scouting being a finalist for another team’s GM job.

What’s going on here?

Well, first of all, Doug Melvin is close to signing an extension. I don’t think we have to worry about losing him.

Jack Zduriencik is among four final candidates for the Seattle Mariners GM job. Jack certainly deserves a lot of credit for helping to build this team and it would be a shame to lose him. He’s also earned a shot at a GM job though and I’d be happy for him if he got it. That said, it seems as though Kim Ng has been the frontrunner from the start and if Jack loses out on another GM job (he was a finalist for the Pittsburgh job last year), he’d continue to be a great asset to the Brewers organization.

That brings us to Dale Sveum. Melvin interviewed him and has since said he has a “short list” of managerial candidates to consider for the job. I’d say that doesn’t bode well for Sveum. If Melvin was sold on him, he would have pulled the trigger immediately. In my opinion, one of the guys on the “short list” will all but certainly impress Melvin and become the next Brewers manager.

And who’s on this “short list”? Melvin isn’t saying… But Tom Haudricourt speculates the list probably includes some of the following:

  • Bob Brenly, previously with Arizona but now a TV broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs
  • Willie Randolph, fired by the Mets during the 2008 season
  • Davey Johnson, who managed Team USA in the 2008 Olympics and is the former manager of the Mets, Reds, Orioles and Dodgers
  • Mike Hargrove, who stepped down in Seattle last year citing “burnout”
  • Buck Showalter, former Yankees, D-Backs and Rangers manager and current ESPN baseball analyst
  • Buck Martinez, former Blue Jays manager and current TBS announcer
  • Ken Macha, who was Melvin’s original choice to manage the Brewers in 2003, but instead chose to manage in Oakland before being fired by the A’s after the 2006 season and is currently a TV broadcaster for the Red Sox
  • Bobby Valentine, former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager who is now managing in Japan

All of those men have more experience and a higher profile than Sveum and all of them are less familiar with the Brewers and have failed before. Who do you choose?

Randolph, Johnson, Hargrove and Valentine are absolute nos to me. They either don’t seem to offer much or have serious warts.

Brenly, Showalter and Martinez are marginally appealing choices, but while they are certainly higher profile choices than Sveum, I’m not sure they’d be a sure upgrade, at least enough to dump Sveum without giving him a shot.

The one that stands out to me is Macha. He managed for four seasons in Oakland and his worst season was good for 88 wins and second in the division. He was Melvin’s first choice in 2003 before Yost got the job. I don’t know much else about the guy, but it seems like a natural choice and one I think I could get behind.

It’s not known if Macha is interested, but when Haudricourt asked him about the opening, he was (seemingly intentionally) vague in his answers. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

It should be an interesting winter.

Ned Yost, You Are Not Forgotten

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I know many Brewers fans think the reason the Crew made the playoffs is because of the departure of Ned Yost. While the firing of Ned may have caused some kind of spark, I can’t help but completely disagree. I can speak for most, if not all, of Right Field Bleachers in thanking Ned Yost for his role in the Brewers organization.

Ned Yost was undoubtedly influental in the turn around of this organization. I cannot say I agreed with all of his decisions, but I don’t think he made nearly as many mistakes as people think. Ned is a smart baseball man and will certainly find himself on another staff likely as soon as next season.

To assume this team would have been even better had Yost been fired earlier is ridiculous. No matter how good the team, if Yost was as bad as people made him out to be, the Brewers would not have been in the position they were. I believe this wholeheartedly. So while many a Brewers fan continue to look poorly upon Ned Yost, I say Thank You, Ned and the best of luck!

Hump Day Heckler, the Aftermath of a Berserk Able Bodied Heckler.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Wow, what a difference a week makes. Frank Kremblas – Gone. Ned Yost – Gone. Ted Simmons – Gone. The remaining shreds of my nearly non-existent fanfare for Corey Hart – Gone.

I don’t see how canning Ned Yost really helps the catastrophe that September has been thus far. I didn’t see him lacking plate discipline during an AB, I don’t recall Yost throwing marshmallows down the heart of the plate, or kicking easy grounders and botching double play balls. The only problem I ever had with Yost is his faith in his players. His players that never performed, that is.

