Before Mark Attanasio’s comments on Saturday, many people assumed that Ken Macha would be fired as manager of the Brewers on Monday. Well, true to Attanasio’s word, Macha survived the off-day and appears to have a vote of confidence despite the Brewers losing 11 of their past 13 games.
So just how safe is Macha? If things keep going the way they’ve been going, what becomes the new date to circle on the calendar as a possible Macha Liberation Day?
There was a post on Brew Crew Ball a couple days ago taking a look at the timing of the most recent managerial moves for every MLB team, and not surprisingly, a bulk of the midseason moves came on an off-day before or after a homestand. Using that pattern, they pegged June 7th as the next “firing-friendly day.”
Given Attanasio’s recent support, though, the Brewers would probably have to completely bomb this upcoming homestand against the Astros and Mets for Macha’s seat to start getting warm again. Yes, the Brewers are 4-14 at home, but you almost have to try to lose to Houston this year, and the Mets aren’t anything special, either.
But let’s say the Brewers do completely bomb in the next six games, going something like 1-5. They would then head out on a tough seven-game road trip to Florida and St. Louis, and let’s say they go 2-5. By June 7, the Brewers would be 3-10 in that stretch, and 5-21 in their past 26 games. It’d be very difficult to justify keeping Macha around at that point, to say the least.
The Brewers have looked a bit better in recent days, though, so I wouldn’t count on them being bad enough to get Macha fired by then. If June 7 isn’t the date, what happens then? We may be in for a scenario that plays out a bit like the Yost saga in 2008 — everyone thought he was a goner after the Boston series, but he survived it and managed to last until September before his luck finally ran out.
I say this because after June 7, the ideal firing dates get few and far between. The only other off days the Brewers will have in June are the 17th (in the middle of a 6-game road trip against the Angels and Rockies) and the 21st (before a 9-game homestand against Minnesota, Seattle, and Houston).
Let’s say he survives June by getting the team to tread water around the .500 mark for the month. If that happens, there’s also a very good chance he lasts through July, as well — the only obvious opportunities to give him the axe would be the All-Star Break and July 29th, following a homestand against Washington and Cincinnati.
By then, you’re at the trading deadline and there’s a good chance the Brewers will be selling, meaning the season’s already a lost cause and there’s no real benefit to firing Macha mid-season. August presents quite a few off-days to make such a move, but by then it almost makes more sense to just keep him through the end of the season and not pick up his 2011 option.
I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that the Brewers are running out of time to make a managerial change. They let Monday pass by without making a change, and if Macha can survive June 7th, there’s a good chance he’ll be managing the team until the end of the season.