Mistake that doomed the Brewers #7: Neglecting Clubhouse Chemistry
In spite of all the other mistakes the front office, ownership, and players made this year, this is the one that can and will destroy any team, no matter how talented.
The Brewers front office neglected the clubhouse chemistry and did not properly address and prepare for how the players would react to the stunning Josh Hader trade. They traded a core veteran leader in the clubhouse while being a first place team, did not adequately replace him, and the rest of the team was upset.
When you get to the Trade Deadline as a first place team, you expect your front office to add to your roster and supplement the team to make it better for the stretch run. When the front office doesn’t bring in reinforcements, players are understandably upset. Not only did they not bring in reinforcements, they took away one of the strengths of the team. From there, players only go from upset to angry.
Following this trade, Josh Hader called out Brewers management for not trying to win a World Series but simply to compete for a playoff spot. Eric Lauer then called out management for the message that they did send at the Deadline, which wasn’t one of belief in this club.
Perhaps the most damning came from Lorenzo Cain, who was DFAed back in June. Cain called out the club’s neglect of clubhouse chemistry and leadership going back a few years, not just with the Hader trade but even before that. There are issues that run deep within this organization. For years, fans and everyone outside the org believed this was a franchise that cared about clubhouse chemistry, but issues were bubbling underneath.
Only after the Hader trade did all these problems rise to the surface. Brewers upper management clearly has some work to do to repair their relationships with their players. The players don’t seem to trust the front office, and there seems to be some resentment as well. That could lead to a lot of change in a couple of different directions.
The Brewers thrived in 2017, 2018, and 2019 because of a vibrant, fun, excellent clubhouse culture and chemistry. That has clearly rotted away by 2022. If they are going to have any hope of making a return to the postseason in 2023 or beyond, they need to remedy this mistake immediately.
All those other mistakes won’t carry over to 2023, but the damage to the clubhouse will if the Brewers don’t do something about it fast. There was very little happiness in the middle of the season. There wasn’t a happy ending, either. The Brewers are eliminated and have all these mistakes to blame.