So I guess to put in my two cents about the dismissal of Edgar Ned Yost III, I say, it’s a joke. Ned Yost wasn’t a great manager, but he turned around a 100-loss franchise, and helped develop a good core of position players. It seems difficult for the fans to remember the decade before Ned placed his nubile buns on the dugout bench. I don’t think any manager should be done like that with an 83-67 record. It’s fine if the franchise was going to go another direction next year, but they should have let him ride it out. He put in all the hours, he carried the burden of blame, let him ride it out with his team. Win or lose. A little loyalty goes a long way. I am in no way in love with Ned Yost, but I think what happened was rash, and showed a lack of class. I will remember Yost fondly, for the most part. I have no problems with what he did here. But Corey Hart…I have some problems with him.

 

Seriously. What does it take to shut Corey Hart up? If makes me nauseous enough just seeing his vile Battle Toad lips jump off and on his hideous abomination of a face when he isn’t whining. Then, I have to read his comments on Haudricourt’s blog about what terrible fans we all are because people “boo” them when players do something stupid. I personally don’t agree with fans booing the home team, but I accept it as a part of baseball. And for the people who partake, they definitely have a reason to. Corey, maybe, just maybe, instead of searching around for something or someone else to blame for you swallowing lately, you should turn your repulsive lemur eyes on yourself. Pretty creepy, eh?

I never thought of this before, but our outfield is like a bizarro mirror. Let me explain. In one corner, you have a player who: Is a young, classically handsome professional who says the right things, acts the right way, and is a natural leader who deserved to be an All-Star. And in the opposite corner, you have Corey Hart.

Eat it Corey. 

Yost Gave His Heart, Soul to Brewers

Monday, September 15th, 2008

You don’t know what you got till its gone!

We shall see how this works out. Sometimes players respond to these situations with a rallying cry for their manager. You get reflective and put it on yourself to try and play harder. What does that really mean though? Play Harder? They get to the field early, watch video, lift weights, take extra bp. These guys are a very close group, especially the hitters who genuinely get along and care for each others’ well being. The Dodgers went to Washington and got swept three weeks ago. The seperation in talent from team to team is very small. Let me repeat, small seperations in talent.

Ned Yost was and is a very passionate baseball manager. He gave his heart and soul to managing the Milwaukee Brewers. He would wake up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for that night’s ballgame. Matchups, lineups, strategies, injuries, dealing with the media, personalities of his own players, ownership, the GM. I realize that those are all part of the job requirements, but his passion and commitment never waned. As you can see, I am a huge Ned Yost fan. It is with a skewed perspective as Doug and Ned both gave me the opportunity to revive my career. So I will be loyal to him. Sorry, but loyalty is what our society needs a bit more of.

There is another side to this though. That is the fans that pay the salaries for all the players/managers who get the opportunity to have the greatest job in America. Sometimes I think it would be nice for players to see a visual of a family of four going to the game. With the salary of the family going to the game and then to see what he paid to go to the game with his family. The reason I say that is because 3,000,000 fans will spin the turnstile this season. Mark Antanasio is trying everything he can do to get this team to the playoffs. This is his last bullet for this season to accomplish the feat of the first playoff appearance since ‘82. Bringing in Robin Yount wont hurt! I hope for everybody this move works for the Crew and they secure the playoff spot.

I was glad to see they didn’t go outside the organization and Dale has been waiting for this opportunity. He has a World Series ring and the players like him. He was my coach back in ‘06 and he will let you know exactly what he feels about any given situation. It is funny that a guy who doesn’t get any interviews to be a big league manager in the winter has the reigns to one of the eight best baseball teams in baseball and best 1, 2 combo for the playoffs, hopefully.

Here is a slight issue! Does Garth Iorg know the signs? Usually a third base coach has to practice them to get them to memory. How about signs from the dugout? Pickoffs called by the manager to the catcher,  or signs from manager to thirdbaseman for bunts or signs from manager to Garth. For the most part, everything will run itself and if the Brewers can rediscover their swagger, these other issues will be sideshows. This is still the same group that went into St. Louis and won four straight, played the Dodgers straight up at Dodger Stadium and have the third best record in the National League.

As I have told the media throughout my career, “At the end of the year, there are no secrets.” The Brewers are as good as any team in baseball and can be a force in the playoffs with CC and Sheets. All the other teams know this, but there is only one team that needs to believe this and that is The CREW.

