Just when I thought there wasn’t going to be much to write about for the remainder of the Brewers season, the front office made a major announcement on Tuesday: GM Doug Melvin is stepping down into an advisory role, opening the door for a new General Manager for the first time in Milwaukee since 2003. In the spirit of the The Squeaky Curd, here’s a review of Melvin’s tenure as GM in exactly 414 words.
Overall Record: 1,004 – 1,052
The fact that Melvin has been around in Milwaukee for 13 years is actually quite stunning. His record was mediocre at best, and yet only three GMs in the majors have been around longer than Melvin in Milwaukee. While Melvin inherited an absolute mess when he was hired in September of 2002, the Brewers finished 3rd or worse in the division 9 times in his 12 complete seasons. Still, he will always be credited with ending the Brewers 15-year streak of losing seasons when the Crew went 83-79 in 2007.
Playoff Appearances: 2
It’s difficult to look at this number and spin it in a negative light, since the Brewers were typically out of the playoff chance by the All Star Break for most of my life. Melvin deserves credit for bringing the first Division title to Milwaukee since 1982, and this is likely how I will remember him as time goes by. While the 2011 NLCS appearance was the most memorable experience I’ve had as a fan, the inability of both of his playoff teams to make a repeat appearance the following year leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Biggest Failure: Missing the playoffs in 2014
Whether it was a manager who wasn’t tough enough on his crew, or a slew of players who came crashing down to reality after prolonged periods of abnormal success, it’s impossible to comprehend that last year’s Milwaukee Brewers were in first place for 150 days of the season but missed the postseason– especially given the two wild card format of the modern playoffs. The Brewers needed to play just below .500 in August and September, but instead drifted into one of the worst statistical collapses a team has seen in the history of baseball. It was an absolute train wreck that certainly carried over to this year’s season, and many fans (myself included) blamed Melvin for the lack of accountability in the clubhouse and inspiration on the field.
Defining Moment: Watch, smile, cry if you wish.