Today the Milwaukee Brewers decided to make a move they hope will right the ship for their bullpen, firing the bullpen coach Stan Kyles. Much of the Brewer world is upset with this move, including myself. Kyles was a great person for the community, and although partially responsible for coaching his players has no direct influence on their performances.
Someone in the bullpen needed to suffer. After giving up 9 runs in a single game, everyone in baseball should have seen a move coming, but to fire the man who answers the phone and gets players ready seems like the wrong route. It is true, Kyles does have a role in working with bullpen pitchers. You can consider him the assistant pitching coach. But to fire someone in that bullpen who is not directly responsible for giving up run after run makes no sense. Kyles has not thrown a single pitch, he has not blown a single lead, he has not put the Brewers into insurmountable deficits, yet while he was surrounded by players who fit those criteria, he is the one without a job.
Congratulations to Kyles for taking the high road out of town. In his last moments with the media he basically said I understand why they did it. He didn’t whine about being the scapegoat. He didn’t complain like I am doing for him. Really if Stan doesn’t feel the need to fight this, the rest of the Brewers fandom should shut their mouths because when you get down to it, it’s only his battle to fight. I refuse to do that. As a fan it is offensive that they would take away the job of a coach, who has a family to support and does so much for this community, when you can get rid of one of the people directly responsible for the chaos. The pitchers get the message just as well if you get rid of one of them. Showing them that they can lose their job no matter how much credibility they have built up before this year.
I hope this move works. I hope every pitcher sitting in that bullpen, with the exception of Jim Henderson, sits out there and realizes that their poor performance is directly responsible for a man losing his job who didn’t deserve it. I hope they know that every home run they have allowed cost this man a profession he loves dearly. I hope they throw until their arms fall off and make this sacrifice at least worth something. I just hope if they do succeed no one takes it as a sign that this is the right move.
Congratulations to the Brewers front office for playing the villain. You had so many other options and chose the wrong one. I wouldn’t cut any of the coaches, but I would cut and send down almost all of the bullpen. If you’re going to punish someone, punish someone who is directly responsible.