The Web on Ned

Monday, September 15th, 2008

There are wide-ranging reactions from around the Internet on the Yost firing. Let’s take a look at the different takes on the situation:

 

  • Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus: “He earned his firing, and short of replacing him with Dakota Fanning or something, the Brewers will be better off for his absence.”
  • Buster Olney of ESPN.com: “It’s clear that there are players within that clubhouse who aren’t sure if Ned Yost was the right guy to lead this team down the stretch.”
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports: “The move just might save their season.”
  • John Donovan of SI.com: “It’s a bold, maybe crazy game that the Milwaukee front office is playing. But someone had to do something. And that’s what this is: something.”
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports: “Attanasio had nothing to lose, as it had all been lost by Sunday evening.”
  • Mike Bauman of MLB.com: “If the Milwaukee Brewers believe they have solved all their problems with the dismissal of Ned Yost, they will be badly and sadly mistaken.”
  • Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune: “This is desperation in its purest form, with Attanasio’s $90-million payroll and Melvin’s trade for CC Sabathia being undercut by Milwaukee’s recent inability to win when anyone other than Sabathia is pitching.”
  • David Pinto at Baseball Musings: “It seems to me that if the whole team stops hitting, there’s not much a manager can do.”
  • Marty McSuperFly at FireNedYost.com: “Our work here is done.”
  • Al at Al’s Ramblings: “Doug is not one to overreact to slumps, so I have to wonder if there is a backstory to this that we’ll hear about later, probably well into the offseason.”
  • Akittell at Bernie’s Crew: “Nevertheless, there’s no doubt in my mind this is a knee-jerk reaction to the dismal start in September and comes directly from Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio, seeing as Doug Melvin doesn’t make these kinds of moves.”
  • Woziszeus at Chuckie Hacks: “Basically, why the hell not. He wasn’t going to be here next year anyway…might as well not let him bask in the glory should they make it with the Wild Card.”
  • Brad at Chuckie Hacks: “According to the JSOnline, Ned is finally DONE in Milwaukee. Hallelujah, there is a God!!” 
  • Scott Segrin at In-Between Hops: “Adi-Yost!”
  • Scottage Cheese of Team Wisconsin: “I like it that our ownership has balls.”
  • Nate Roth at Two Fisted Slopper: “I just want to see some winning baseball, dammit.”
  • Steve at Brewers! Brewers! Keep Turnin’ Up the Heat!: “To be honest, as much as I disliked Ned’s in-game decisions, this has an odd feel to it.”
  • Nicole at Cute Sports: “A fire needed to be lit.”
  • Jesse Motiff at Brewers Bar: “Look, this is no doubt a move of desperation but it’s also a move that had to be made.”
  • David Hannes at Brewers Bar: “Thanks, Ned. Many fans appreciate the effort and returning the Brewers to a winning team.”
  • Justin at The Brew Town Beat: “It had to be done.”
  • Brew City Bub at Brew City Sports: “Welcome to the dugout, Dale Sveum.”
  • Winks at the Bucky Channel: “Can this managerial switch do the same wonders it did for the Harvey Wallbangers back in ‘82? Or is it one final move of desperation in a season that may have already gotten away?”
  • JD at View From Bernie’s Chalet: “Well I LOVE the move. It seems Yost had lost the players since September started and with us basically in a 12 game playoff to get to October baseball for the first time in 26 years a move of desperation was made and I am fine with it.”
  • Bruce Ciskie at The Ciskie Blog: “After nearly six years of inept managing in the face of improving —and sometimes elite — talent, the Milwaukee Brewers have seen the light.”
  • Ruffian96 at The Rogue Hour: “CC must be like ‘I came over here for this? Yeah I’m definitely gone at the end of the month’.”
  • Craig Calcaterra of Shysterball: “For as bad as it has been for the Brewers lately, they are still tied for a playoff spot right now. Can anyone recall this happening at such a late date with the playoff race as tight as it is?”
  • Pete Treperinas of Bleacher Report: “It’s a bit absurd that a team who is competing for a playoff berth would fire a manager that has changed the fortune of the franchise.”
  • Dan Stein of Bleacher Report: “Yost is gone, but the problems and urgency remain.”
  • Adam Lindemer of Bleacher Report: “This firing may have been a season too late, but now was as good a time as any.”
  • Chris Bremner of Bleacher Report: “With recent production lacking and the pressure building up, it was clear the Brewers had to make a change, but is that smart this late in the season?”
  • Austin Penny of Bleacher Report: “I think the Brewers have made a huge mistake.”
  • Daan De Karpel of TSN.ca: “While the decision was likely a difficult one for the Brewers Canadian general manager Doug Melvin, he really had no choice.”
  • Bad Kermit of Hire Jim Essian! (a Cubs blog): ”Hang in there, Brewers; Dusty may be available soon.”
  • Jason of Goat Riders of the Apocalypse (another Cubs blog): “The Cubs tried to give the Brewers the division, but they politely refused and it cost Yost a job.”

