To recap the happenings to date: Macha gets a two-year contract, which, on its own, is kinda strange, since the Brewers are either going to have to extend him after year one or let him go into his second year as a lame duck; after the Great Housecleaning of '09, Melvin says (I'm paraphrasing) that Macha was blindsided by the moves, and then says that Escobar is up here to play, not ride the bench; and Macha decides that he's going to bat Corey Patterson lead-off, with Patterson (0-7, 4K, 1 GIDP) immediately showing why the move qualifies as a Trojan-ENZ Boner of the Week Award nominee.
Yesterday came two more pieces of evidence. The first is Macha's bizarre rationale for sitting Mat Gamel during the waning weeks of the season; Macha notes that Gamel "didn't have a good second half" at Nashville and says that he wants to see Gamel "get ... back in a groove" in batting practice before giving him consistent playing time. It's been repeated ad nauseam by certain contributors to this blog (myself and Reid, primarily), but Mat Gamel needs to play, right now, and every day thereafter. Trying to get him into a "groove" facing Chris Bosio in BP is, to put it bluntly, fucking stupid.
The second piece of evidence is related to the first. Melvin was asked if he's ordered Macha to play certain players as the Crew limps to the finish line (even though we already know he has, based on Melvin's previous comments about Escobar and Bourgeois being called up to play, not sit the bench), and it's not difficult to read between the lines in Melvin's response:
"I haven't ordered him to play guys at this point. We might sit down in a little bit, but I said we're trying to win games and gain some experience. ... To gain some experience here is fine. There may be a point where I'll say I'd like to see somebody play a little bit more. But it's not there yet."Coming from your boss, "yet" is never a comforting word, no matter what line of work you're in.
Now, I know that firing Macha wouldn't exactly be fair, given that he was asked to win with Jeff Suppan and Braden Looper as two-fifths of his starting rotation, and given that Manny Parra is a headcase and Dave Bush got a boo-boo on his arm. (It should be pointed out, though, that Macha was billed as a pitcher's manager when he came on board. I'm just sayin', if Bill Castro gets axed for the staff being epically shitty, it's not fair to give Macha a total pass.) But I think it's going to happen. Who wants to bet for $1 (Canadian, of course)?