Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sorry for Sveum

Does anybody understand the Brewers' thinking? After 150 games this season, the Brewers fired manager Ned Yost after the team struggled mightily in September. Yost's replacement, Dale Sveum, was seen as a calming influence who could guide the team into the playoffs. Sveum led the Brewers to only a 7-5 record, but the Brewers still made the playoffs because the Mets collapsed...yet again.

In the playoffs, the Brewers looked outmatched against the Phillies, who used their dynamic offense to defeat the struggling Brewers pitching. Ben Sheets was injured. Yovani Gallardo had just came back from a year long stint on the DL. And CC Sabathia looked tired after pitching on three days rest three times in a row to propel the Brewers to the playoffs. None of that was Sveum's fault. To me, the only questionable move Sveum made was starting Jeff Suppan in game 4. But its easy to play Monday morning quarterback when a team is eliminated.

So what's really going on here? Sveum did not lead the Brewers to the World Series, but he did an admirable job leading the fading Brewers to the playoffs. It's hard to believe that the Brewers had enough faith in Sveum down the stretch of the season, but they don't even have enough confidence in him to give him a chance at the job. Sveum has been a rising star in the coaching ranks for several years, so it is rather shocking that the Brewers denied him this opportunity. Seriously, who is a better candidate than Sveum? Some retread manager (Terry Collins)? To me, the candidate pool is not all that strong this offseason and unless the Brewers pay big bucks to well known manager (Bobby Valentine), how can they justify upgrading their manager from Sveum or even Yost?

I'm not sure if there was anything that Sveum did wrong in the eyes of the Brewers higher ups, but higher management clearly jumped off the Sveum bandwagon very quickly, which to me, is unfortunate given his small sample size. I would love to see Sveum coaching on Jerry Manuel's staff next season.

No comments: