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Doug Melvin - Senior Level Executive


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Per Jon Heyman on twitter and BleacherReport.com (http://bleacherreport.com/milwaukee-brewers) Doug will be moving out of the GM role sometime around the end of the season and that "he’s more likely to shift into a senior capacity than follow Roenicke out of the organization."

 

So, who's going to be the next GM?

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I think it will be Montgomery. As for it not making sense to hire a scouting director for 1 season, I don't think they planned for this to be Melvin's last season. I think they planned on Melvin having 3 or 4 seasons to groom Montgomery to become the GM, but with the abysmal product on the field this year it became impossible to justify extending Melvin's contract so they are forced to accelerate the timetable a bit.

 

I could be wrong.

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Ray was interviewing for GM jobs, has had a long history in Milwaukee, is considered a rising star amongst the MLB, and must have been offered this possibility to get him back here. Him and Craig are/were Doug's special assistants

Proud member since 2003 (geez ha I was 14 then)

 

FORMERLY BrewCrewWS2008 and YoungGeezy don't even remember other names used

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I agree with the thinking that it will be Ray. They likely had a plan in place, although as Lee pointed out, that plan may have been accelerated with the horrible product on the field this year. I'm sure Ray has somebody that will be taking over his spot, assuming he is indeed being promoted. If he is, I hope that he has more involvement in the draft process, more so than Melvin may have had in the past. He seems to know what he's doing.
This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.
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Wonder if Doug Melvin didn't want to start a rebuild when he plans to leave before the next contender. No one wants to do half the job and then leave...would create too many problems if the next guy didn't like what he did.
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While I figured this was going to be the case at the end of the year, I am still somewhat upset about this news. For such a long time, Doug and "his philosophies" have been directing this organization. His mindset, his "find personnel to meet the ballpark" philosophies, his assessment of the minor league developments.

 

Now, he's going to still be making decisions about all of this, however just in a more powerful role. Yes, Ray will be the GM, however I'm assuming Ray will still be making decisions based on the mindset and philosophies of DM.

 

Our problem is the minor leagues. We don't have the necessary Learning To Be Professional Ballplayers philosophy in place. Grip it an rip it is and always has been DM's goal.

 

Consider me in the group that is upset to see this same mindset moving forward even with a new GM in place.

 

Same ole Brewers....

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I don't understand waiting until the end of the season. Obviously, a move like this is inevitable. Why not allow Montgomery (or whoever) to get his feet wet now?

 

Because GMs make substantially more and they are already paying Melvin for that job through this season. Trivial as it seems, it's smart business to control costs. It's not like Montgomery isn't likely on the same page anyway and doesn't have work to do in his current job.

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I would be curious if the go outside to hire a New GM or one of Doug Assistant's?

 

I'd prefer they go outside of the organization, frankly. A fresh look from a different perspective could do wonders for this franchise.

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While I figured this was going to be the case at the end of the year, I am still somewhat upset about this news. For such a long time, Doug and "his philosophies" have been directing this organization. His mindset, his "find personnel to meet the ballpark" philosophies, his assessment of the minor league developments.

 

Now, he's going to still be making decisions about all of this, however just in a more powerful role. Yes, Ray will be the GM, however I'm assuming Ray will still be making decisions based on the mindset and philosophies of DM.

 

Our problem is the minor leagues. We don't have the necessary Learning To Be Professional Ballplayers philosophy in place. Grip it an rip it is and always has been DM's goal.

 

Consider me in the group that is upset to see this same mindset moving forward even with a new GM in place.

 

Same ole Brewers....

 

 

The reality is that Melvin probably wasn't even the biggest problem (but certainly part of the problem). With Mark A in the owner's chair and writing checks for guys like Garza, Lohse, and Ramirez, we're not likely to see anything change in the short term. It's no secret that Mark has a perpetual "go for it" mentality, and he's likely to demand that same ideal from his next GM, whether it be an internal or external candidate.

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While I figured this was going to be the case at the end of the year, I am still somewhat upset about this news. For such a long time, Doug and "his philosophies" have been directing this organization. His mindset, his "find personnel to meet the ballpark" philosophies, his assessment of the minor league developments.

 

Now, he's going to still be making decisions about all of this, however just in a more powerful role. Yes, Ray will be the GM, however I'm assuming Ray will still be making decisions based on the mindset and philosophies of DM.

 

Our problem is the minor leagues. We don't have the necessary Learning To Be Professional Ballplayers philosophy in place. Grip it an rip it is and always has been DM's goal.

 

Consider me in the group that is upset to see this same mindset moving forward even with a new GM in place.

 

Same ole Brewers....

 

Herb Kohl.

 

The reality is that Melvin probably wasn't even the biggest problem (but certainly part of the problem). With Mark A in the owner's chair and writing checks for guys like Garza, Lohse, and Ramirez, we're not likely to see anything change in the short term. It's no secret that Mark has a perpetual "go for it" mentality, and he's likely to demand that same ideal from his next GM, whether it be an internal or external candidate.

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Techniqually Ray is from outside or organization, many teams have interested in him to be GM. Doug brought him back knowing that and with this plan.

 

Question is, how much say does Ray have in these up coming moves since it will be his team?

Proud member since 2003 (geez ha I was 14 then)

 

FORMERLY BrewCrewWS2008 and YoungGeezy don't even remember other names used

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Is Montgomery more of a new age sabermetrics type or old school type?

 

I'd prefer that Melvin leaves and enjoys his retirement. How a GM can run a team into the ground and be retained is beyong my comprehension

 

Jerry DiPoto would be an interesting hire as a GM. But Melvin as Dipoto's boss would be laughable

The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!
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I don't understand waiting until the end of the season. Obviously, a move like this is inevitable. Why not allow Montgomery (or whoever) to get his feet wet now?

 

Because GMs make substantially more and they are already paying Melvin for that job through this season. Trivial as it seems, it's smart business to control costs. It's not like Montgomery isn't likely on the same page anyway and doesn't have work to do in his current job.

 

My question to that comment, though we'd essentially be paying for two people at the same position, wouldn't the jump start, and the possible improvement to our team's fortunes, be worth it?

 

If a body has cancer, you don't wait to extricate it because it's "less expensive to wait". Though it would cost more, I say we get the right guy in place now. Get his feet wet, let him figure things out in a season that is clearly lost, and come back to start 2016 with the keys to the car in hand, and at least a decent idea of how the car is going to respond to his hands and feet. Throwing him in day one of the 2016 season puts our team behind the 8 ball right off the bat. Why risk ruining the 2016 season, or at least the first part of it, when it's not necessary to do so?

 

A complete, and I do mean a complete overhaul of the entire system is needed. That's going to take time, and there's no better time than the present to get started on that.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Would take a large stretch of reality to say Melvin ran the team Into the ground.

 

I disagree completely.

 

We're the Philadelphia Phillies from being the worst team in Major League Baseball. And, we have arguably the worst minor league system in baseball.

 

Melvin has been here since the end of 2002. So, he's been in charge of the organization for thirteen years. We've made the playoffs twice in thirteen years. Of those two teams, only one had a realistic shot to go anywhere. That's one truly good team in thirteen years, a handful of others that finished above .500.

 

.500 is not an accomplishment. Of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, 17 are at or above .500 right now. Woo hoo?

 

He emptied out our minor league talent for an all-or-nothing shot at the World Series, and has done an awful job of replenishing our young talent. Do I need to provide a list of the first round draft picks taken under Melvin that will never play an inning for the Brewers? Evan Frederickson, Eric Arnett, Kentrail Davis, Kyle Heckathorn, Dylan Covey. From 2006 to 2010, a five year span, we had nine first round and first round supplemental picks. All those players are either out of baseball, or playing in other organizations save one, Jeremy Jeffress, who we traded away, and eventually got back. Since Ryan Braun was drafted in 2005, Taylor Jungman (drafted in the first round of 2011) was the first first rounder to make it to the big club. You cannot run a small market team and continually whiff like that, and be successful. Melvin has. What about the other guy drafted in the first round of 2011, Jed Bradley? Yeah, don't count on him being up any time soon, with his 7-9 ERA at AAA. 2012? Mitch Haniger is gone for....who? I forget. Clint Coulter might make it. Victor Roache has great power, not much else. So maybe one of three in some way contribute to the Brewers. 2013? Oh, wait. We had no first round draft pick, because Kyle Lohse needed to be a Brewer, Lohse with his touchdown ERA this year. Great. I guess one way to make sure your first rounders don't bomb is not to have any, huh? So, the last decade of Doug Melvin's draft history rests on two classes, 2014 and 2015. Let's hope some of those guys end up being the real deal.

