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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Was Frank Kremblas Let Go?

Unless you're a huge Milwaukee Brewers' fan or a baseball insider, you have never heard of Frank Kremblas. He's been a career minor-league coach and manager, and for the past four years he's managed the Brewers' AAA affiliate in Nashville. Going into this season, he had led the top minor league affiliate to three straight division titles. This year, though, the Sounds finished 59-81, and the Brewers gave Kremblas the gate.

The reason: he wants a Major League coaching job, and the Brewers aren't going to give him one. The way this article spins it, the Brewers are showing their largesse here because by jettisoning Kremblas, they're letting him pursue a Major League coaching job with another organization. Mighty big of them, huh?

This development happened despite the fact that almost everyone on the current Brewers' roster has played for Kremblas, and the players quoted in the article only had good things to say about him. It would stand to reason that unless the Brewers' believe that Kremblas' talents are uniquely suited to developing younger players as a team's manager and are stubborn in that regard, they'd be able to find a position on the big club where he could continue to nurture the same young players he developed in the first place. And you'd figure that he'd more than earned his shot because of his track record.

It sounds simple enough, matching up a track record with a mutual ambition. The Brewers want to make the playoffs year after year, and Kremblas wants to be on the coaching staff of a successful team. Somehow, it seems like he's earned that opportunity.

But the Brewers haven't made the playoffs in twenty-six years, or before some of their core nucleus of players was born. You don't have to be a mathematician to figure out that for every stretch move of signing a C.C. Sabathia, there's a questionable one, such as deciding to let Frank Kremblas go. The Brewers haven't made the playoffs for the past 26 years on merit, despite the conflicted Commisioner's view that the disparity of wealth between small- and large-market teams impaired the chances of once tough franchises like Milwaukee and Kansas City to win. In the Brewers' case, it was a combination of bad management (borne from nepotism), the inability to raise sufficient funds to stay competitive (and I'm not talking about revenues, but capital from ownership) and poor decisions in the draft and player development.

Most people won't even notice that the Brewers let Frank Kremblas go, and those who notice will shrug and not care. But if you're a Brewers' fan, you have to wonder -- at least when you read the article -- about the wisdom of this decisions and similar decisions that you don't know about.

After all, they all add up -- so far, to twenty-six years' worth of an absence from the post-season.


Blogger Jason said...

The speculation on Brew Crew Ball today was that maybe he was made aware of the Yost firing as it was happening and decided not to be part of it.

But, we'll see, perhaps.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could have been his bad habits of hanging out in strip joints and causing problems that bled over into his home games and losses in the last year. Bad publicity with the locals might not help. I go to about 25 games a season and during the last 2 years I have seen 3 women thrown out of the games that had beef with Kremblas. As entertaining as that side show might be, I can only imagine what it could have been like behind the scenes!

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