Roenicke: ‘I did the best that I thought I could do’
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on Sunday morning addressed his uncertain job status. The day before, principal owner Mark Attanaaio told reporters that GM Doug Melvin’s job was safe, but could not offer similar assurances to Roenicke or the coaches.
Those comments were covered over on the site. Here’s the story about Attanasio’s general disappointment about the Brewers’ collapse, and here’s the story about Roenicke’s uncertain future.
“Yeah, I don’t know where we stand,” Roenicke said on Sunday. “Doug, I know, is meeting with Mark, and then he’s going to come down and talk with us today. So I don’t know if it will be a week or a few days, or what it will be.”
Did that make Sunday’s season finale a bit uncomfortable?
“Yeah, it’s always uncomfortable when you’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Roenicke said.
Asked to asses his own job performance this season, Roenicke said, “I’ve worked my tail off. I did the best that I thought I could do. I’m always wanting to do things better and get better at what I do, and sometimes it helps to have conversations afterward on what myself of as a group that we need to do better. You do the best you can do, and you know when you’re a manager, that sometimes if it doesn’t go well, that you’re the guy that’s going to get blamed for it.”
What would he do better?
“I don’t think there is anything that I can just come up with that I need to do better,” Roenicke said. “There are things, without a doubt, but they’re little things here and there that you listen and you think about, that maybe you can do better. But when we’re thinking about trying to figure out what happened in the season in the end, we’ve talked about everything, and I can’t give an answer on what happened. Like I told you guys yesterday, you can point to what happened, but the ‘why’ is what we really need to figure out.”
Is it possible they might never know?
“Sure,” he said. “There’s been a lot of teams I’ve been on through the years that — you can’t figure out why you do so well sometimes, also. It’s not always the negative part. At the beginning of the season, we were winning a lot of ballgames and I was coming in here saying, ‘How did we win that game,’ because maybe we made a few miscues. We were getting away with some things, but we were winning, and you come in and go, ‘Wow.’
“If you don’t score runs, it’s always down to a small thing. ‘What did we do wrong somewhere?’ Did we give somebody an opportunity score another run because we didn’t make a play? Did we not bunt a guy over to try to get that one run. All the little things come into play, and it’s easy to see what happened in a game when it’s 2-1, 1-0. It’s pretty easy to see what could have gone wrong in those games.”
Asked whether he worried the Brewers could make changes to the field staff just for the sake of change, Roenicke said, “I can’t make a comment that way. I think you always try to improve on what you’re doing. If they think I’m not doing the job that I should be doing, then you try to make an improvement. And same thing goes for the coaches. Same thing goes for the players. If there are some things we can do different with the players in improving this, then we need to do it. If it’s taking the same personnel, players, and working with them and trying to get them better, then that’s what we have to do.
“And we do have to do something. We can’t fall in a skid this long offensively and not figure that we need to try to do something a little different. I know you guys have heard me say it a lot of times — first-pitch-swinging, yeah, we may have scored a lot of runs because of it. But it hasn’t obviously worked here in the last whatever. So that’s something that needs to be addressed. Can everybody be a little better in it? Yes. Guys can’t go from first-pitch swingers to 100 walks a year. I don’t think that happens. But we can all get better at what we do — the players included, me included.”
Roenicke will remain in Milwaukee for a few days after the season, and said he would continue to operate under the assumption he will be back for 2015. He is, after all, under contract.
Near the end of his Sunday morning media session, Roenicke was frank in answering a basic question:
Did he think the pressure of trying to hold first place simply burned some players out?
“Yes, I do,” Roenicke said. “I think, especially for some younger guys, I think it’s very difficult. It may be [the answer]. It’s a grind to be in first and having teams trying to catch you all the time and trying to maintain that. If you go into a slump, you think ‘we have to hold on and get it back again.’ It’s a grind. That’s part of it, though; do you have grinders on your team to get through that part? Do you have grinders on your staff making sure guys are doing the right things and staying positive? A lot goes into that.”
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