When teams have a down season, many times the manager or the general manager will usually take on most of the blame which leads to predictions and speculations about their jobs. While sometimes there are concerns about things a manager may do, does one bad season necessarily mean the ax is coming?
The fourth and final bold prediction is: manager Ron Roenicke will stay in Milwaukee past 2014.
At least to me, I feel Roenicke gets a lot of undeserved flak. Sure he makes some head scratching calls, mainly when he thinks bunting is the only solution, but what manager doesn’t? Roenicke also has somewhat of a problem pulling his starters too early, but maybe that is to protect their arms from the number of pitches thrown. Either way, some fans feel he needs to trust his starters more often.
He also gets criticism (which I admit am guilty of giving him) of being passionless and not having enough fire. Surprisingly enough, Roenicke was ejected out of games twice in 2013 for arguing and that’s a pretty rare site to behold.
Still, can a 74-88 season be entirely blamed on him? When you lose all of your options at first base, your star player is suspended, your veteran third baseman cannot stay healthy and you only have about four bats doing anything, it’s hard to win ball games that way. Not to mention the implosions from the starters didn’t help and I’m assuming some of that blame has to be shifted to pitching coach Rick Kranitz.
Roenicke is not a bad manager, but he’s not probably many fans’ first choice. That said, he did help lead this Brewers’ team to the National League Championship Series in 2011, which was his first year as the manager in Milwaukee. Overall, he has a positive record (253-233) in Milwaukee and I don’t think 2014 is going to be some trainwreck of a season that seems him booted.
One thing some people don’t take into account is the division in which the Brewers are in. The St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates all were in the postseason last year with huge shots to make it again. To expect a Brewers’ team that is trying to land on its own two feet to compete with those teams just yet is kind of absurd.
If the Brewers finish 2014 at or above .500, I would fully expect Roenicke to return for 2015 and beyond. Even if they don’t finish at .500, then maybe his job comes into question, but is it entirely his fault? Look at some teams like the Pirates and San Diego Padres that have stuck with their managers through the rough seasons. I feel Milwaukee will do the same with Roenicke.
Yeah, there are things Roenicke needs to work on like bunting issues, trusting his starters and having a little more fire. That said, I believe Roenicke is doing a fine job in Milwaukee and will help turn this team around for 2014.