Dear Doug Melvin,
How's it going? I hope this message finds you well. I know it's been a tough brutal vomit inducing season so far. The pitching stinks, the timely hitting stinks, the fans are getting upset and the team is behind the Pirates in the standings. The Pittsburgh Pirates Doug. Did you know people are calling for YOUR job? I know, it's a tough business. Now I know that like me, you understand baseball is a long season. There's time to turn this thing around. Remember the Rockies in 2007? They were like 10 games under .500 in July and made the playoffs. So panicking is not the answer. Yet. And far be it from me, a humble blogger, to tell you how to do your job. I mean the Richie Sexson deal with the Diamondbacks in 2003? Brilliant! The CC trade? Masterful. Hell you've even made all stars out of Derrick Turnbow and Dan Kolb. But I feel at this juncture, there are some things that need to get, ummmmmm, shall we say 'tweeked' if this team is going to turn it around. Take this advice for what it's worth, but keep in mind I led the Kansas City Royals to a World Series title in MVP Baseball on my PS2 in 2003. I guided the A's to a championship last year on my PS3. So yeah, I pretty much know what it takes.
#1: Trade Manny Parra while you still can. Look I know it's tough to give up on a guy with Cy Young talent. And as any Brewers fan who has watched any Parra start over the last 3 years can tell you, he's got filthy stuff. In fact he once threw a perfect game in AAA. Did you know that? Well that's all well and good, but the bottom line is this guy is 27 years old now. He hasn't had a consistent season in......ever. Actually he's a lot like Bill Pullman in that way. For every Independence Day there's a Lake Placid. For every Wyatt Earp a Casper. For every shutout a one inning 9 runs allowed performance. Point being we can't just keep this guy for fear of him going somewhere else and dominating. He's eating up space in a depleted bullpen, and you could probably package him with a Gamel and maybe go get a Roy Oswalt? Which leads me to...
#2: Cut Jeff Suppan. Along with Parra he is eating another space in our thin bullpen. Honestly people wonder why the bullpen is cashed? Because two of the seven guys out there only get in games when we're up by 10 or down by 10. Like me in middle school basketball. "Welp, Jon's in, we've either won or lost already." Because make no mistake about it, Suppan or Parra are not going to go into a game that we can win. So subtract both of those guys, and only using Hoffman in save situations, you're left with Coffey, Villa, Vargas and Stetter to use every day. I know it hurts to basically pay a guy to go away, but that money is spent anyway. Let's face it, Jeff Suppan is like milk. You didn't check the expiration date in 2006 when you signed him. If you had we could have avoided this whole mess, but we all make mistakes. The goal now though is to just dump the sour milk, don't drink it just because you spent money on it. Milk 101.
#3: If this team isn't treading water by June 1st; fire Ken Macha. Listen I'll admit that I'm not one to just fire baseball managers. Is firing Ken Macha going to make Dave Bush give up less runs? No. Is firing Ken Macha going to allow Trevor Hoffman to morph into the Hoffman from last year? Probably not. But sometimes change for the sake of change can ignite a team. Like when I buy new basketball shoes. Do they make me any better at basketball? Not a lick. But I sure feel better out there, and confidence is everything in baseball. Not to mention Ken Macha's got about as much conviction as I do when I head to the landromat. It even got to the point last week that when I saw Ned Yost managing the Royals I missed him. Ned friekin Yost Doug. So who knows, you put Willie or Dale in charge maybe it lights a fire and maybe it doesn't, but at least you went down making all the moves you could. That plus there's a "Fire Ken Macha" facebook fan page, and if Betty White taught us anything it's that facebook rules the world.
In closing, I like you. I really do. You made this franchise relevant again through great drafts and astute trades. But I'm already googling "Packer's training camp" and it's only May. I'll stick with the whole season because I'm German and can't quit anything. But let's make an effort to turn this thing around. Bonus word: change.