Macha firing: Not ‘if’ but ‘when’

Milwaukee Brewers manager Ken Macha (R) and coach Willie Randolph watch the Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 in the ninth inning at Coors Field on June 20, 2010 in Denver.         UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom

After five miserable losses in a row at home to drop to 37-49, and 11 games back in the loss column in the NL Central, the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers have almost zero chance of making the playoffs (they are also 11 games back in the Wild Card race).  With 76 games left in the season (38 at home and 38 on the road), the Brewers would have to go 44-32, .578. the rest of the way just to reach the .500 level.

Despite this grim reality, I sense that both owner Mark Attanasio and GM Doug Melvin want to do something–and soon–to at least try to get the Brewers back into a competitive situation for the rest of the summer.  Not only are walk-up ticket sales dependent upon a change, but so is the performance (and market value) dependent on seeing an improvement.

I suspect that Attanasio wants Melvin to make the call as to if and when to fire manager Ken Macha…but I also suspect that Attanasio’s patience is running rather thin.  Melvin knows this, and may have already decided to replace Macha over the All-Star break to give the new interim manager (likely Willie Randolph) a clean break from the first part of the season, as well as time to chat with each player.

Still…if you know the decision has been made–wouldn’t you want to get Randolph started right away, if only to give him a dry run (plus, seemingly, improving your chances to beat the Pirates)?  Perhaps Melvin feels that the one team that Macha can beat is the Pirates, so keeping him for the weekend and giving him a chance to go out in style is on the docket.

But what if the Pirates take the series?  Both Macha and Melvin would be rather embarrassed I would think.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, these three games are not likely going to matter much, as the Brewers’ fate is almost sealed.  Melvin, whose job is always to think of next season, probably has already started planning out who deserves to be back and who will not.  Ideally, he’d like to deal someone from this year’s club that won’t be returning for someone that can contribute in some capacity next season…candidates on the trading block would include Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Jim Edmonds, Joe Inglett, Craig Counsell, Dave Bush, Doug Davis, and possibly even Kameron Loe (if only because he probably would have more teams interested in his services than anyone else).  It would be nice for many fans if Trevor Hoffman gets traded back to the Padres for their playoff run, and David Riske is expendable once LaTroy Hawkins is ready.

Anyone, the first change will be coming within the next few days…I’m going out on a limb and say Sunday morning, so that the players will get Sunday to reflect on the change and head home to re-energize for the stretch run.

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