 

I fail to see what good Melvin has done. In Baltimore, in Texas, or in Milwaukee. He became Assistant General Manager and Head of Player Development in Baltimore in 1987. In 1994, he became GM of the Rangers. In nearly 30 years as a baseball executive, and 20 as the guy for two Major League teams, what has he ever accomplished?

 

Zilch. Thirty years of baseball, and the teams he's either controlled, or had a huge hand in building, have one playoff series win. Yet he's going out on his own terms in Milwaukee because, God forbid we show his worthless butt the door preemptively.

 

If this is his last season, are we any better off than we were when he came in in 2004? Nope. Not at all. Our big league team is an embarrassment, and we have virtually nothing in the minors. He's had more than a decade to build this franchise to his specifications, and he's leaving it a complete wasteland.

 

So, tell me, please....how has he not run this franchise into the ground?

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Would take a large stretch of reality to say Melvin ran the team Into the ground.

 

I understand that you've always been a Melvin supporter but the organization has been tactically unsound since they became "competitive".

 

I've been dealing in abstract concepts here for a long time trying to explain how the Brewers have been predictable, ultra-conservative, and have narrowly defined their possible actions to disastrous effect.

 

I make it a point to read a couple of books a month, usually taking 30-60 minutes before bed or if I'm home and have some free time I'll grab an hour or 2. Instead of reiterating the same ideas in the same manner, I'm going to change up and suggest reading The Guns of August, it's a book about how WW1, the war that nobody really wanted became reality.

 

Strategic and/or tactical thinking isn't just the realm of the military, it permeates every aspect of sport, business, and life. Too often posters will suggest that the Brewer organization took their path because that was the only path open or available to them, but the truth is that's not life, we always have options, there's always more than 1 way to get home. We just have to widen our view and have the courage or willingness to jump outside of our comfort zones and look at problems from different angles and/or perspectives.

 

The book is written in a way that anyone can understand and I honestly believe that if you read about how rigidly the various countries conducted themselves, essentially boxing themselves into a war that had no winners, you will see the parallel between those theories and the very rigid ideology that most sports franchises adhere to.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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From the off season after 2005 to this past winter, each and every year the Brewers fan base had legitimate hope that the beloved Brewers squad COULD make the playoffs. It wasn't a stretch to say it. Because of this HOPE, Brewers fans came out en masse to Miller Park, averaging roughly 2.7 million fans per year. From 1994 to 2004, there was zero hope in Wisconsin for Brewers baseball.... Attendance? Bottom five. Playoff hope? Laughable.

 

Melvin's roster building of taking overlooked players from the trash heap along with mostly good trades, along with a bigger payroll from Attanasio/Miller Park and a string of good drafts in the early 2000's, changed the expectations. Although he only got us to two playoff series with one playoff win in 2011, other years we were extremely close to the playoffs in 2007, 2012, and 2014. This is dramatically better than many could have imagined considering where the Brewers were for many previous years.

 

Do I believe it's time to go with a new GM? Yes. Considering Melvin's age and the way the last four years have gone (2012- complete bullpen collapse amid a stellar offense, 2013- terrible starting pitching, 2014- colossal offensive collapse, 2015- 2nd worse record in baseball), the time seems right.

 

Yet, to minimize what he has done in his time in Milwaukee just to build your case to get rid of him, is not fair. 2008 and 2011.... Yep, those two playoff seasons were so much fun.... Braun and CC beating the Cubs on last day of season... Morgan hitting that game-winning run in Game 5..... Melvin helped build those rosters, build those teams that made or almost made the playoffs (if Yost didn't manage in 2007, if Axford or K-rod could close a game in 2012, or if Braun has a "regular" season in 2014, we are in the playoffs each year...... If Suppan doesn't start Game 4 in 2008 or Marcum starting Game 6 in 2011, we could be talking about a World Series appearance or Championship), and brought hope and pride back to this organization.

