Brewers GM fires back at Braun
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin had strong words for left fielder Ryan Braun on Monday, a day after the player called for club officials to acquire pitching help ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
The Brewers were off on Monday, but Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt that Braun’s comments were “inappriopriate” and “irresponsible.”
“We all work every day from 9 a.m. to midnight, and basically 12 months a year,” Melvin told the newspaper. “I’ll be glad to have Ryan help if he wants to. I’ll give him a badge and he can be my deputy.
“I don’t know his motivation for saying it. It demoralizes the people in the organization at a time when we should be pulling together. It puts a bad taste in our mouths. That’s a pretty strong statement
“I understand that maybe he thinks it’s taking a leadership role. I don’t know if he’s trying to tell me I’m not doing my job. We need to stick together as an organization. We’re all trying to win.”
Braun, to review, said it, “would be important for us to go out there and acquire somebody,” and that, “We need to find a way to throw the ball a little better to have success. When you’re constantly behind in games, it’s not easy. It’s not fun. [The Cubs’] starting pitching was clearly a lot better than ours this series.”
It was a typically unfiltered moment for Braun, who spoke out during the Brewers’ last homestand about the difficult hitting conditions at Miller Park. Melvin and other club officials werern’t happy about those comments, either.
(They are beginning to act, though. Crews cleaned the center field “batter’s eye” of dust while the Brewers were in Chicago, and were considering cutting down the ivy underneath it. Players say the ivy contributes to the glare.)
Melvin would prefer that his left fielder confine his statements to the field.
“I don’t like criticizing players; it’s out of character for me,” Melvin told the Journal-Sentinel. “But I’m tired of it and I need to protect the people under us. Everybody’s working as hard as they can to make this a winning organization.
“He’s too talented a player to be doing this so early in his career. He just has to be careful about what he says.”
Braun and Melvin will have to clear the air. Melvin earned a contract extension last fall that keeps him under contract through 2012. Braun signed an eight-year contract last season thatkeeps him under contract through 2015.