Brewers sticking with GM, to evaluate coaches
Owner Attanasio says Melvin's job is safe; Roenicke, staff to be interviewed
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said Saturday that general manager Doug Melvin's job was safe, but he could not offer the same assurance to Ron Roenicke or his coaches.
Roenicke is under contract through the end of 2015 with a club option for '16. When Attanasio was asked about Roenicke's performance this season, he deferred to Melvin, who said, "I think he's disappointed. We're all disappointed in a lot of our responsibilities to the club.
"I can look back at myself and say with some of the decisions we made, did we make the right ones? We played very well for a period of time. I would hope that Ron and the coaches, and would hope the players also feel there's a responsibility for them, because we thought we had a good enough team to go to the postseason. When we started out the way we did, we thought we did."
The Brewers made it to the postseason in 2011, Roenicke's first year at the helm, and beat the D-backs in a thrilling National League Division Series for Milwaukee's first postseason series win in 29 years. But they fell to 83-79 in 2012, 74-88 in '13 and entered Saturday having lost 21 of their last 29 games to fall to 81-79 in 2014 with two games to play.
Asked about Melvin's job status, Attanasio said, "Doug's standing here so obviously he's coming back."
The Brewers do not make public the contractual status of their coaches, but most typically have year-to-year deals that expire at the end of October. That gives Attanasio and Melvin some time to make decisions.
The staff consists of bench coach Jerry Narron, hitting coach Johnny Narron, pitching coach Rick Kranitz, third-base coach Ed Sedar, first-base coach Garth Iorg, bullpen coach Lee Tunnell and coaches Mike Guerrero and John Shelby.
"We have a process of going through that at the end of the year," Melvin said. "This year has been a little different because of us playing the way we have here, and hoping to get in the playoffs late. Those are coming a little bit later, our interviews."
The Brewers' slide has been marked by a dramatic drop in offensive production. They were second in the NL to Colorado in several major offensive categories through the end of June, but only the Braves and Reds have scored fewer runs per game since then. A poor stretch of starting pitching contributed to a 3-16 stretch in late August and early September, and the Brewers have suffered defensive lapses, too.
Yet Roenicke has maintained a calm public demeanor throughout, refusing to publicly criticize players even on nights like Sept. 18, when first baseman Mark Reynolds forgot the number of outs in the eighth inning of what became a loss to the Cardinals, or Friday, when the Brewers went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position in a loss to the Cubs.
"If [the players] know how frustrated I am and we are, as a staff, they get a little tighter," Roenicke said. "I know you guys will say, 'They can't get much worse,' but I think when they know the staff is fed up with things and we're tired of it, it doesn't help. …
"For one thing, it's not my style to just 'blow' on people. I have before and it hasn't gone well when I've done it. I see what the players are like. It doesn't mean that I don't have a forceful way. I've had enough meetings with them to let them know how I feel and we as a staff feel."
He added: "I'm frustrated with what's going on and if I thought it would be better for us to [blow up], I would do things that are out of my style because my job is to get these guys to perform. So if I thought it would help, I would do it. Even though it's not really what I want to do, I would still do it if I thought it would help."