In the News (09/15) - Yost is Toast Edition

Monday, September 15th, 2008


Today’s Game: Off Day
Record: 83-67, Second Place (Tied for Wild Card)
Games Behind the Cubs: 8

Boom...Outta Here


Yost News

- R.I.P. Ned Yost - In a very surprise move this afternoon, Ned Yost was “dismissed” by the Brewers.

- In another surprise move, he was replaced by Dale Sveum! You know…the guy who has been questionable on decisions to send a runner home is now in charge of the team.

- Wait, there’s more! Ted Simmons, who I believe didn’t want to be his dear friend’s replacement, was also let go and is now serving as an “advisor”, whatever that may be.

- So Yost haters have their day (FireNedYost.com said their work “is done”), but I really have to ask: Are you happy about the timing? Are you happy about the person replacing Yost? These are all questions that will have a quick answer in about 2 weeks!

- Melvin said that it was a “collaborative decision” to let Yost go. That’s all they’re saying right now. I want to know what the tipping point was and who pulled the trigger. Was Attanasio fed up with his investment falling at year’s end again? Was Melvin angry that he gave Ned all the keys to succeed and couldn’t rally his troops? Was it the fact that Melvin went out and got Ray Durham and Yost rarely played this proven player? Haudricourt thinks this came from Mark. Buster Olney thinks the tipping point was leaving Shouse in on Sunday. He also thinks it’s “gutsy”, but probably won’t work.

- Bernie’s Crew has the Press Conference Transcript

- Braun will only say that the move was “unfortunate”. Here’s other players thoughts

- Apparently Robin Yount is returning as Bench Coach

- Ok. Here’s ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox, and Yahoo Sports

- Madison’s Capital News has fan reaction.

- That’s what we think in Milwaukee. Here’s what ESPN’s Sportsnation thinks as of 10:30 pm

1) 64% believe that the Brewers will NOT make the playoffs now (Wisconsin is the only state who’s majority believes the Brewers will still make it at 62 %)

2) 40 % believe Yost got the most out of this team that he could

3) 34 % believe Yost should have never been fired

4) 50% believe that Yost had the least amount of cause to be fired out of the managers that were fired this year

5) 79% believe that the Brewers will look elsewhere for a coach next year

- McCalvey goes on MLB TV to answer some questions about the firing.

- Brew Crew Ball has a strong message board going about the firing. They are mostly happy…I suppose “giddy” would be a better word choice.

- During the FSN Special telecast, both Trenni and Cirillo were very surprised with this annoucement.

- JSonline’s Brewer Blog has a plethora of information from Witrado and Haudricourt, including Yost’s rank as a manager (Winning % tied with Garner) and how surprised Yost was at his own firing.

- Podcasts from 1250 WSSP: National Writer Rob Neyer, Former Brewer Paul Wagner

Blog Roll Call: How do they feel about the firing (taken from our LINKS button)

Chuckie Hacks: Happy

Al’s Ramblings: Stunned

Brewers Fanatics: Happy

In Between Hops: Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy

Two Fisted Slopper: Feels it’s the Correct Move

Brewers! Brewers! Keep Turnin’ Up the Heat: Bittersweet

Yost Infection: Boooooom

Team Wisconsin: Unsure

Brew City Sports: Honored to have Sveum
*if your blog isn’t listed, sorry. I either became too tired or there wasn’t a post about the firing

Pre-Firing News

- Sports Bubbler talked about logical reasons to bash Yost…or to later understand his firing.

- Trenni is considered one of the “sexiest sportscasters”

NL Central

- Adding insult to injury, the Cubs almost had two no hitters in OUR HOME. If I were the Astros, I’d be super pissed.

- At least Cuban is out of the Cubs Ownership Picture

Breaking News: Yost Fired

Monday, September 15th, 2008

It’s just in from Chicago, Brewers’ manager Ned Yost has been let go. You can’t be surprised by this move, although, it’s a bit surprising they pulled the trigger before the end of the season.

The Crew was just embarrased in Philly, getting swept in a four game series, and have lost 11 of their last 14 games.

Third base coach Dale Sveum will take over in Yost’s place with Ted Simmons being reassigned to an advisory role. Further coaching changes, including Sveum’s replacement as third base coach, will be made at a later time.

A press conference has been called for 6:30 today.

Right Field Bleachers will have more specifics later on this evening.

Insomniac Ink