Plenty of Blame to Pass Around
- Updated: September 29, 2010
As another disenchanting season for the Milwaukee Brewers is about to an end, there surely is plenty of blame for the team’s sub-.500 record to go around.
It starts with Mark Attanassio the majors’ only absentee owner who has put too much authority into the hands of his staff. While most would agree that his home base of Los Angeles is more attractive than the city his team is located in, he needs to consider setting up a satellite office in Milwaukee during the season. Too many times his box next to the Brewers dugout has been empty or has been occupied by people pretending to be VIP’s. While I’m not at all contending that this would be the cure all, it wouldn’t hurt to have the boss nosing around a bit more.
General Manager Doug Melvin has made too many bad player decisions over the past few years that has cost the club the chance to consistently win not to mention the wasted money.
- Dave Bush –came over with Gabe Gross from the Blue Jays for Lyle Overbay. His record as a Brewer is 45-57. His lowest ERA has been 4.18.
- Tomo Ohka – Brewers paid him $4.2 million (his highest one year salary) to go 4-5 with a 4.82 ERA
- Derrick Turnbow. Became an effective closer in 2005 and 2006. Made over $6 million over the next 2 years with a grand total of 2 saves.
- Carlos Lee made over $12 million in a 1½ season stint with the club before he bolted via free agency.
- Johnny Estrada…stiffed the club in 2007 for his highest yearly salary of $3.4 million, hit .278 had an infamous tantrum was traded for Guillermo Mota after the season and was out of baseball by August 2008.
- Jason Kendall on the obvious downside of his career was paid over $10 million over two years to hit 5 home runs and average .243
- Jeff Suppan – 4 years for nearly $40 million. Lasted3 ½ years, produced 41 wins and an ERA of 5.06 before the club decided it was better to pay him for not playing.
- Eric Gagne – 1 year for $10 million, was injured before June was over, went 4-3 with an ERA of 5.44 , 10 saves and a guilty plea for taking steroids.
- Bill Hall. Before the 2008 season signed a 2 year $12 million extension and was gone by August 2009 traded for pitcher Ruben Flores.
- JJ Hardy. In their rush to get Alcides Escobar up, traded Hardy to the Twins for Carlos Gomez the man with a million dollar talent and a $10 brain.
- Doug Davis. He was a mediocre pitcher once before for the team, but the desperate for starting pitching brought him back this year for $4.2 million only to have him go 1-4 with a 7.51 ERA before a heart ailment shut him down.
- Mike Cameron. Paid over $16 million over two years only to see him hit less than .250 and strike out an astounding 292 times.
- Jody Gerut…gave up a better player in Tony Gwynn for someone no longer on the team.
- Gregg Zaun. Turned 39 at season’s beginning. Paid $1.6 million and lasted 28 games.
- LaTroy Hawkins. At 37 signed a two year $6.75 million contract. Lasted 18 games with an 8.44 ERA before injuries cost him the season.
When is Attannasio going to hold him accountable for these dreadful and costly moves?
It’s a foregone conclusion that Macha will be made the scapegoat for this mess that he inherited and had nothing to do with. There’s a business saying that crap flows downward and unfortunately he is the recycling center. I have no strong feelings either way about Macha. I personally do not like his laid back demeanor, refusal to speak with his players and his shameful treatment of Trevor Hoffman this year, but hey, someone has to take the blame.
The Brewers have had 11 winning seasons in 41 years. We’re used to losing around here. But the recent run of futility is especially hard to swallow since we are now playing many of the players who were once part the best minor league organization and have one wildcard to show for it. Already we have lost JJ Hardy. Prince Fielder will follow this year and probably Rickie Weeks next year.
This was a great window of opportunity to start and build upon a winning tradition something that the fans were eager to see. But the utter failure to fix a starting rotation ruined this chance. As a fan of 41 years, I feel cheated.