 

Concluding, it might indeed be time for him to go, but his time here should be applauded, not mocked. Although I wouldn't give him an "A" grade for his time in Milwaukee, he gets a "B+" from me because of his good trading history, fairly solid major league teams overall- even when his draft people failed him with pitching, how he helped change expectations in Milwaukee, and for his successes, near misses, and overall competitiveness with a limited payroll in baseball's smallest market.

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Would take a large stretch of reality to say Melvin ran the team Into the ground.

 

Do I need to provide a list of the first round draft picks taken under Melvin that will never play an inning for the Brewers? Evan Frederickson, Eric Arnett, Kentrail Davis, Kyle Heckathorn, Dylan Covey. From 2006 to 2010, a five year span, we had nine first round and first round supplemental picks. All those players are either out of baseball, or playing in other organizations save one, Jeremy Jeffress, who we traded away, and eventually got back. Since Ryan Braun was drafted in 2005, Taylor Jungman (drafted in the first round of 2011) was the first first rounder to make it to the big club. You cannot run a small market team and continually whiff like that, and be successful. Melvin has. What about the other guy drafted in the first round of 2011, Jed Bradley? Yeah, don't count on him being up any time soon, with his 7-9 ERA at AAA. 2012? Mitch Haniger is gone for....who? I forget. Clint Coulter might make it. Victor Roache has great power, not much else. So maybe one of three in some way contribute to the Brewers. 2013? Oh, wait. We had no first round draft pick, because Kyle Lohse needed to be a Brewer, Lohse with his touchdown ERA this year. Great. I guess one way to make sure your first rounders don't bomb is not to have any, huh? So, the last decade of Doug Melvin's draft history rests on two classes, 2014 and 2015. Let's hope some of those guys end up being the real deal.

Melvin certainly has his share of flaws and it clearly is time for a change at GM, but when it comes to the draft at least, where is the evidence that he was the guy selecting the draft picks instead of the various scouting directors over the years?

 

From what i remember reading, Melvin would communicate with the scouting directors as all GM's do, but it was those guys who actually evaluated all of the high school and college talent who made the selections.

 

When it comes to the draft, it sure seems like the biggest mistake Melvin made was hiring Seid to replace Zduriencik, not that Melvin was running the drafts instead of letting the scouting director and cross checkers run the drafts. They once had a behind the scenes show of the Brewers draft and Melvin was in the room, but it was Seid making every pick.

 

Baseball is a different animal when it comes to the draft compared to other sports like football and basketball. There are 40 rounds compared to 7 and 2 in the other sports. High school kids across the country along with college kids need to be scouted. Then there are all of the various all-star events. Simply to much for a baseball GM to do along with running a big league club, which is why scouting directors in baseball are so incredibly important. Make a bad hire as happened with Seid and the impact to a farm system can be devastating. It was arguably the biggest mistake Melvin made in his whole tenure as GM and it not only badly hurt the team, it hurt him as a general manager when the minor league talent pipeline mostly dried up.

 

Hopefully whoever the new GM is, that guy ads some fresh new thinking to our front office and almost as importantly, Attanasio finally chooses to stop interjecting himself as much into roster construction and team direction. I get that he owns the team and thus is free to do as he wishes, but that GM hire will know more about baseball than Attanasio can ever envision that he himself knows. Let the new GM do the job he's being hired to do.

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Yet, to minimize what he has done in his time in Milwaukee just to build your case to get rid of him, is not fair.

Concluding, it might indeed be time for him to go, but his time here should be applauded, not mocked.

 

Rich150 I agreed with pretty much everything in your post but felt these two lines were perfect. Saying he ran this team into the ground without also acknowledging he was the one who brought it up from there is misleading at best. I would go so far as to say he is the single most important person in our rise to relevance over the past decade. That he had to do it by setting our team up for hard times for a couple years is the only mark against him IMHO. Yet pretty much everyone was on board with that at the time.

