I know I said I was going to wait to update you on the fabulous job that I was doing as GM of the fictional Milwaukee Brewers, but so much has happened lately that I just had to tell you.
The last we left off at my first year of GM, the team was sub .500, the relievers were doing terrible, and injuries were piling up quicker then blown leads from the back-end of the bullpen. In short, it was just like the real thing.
It is late May, and the team was quickly stagnating. The team needed a strong leader. They needed direction. They needed me.
In my mind, I was sitting at a gorgeous mahogany desk, pouring over statistics and trying to find a pattern. Francisco Rodriguez was floundering as a set-up man and wasn’t very happy with his place on the team. He sent me the following e-mail:
I’m not very happy with my role on the team. I really consider myself as the closer, and I’m just not getting the opportunity here. Please reconsider the way you are using me.
I did. I took a good, long look at his losing record and his ERA north of 5. Then I looked at the fact that John Axford was 12-14 in save opportunities. It was all I needed. (‘You aren’t happy? Fine. Maybe you’ll be happier someplace else.’ I slammed my imaginary phone down and got to looking into what’s available with my other fictional GM friends.)
It wasn’t just out of spite that I decided to deal K-Rod in late May. The team was floundering and their was no way to trust his performance going forward. He struck out a fair amount of batters and OOTP rated his national popularity as high, so I decided to see what teams would be willing to take him off my hands. The Washington Nationals had a deficiency in their bullpen and were willing to take him.
I asked for Ian Desmond and 25 year-old reliever Henry Rodriguez. They took the deal when I added a struggling Nyjer Morgan to the deal – Center Fielder Corey Patterson had been called up earlier in the year and was currently hitting .300 as a utility player. The deal was done, the bullpen became stronger, and the team won the next day’s game and Henry Rodriguez got the save.
The fans hated me. (‘I don’t care if they don’t like me now, they’ll thank me when we’re in the playoffs.’ Imaginary press conferences always went so well.)
I continued to demolish and rebuild the bullpen in the next two days after the team split a
series with Los Angeles. Mat Gamel returned from his injury early, and Corey Hart was improving at first base. Derrick Lee became expendable, and I needed some new blood. So Lee, along with Manny Parra were shipped off to the Texas Rangers in exchange for another strong reliever Alexi Ogando and a stellar outfield prospect in Jonathan Greene – who was hitting .500 in AAA and is keeping production up in Nashville.
Again – the Brewers faithful were not too happy with my decision. Neither was Ian Desmond, by the way, who is very unhappy with the transaction despite hitting over .300 since his move to Milwaukee, and has added four home runs and 18 RBI to his totals in just about three weeks.
I didn’t take this job to make friends, folks. I took it to win championships. Since the fire sale in late May, the team is 12-8 and has moved up from fifth in the standings to third and is now only two games back of Cincinnati and St. Louis who are trading the lead in the division almost daily.
Since then I managed to sign all of our draft picks (under budget, I might add) including three four-star rated players. The future looks bright for the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers, at least on my laptop.