Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ken Macha is Tired of Your 'Poppycock'

Don't look now, but the Milwaukee Brewers have won two straight baseball games.

Even better, at least one of them was against a legitimate major league franchise, the Minnesota Twins.

As Lou Brown said in Major League II, not too long before he had his season-changing heart attack, "If we win tonight, its called a winning streak. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE."

Jokes about the Astros aside, the Brewers really need a winning streak, especially at home. Tuesday's win lifted the Crew within a mere nine games of .500 at 18-27, which is probably the exact reverse record from what most figured this team would be at after 45 games.

All the problems on this team -- crappy pitching, spotty defense, questionable effort, awful bullpen management -- have led some (me!) to wonder what it's going to take for the Brewers to make a managerial change.

Ken Macha is the anti-Ned Yost. This is good in that he's not constantly embarrassing the organization with tactical errors and heated arguments with umpires who were clearly right. It's bad in that you get a situation like Friday, where Dave Bush is getting screamed at and cussed out by an unprofessional umpire, and it takes what felt like an hour for Macha to come out of the dugout and try to stop it.

Yost would have tried to kill Ed Rapuano, who was wholly out of line and should have been publicly reprimanded by baseball for his antics. Macha decided to try to talk it out. The Brewers lost 15-3, and Bush recorded one out on the night.

Way to talk it out, Ken.

Tuesday, the Brewers won a home game for the first time in nearly a month (April 26 to May 25). Before the game, Macha decided it would be a good idea to chew out a reporter who dared ask a question about the "vote of confidence" Macha had received from owner Mark Attanasio over the weekend.

"(Attanasio's comments) didn't really matter because all the negativism was coming out before," said Macha, whose team starts the home stand tonight with a 17-27 record after losing 11 of 13.

"I go about my job the same way all the time, and that's what I'm going to continue to do.

"I've had a lot of success doing it this way (in Oakland). If you run a business, and you run your business successfully, and all of a sudden you go through some tough times, what do you do? Panic and change everything you're doing, or continue the course?

"We come out here every day and get these players ready to play. Sunday was an exceptional day (in a tense, hard-fought 4-3 win in Minnesota). To have any negative questions in this meeting today is poppycock. We had a tough day on Friday, we had a game when we battled back on Saturday against a team that's leading their division in the American League at their ballpark, get a blown save, play extra innings and have everybody on the staff come in and volunteer to pitch. Then come back and beat them on Sunday.

"We came home on a high, and be posiitve and ready to turn this thing around. To continue the negative thoughts and negativism, it's not going to come around. So, all the Brewers fans should be positive. I know myself and my staff are positive. We have lots of good things happening in the bullpen now. We're going to try to correct the difficulties we've had. So, it should be a positive mood around here."

Nice to see the man show a little fire, let's not act like there is no reason for people to be down on the Brewers.

They entered this week's homestand at 4-14 at Miller Park. It's baseball's worst home winning percentage. By a lot.

For a team expected to contend to be 5-14 at home, well that's not very good. And it's more than enough for people who follow the team be disappointed about. The fact that the promised improvement from the pitching staff hasn't happened only adds to fans' exasperation.

Then they watch an umpire assail one of their starting pitchers on live television, while the manager sits in the dugout and watches it all play out.

It's enough to make people long for the days when the Brewers had a comically incompetent manager who at least would show a little fire and stick up for his guys once in a while.

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