I have no doubt if he was a bit younger and wanted to he would be able to do it again. Perhaps with the experience of the last round he could even improve on that. Which leads me to my next point.

I am glad he is moving up not out. He led this team to higher ground than any other GM before him. This was the second franchise in which he did that. It would be a shame to start over with someone new and waste all the knowledge accumulated over that time. Giving a new person the GM role will mean new blood and a new perspective even while we keep the old experiences. If Melvin leaves entirely we only have one of those. This way the new GM brings with him new ideas and surrounds himself with new people but doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. This is not Sal Bando who had no business running a high school athletic department much less a major league franchise. Melvin is a highly respected man throughout baseball whose time has come to change roles.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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Melvin actually wasn't responsible for the team's rise, that was Jack Z, who was hired by Taylor and retained by Melvin. While the Sexson trade immediately improved the fortunes of the big league club which had woeful talent at the time, the draft and scouting it was actually turned the franchise around. I'll give Melvin his props for holding onto Jack Z and letting him and his staff do their thing, most of those guys have since moved on to other organizations with Ray Montgomery recently coming back.

 

I will not however give Melvin any props for his ultraconservative approach to plugging holes. No team, no matter how good they are can draft and develop 3-5 top of the rotation starters, and field an entire team of average or better position players. Melvin and Attanasio were well aware of the teams deficiencies and instead of choosing to to deal away a couple of position players early for the pitching we so desperately needed, they chose to target the players we've debated over for years. The strategy wasn't sustainable, holes weren't being plugged, they were being patched, and as such the overall strategy was unsound. There were limited success, but largely an incredibly talented team on the position player front rolled through Milwaukee with little to show for it other than raising the bar from awful to mediocrity.

 

The team's front office had continual opportunities to approach the situation differently, but the choices made ultimately set a rather low ceiling given the talent the team had assembled. We banter continually about prospects vs veterans, who fails, properly assigning risk, what's the ultimate value, and all that stuff... but the truth the Brewers as a franchise had a chance to setup for something special but managed their way to be mediocre instead. The Brewers didn't come close to their ceiling, are we seriously celebrating 1 playoff series win? Are we happy when any other team we root for makes out of the first round of the playoffs 1 time in 10 years?

 

I don't believe those are accomplishments worth celebrating, and as everyone knows I've long been an opponent of how this organization has gone about defining itself and muddling through roster construction. I don't hate the gentlemen, I actually respect them, but I vehemently disagree with the tact the organization has continually taken. I remember the optimism when Gord Ash was doing radio interviews with the minor league affiliates talking about the Brewers trading hitting for the pitching they needed, I was ecstatic that we were going to get young pitching to go along with Gallardo. I was absolutely crushed when those pitching deals turned out to all be short term solutions which just left the same gaping holes behind.

 

Melvin oversaw the initial transformation of the team through the Sexson trade, but since he's done little to help the franchise reach it's ceiling. Many probably aren't paying attention but the Dodgers and Friedman just pulled off another caper this week on the international market. While the Brewers operate conservatively the best organizations are finding ways to exploit the rules and other organizations to build their franchise. He did it in TB, and he's going to do it in LA which will ultimately piss me off because instead of looking for creative people who are always changing and adapting we end up with "good baseball people" here in Milwaukee. It's not the market size that's held us back, it's the thinking at the upper levels of the organization.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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At the end of the day, the buck stops with Melvin in terms of player development and performance on the field. He holds more sway in player procurement than anyone. So any shortcomings on the field are ultimately his fault (excluding injuries to normally healthy players, Braun's PED suspension, etc.). The flip side is he is also responsible for the good times. He should be applauded for the playoff appearances. They didn't happen in spite of Melvin. They happened because of him. Brewers do not make the playoffs without Sabathia or Greinke....and they more than likely don't make the playoffs if they kept all the guys they traded for those two. It's easy to look back and say "well if only they had made that one trade we heard about" but the reality is for every 100 rumors you hear 99 of them aren't even close to the truth.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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