[Doug Melvin] leaned against a wall just off the clubhouse.
The [Milwaukee Brewers] , the roster he assembled – the lineup, the rotation, the bullpen – had been horrible again, this time in a five-run loss to the Boston Red Sox. They’ve won just 7 times since April 24th, and are – inch by dreadful, agonizing inch – being run out of the weak National League Central before summer arrives.
So, [Melvin], an amiable guy most of the time, a baseball man who has seen enough summers, won enough games, had his faith rewarded enough times to understand that six months is six months and not seven weeks, also knows a potential disaster when he sees it. When he’s, you know, built it.
The [Brewers] lost their [promising] ace, [Yovani Gallardo] for the season because of a torn ligament in his knee, and if that hadn’t completely fouled the GM's mood, the previous nine innings finished him off. More clumsy defense. More fat pitches. More casual at-bats. And, ultimately, another game gone in the standings.
“We’re bad, no question about it,” [Melvin] said. “There comes a point in time we can’t say, ‘It’s early.’ There’s nothing to lead me to believe – or the fans to believe – we’re going to turn this thing around.”
He promised changes. “Wholesale,” he said. And he waved his hands at the clubhouse, meaning most of the players in it, he had little use for right now.
“I’m certainly not going to watch this for another four months,” he said.
Judging by the stands at [Miller] Park [on the last home stand], he’s not alone in that.
“If you hear the word that morale is good in this clubhouse, we’ve got major issues,” he said. “The morale should be horrible. For winning-type players, morale should be horrible. I know it’s horrible in the coaches’ office. And it’s horrible upstairs.”
The results are one thing, [Melvin] said. But, damn, he sat and watched the [Brewers] get down by five runs, and then in the final three innings his hitters saw a total of 31 pitches. They’re overmatched by talent, and then outworked, which is no way to run a baseball season.
“We really grind pretty good,” [Melvin] insisted, “until we get behind.”
They’ve been behind a lot.
“That’s the way it’s been all year,” [Melvin] said.
Hours earlier, the major league standings were just sitting there on the [Brewers] bench, typed out nice and neat, not six inches from manager [Ned Yost's] right thigh.
“These?” [Yost] asked.
“Uh,” he began, “the thing that I look at there, what’s that add up to, 45?”
The [Brewers] had played 44 games, yes, and won 20 of them.
“That means we have how many left?”
“That’s what I look at,” he said. “Needless to say, we haven’t played our best baseball as a group.”
They have played the worst baseball in the game. As a group.
The starting pitching, [Yost] said, has been OK “in stretches.” The bullpen OK in “flashes.” The offense rolls “a couple guys at a time.”
Put it all together, you get 20 wins and last place in a flagging division.
“I’ll tell you, it is what it is,” he said. “It’s not good. I hear you. I’m hoping the next 44, we reverse that and see where we are then.” ...
Management took its flier on aging center fielder [Mike Cameron], which ended up costing the [Brewers] about $7 million, or going on 10 percent of the payroll. It entrusted the infield to Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, and Bill Hall, which thus far has netted 100 Strikeouts and a paltry .209 batting average. Meanwhile, [Russel Branyan] lefty-hitting 3rd baseman with some power toils at Triple-A [Nashville] with a 1.163 OPS, a .683 slugging and a .452 OBP with a .359 batting average. When the changes come – and they [should] come – [Branyan should] be the first one at the airport.
Granted, the pitching staff hasn’t been what the [Brewers] expected – and won’t be as long as [Gallardo] is out, or as long as the bullpen tanks – but the offense is beneath even the [Brewer's] lowly standards. Remember, this franchise won NL titles in 1982 after switching managers mid-season. It’s as if the [Brewer's] have given up entirely on offense.
Prince Fielder is slugging a mere .451. It’s a wonder Ryan Braun ever sees a strike.
Opposing Right-handers? The tomato cans that have faced the Brewers look like reincarnations of Cy Young himself.
Generally speaking, the [Brewer's] haven't been hitting for power or average as was advertised in spring. They don’t get on base either. They have a team BA of .242 and OBP of .317. The BA is better than only Washington and San Diego, while the OBP is better than only San Diego. They do, however, hit a ton of fly balls and strike out much of the time, neither of which plays particularly well at [any ball park].
Then, last weekend, the majority of the [Brewer's] offense against the Boston Red Sox was Ryan Braun.
N[ed Yost and Doug Melvin] – so far – waiting on JJ Hardy, Ricky Weeks, Bill Hall, Mike Cameron and Prince Fielder to break free from an epidemic funk that has seized the season.
And now it’s already reaching a time the Padres will have to think about trading for the future, even parting with players [Melvin] likes, such as Ben Sheets or Prince Fielder, whomever.
“I just hope we all have the same feeling when we wake up in the morning and look at the box score, look at the standings,” [Melvin] said. “It should. If it doesn’t, we all shouldn’t be here. It’s the way you play the game. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see body language, the way you play and approach the game. Hey, you’re going to lose games. It’s the way you play this game from the first pitch to the last pitch. They way you carry yourself.”
Jeff Cirillo is in the broadcast booth this season because Doug Melvin like Craig Counsel.
“Baseball player,” [Melvin] said. “That’s a friggin’ baseball player right there. No cockiness. No ‘Look at me.’ Play the game right.”
As he spoke, the clubhouse cleared, [Brewers] players passing and pretending not to hear.
“(Shoot),” [Melvin]s spat, “I’m not enjoying watching this. I’m looking for a little bit of progress, just to have some hope. It becomes like Groundhog Day, over and over.”
Ok - the article source isn't about the Brewers. It was about the Padres and Kevin Towers. I substituted names and stats where need be. The point is that the article could have been very easily written about the Brewers as much as it was written for the Padres.