As bad as Milwaukee's bullpen has been this season, what the Brewers organisation just did as a result was worse. They fired their bullpen coach, who became their scapegoat.
In other sports, firing a position coach might make sense, such as a defensive line coach in American football when the defensive line is playing poorly. But in baseball, a bullpen coach is just geographical.
It is almost like saying a third base coach should be fired if the third baseman underperforms.
A bullpen coach directs traffic.
He answers the phone and makes sure the right reliever is in the game to face the right hitter.
So, did Stan Kyles miss a phone call?
Was a pitcher not warmed up when it was time to go into the game?
No, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When Kyles was fired after Sunday's loss to Washington, the Brewers were ranked last in the major leagues with 26 losses, 20 blown saves and a .274 opponents' batting average.
Most of that was based on how poorly their back-end relievers have pitched. Francisco Rodriguez had six blown saves with a 4.80 ERA.
John Axford had seven blown saves and a 5.11 ERA.
General manager Doug Melvin is responsible for bringing in the players, yet he did not take responsibility. Nor did he blame the manager or the pitching coach. This move was a publicity stunt and it was weak.
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