Someone had to take the fall for the Brewers’ second straight summer of missed expectations, and manager Ken Macha endured speculation for weeks that would be the guy. On Monday, it’s expected to be official.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited unnamed club sources on Sunday evening in reporting that Macha had managed his final game for the Brewers. Macha was to meet face-to-face with general manager Doug Melvin at 8 a.m. on Monday.
It would an easy break for the team — Macha just finished his two-year contract and the Brewers could simply decline to exercise his 2011 option.
If the Brewers indeed name a change, Melvin would begin the search for the 18th manager in Brewers history. That pick would be the team’s sixth skipper in the past eight years, and the fifth different manager under Melvin, if you count the man he inherited (Jerry Royster) at the end of 2002.
The Brewers won the National League Wild Card under interim manager Dale Sveum in 2008 but couldn’t repeat that success under Macha, who, depending on your outlook, either did not get much from his pitching staffs or was saddled with poor staffs to start with. The Brewers finished next-to-last among NL teams in starters’ ERA in 2009, and moved up only one spot in 2010 despite a stellar September.
Hitters, meanwhile, expressed off-the-record frustration with his station-to-station brand of baseball, but Macha tried to stress what he insisted was an open-door policy with players beginning this spring with individual sit-downs with the team’s stars, and he often defended his lack of movement on the bases as playing to the team’s obvious strength — its power.
Along the way, Macha made no apologies for his steely style.
“I had a little sit-down with Mark [Attanasio, the Brewers principal owner] a couple of months ago, saying that I’m not here to schmooze up to anybody or anything like that,” Macha said after the Brewers’ last home game. “I just want to come in and try to do what’s right. I think if everyone approaches their job that way and says, hey, look, I just want to do what’s right, you can go to sleep that night and wake up the next morning, regardless of what the results were that day before, and look forward. …
“At the end, you should have peace of mind because you’re doing the right thing.”