Yost Out

Well, I’ve been criticized a little bit for getting sucked up into the football season too much and not writing about the Brewers. Of course, as my high school gym teacher used to tell my classmates who openly criticized my lack of volleyball ability , “If you can’t say something nice . . .”

Today comes Brew Crew news too surprising to ignore.

The Brewers today fired beleaguered manager Ned Yost. While they are tied for the lead in the NL wildcard. With about seven percent of their games remaining. Weird timing to say the least.  

I can understand why Yost was fired. This is quite clearly the Brewers’ year to contend. They won’t have C.C. Sabathia next year. Ben Sheets will be gone. Prince Fielder will likely be elsewhere. And while the NL Central crown has been out of reach for a while now, it seemed like a no-brainer even up to a few days ago that the Brewers would snare the NL wildcard, putting them in the postseason for the first time since Joe Piscopo ruled Saturday Night Live.

But the Brewers have been terrible lately. 3-11 in September terrible. Being outscored 75-38 in those games terrible. The final straw obviously was the sweep over the weekend at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, the very team they were trying to hold off in the standings, and the very team that now looks like the most likely wildcard representative from the NL.  

Given the second-consecutive monumental collapse on Yost’s watch, his firing is understandable. But it’s still wrong. Not to disrespect baseball managers, but of all of the major sports, they have the least to do with their team’s success. (OK, so I domean to disrespect them. Sorry.) Players either hit or they don’t. Pitchers either have the stuff or they don’t. The throw’s either in time or it’s late. Unless we discover that Yost was forcing the team to watch Varsity Bluesinstead of getting their batting practice in, it’s unreasonable to expect Corey Hart to hit .500 the rest of the way simply because third-base coach Dale Sveum got a promotion.

Of course it’s possible that this move could save the Brewers’ season. Usually when a new coach or manager takes over a team, there’s a short-lived spark. With so few games left, maybe a short-lived spark is all the Brewers need. But it seems more likely that the loss of their manager will further disrupt an already dysfunctional team.  

After their recent 3-7 homestand, Yost said that his players were not panicking. Maybe he was right. But with today’s shocking development, it’s clear that there was already plenty of panic in the Brewers’ front office.

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