Earlier today, Brewers’ Vice-President & General Manager named former Oakland A’s manager Ken Macha as the new skipper of the Milwaukee Brewers. Macha, 58, agreed to a 2-year contract and is the 17th manager in the franchise’s 39 years of existence.
Macha managed the A’s from 2003-2006, won the AL West crown twice, and won at least 88 games each season with Oakland.
During the press conference, Macha revealed that he had and would have an open door policy with the players, that the “perceptions” that players and he didn’t get along were overblown, and that he felt that he was better prepared as a manager now after having been let go by Billy Beane and the A’s. Melvin added that he first met Macha during Spring Training with the Pirates in 1972 and was the first guy that he threw batting practice for, as well as that he’d talked with numerous people that have worked with Macha, including Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan and Red Sox skipper Terry Francona. Melvin also revealed that he did not contact Jason Kendall, a player thought to have had problems with Macha in the past. Melvin also stated that he talked to Dale Sveum earlier in the day about his interest in joining Macha’s staff, and Macha indicated that he had spoken with Brewers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux about his interest in returning, to which Maddux indicated that he’d contact Macha at a later date. Maddux is thought to be leaning towards joining the Rangers for 2009.
My whole take on this: Macha’s résumé is rather impressive, and Brewers’ fans will favor him over Ned Yost–but he’ll need to get off to a quick start, especially if Sveum stays within the organization.
Next on tap: Melvin needs to decide by Monday if he is going to exercise the $10 million option on Mike Cameron or not. My guess is that he will, signaling the Brewers’ interest in continuing to field a competitive team, as well as setting up trading Tony Gwynn, Jr. to another team. Gwynn alone is not enough to land a decent starter, but he may be worth a decent AAA relief pitcher jammed up in another organization.