Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fire Ken Macha?

As the Brewers slide has reached 9 games and counting, the heat under manager Ken Macha’s seat has reached a boiling point. The Brewers are a miserable 15-25 for the second-worst record in the National League (only one game ahead of the Astros) so fans and the media believe that management needs to do something to shake things up and show that they are dedicated to winning. The pitching staff has the 3rd worst ERA in all of baseball, are one of only 8 teams that do not have a single complete game and have issued the 5th most walks in baseball. While I am not the biggest fan of Macha, I don’t believe that firing him will fix any of the problems the Brewers have.

What would firing Macha really accomplish? Would firing Kenny change the fact that the starting pitching rarely makes an appearance after the 6th inning? Would firing him cause Trevor Hoffman to stop blowing save opportunities? Would firing Macha solve the rest of the bullpen collapse that has taken place where there is not one reliable arm out there? Would firing Macha get Prince Fielder to focus on hitting and this season instead of looking ahead to his free agency? I think the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No.” So why would they fire him? Because Macha has less personality (at least outwardly with the media) than Audrina Patridge, and therefore it appears he is incapable of rallying the team to stop the slide.

The demise of the Brewers was less of a surprise than the revelation of a sex tape involving Kendra Wilkinson. To fix their NL-worst starting rotation from last year, they signed a 33-year old who had just put together a couple of strong seasons (Randy Wolf) and a left-handed Jeff Suppan clone in Doug Davis, whom they had already let go a few seasons earlier. They brought back a 42-year old closer. They continue to hold out hope for a Manny Parra to become an average major league pitcher, and they have now held on too long and he has lost any and all trade value. Why did we believe that this pitching staff was good enough to compete with the Cardinals, Reds, or any of the other solid teams in the National League?

The other end of the equation, is who would be the replacement for Macha? Dale Sveum? Yes, he was the interim manager that held the post for the last few weeks of 2008 and into the playoffs. Did he really do anything other than have more life than Ned Yost? He was so unimpressive that he was not really considered for the full time gig for 2009. And now suddenly he is going to be the answer to fix the Brewers? I just don’t see it. So where do they go instead? Willie Randolph? Is he a big change from Macha? Probably not. The point is that the Brewers should not fire Macha without knowing who they are going to replace him with and if that person is really going to make a difference. Michaelangelo wouldn’t have been able to paint the Sistine Chapel if he was using finger paints.

Firing Macha might make the fans and the media happy, but be reasonable about what effect it will actually have on on the field performance.

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