Three managerial candidates for the same job on the same coaching staff. Why? Because Doug Melvin in a genius, and Ken Macha thought it was a great idea.
Many people thought having three competitors for the same job, on the same staff, would be a bad idea. I beg to differ, and I think these three, Ken Macha, Willie Randolph, and Dale Sveum are perfect together.
First of all, they all have had managerial experience at some level, some more than others. They all know the game of baseball extremely well. Here is why they all fit with the Brewers, and how they are able to be such a cohesive group.
Dale Sveum, former third base coach, bench coach, and manager of the Brewers knows the team better than Macha or Randolph. He also knows the National League Central, since he has been in the division since '06. As we saw with the playoff run in '08, all the players enjoyed having him as their manager.
Sveum made some very good comments when he was named manager. "I'm not going to try so much to change them as I'll try to help them be more consistent." And, "This has been a passion of mine, and I'm glad Ken is giving me the opportunity to do it."
Ken Macha, managed in the American League for four years with the A's. He knows the game very well, and he also knows the nuances of the American league, whereas Dale and Willie do not. Ken also had the guts to go out and get Willie as the bench coach.
Doug Melvin said the following about Ken after he was hired, "...this is someone with a winning background who is a baseball lifer." Doug knows that people given a second chance can learn from their past mistakes and become great at what they want to do.
Both Ken and Doug wanted Dale to stay on with the team, even though he was dropped from consideration for the managerial position. Macha states that, "I really feel that Dale will be a plus to this staff, I'm hoping that he stays."
Willie Randolph, managed in the National League for four years with the Mets. He knows the nuances of the National League game better than Macha. He was also a very good second baseman in his day.
As Doug Melvin stated in an article after Willie was hired, "We are very pleased to add Willie to the organization as he brings recent National League expertise and success to our coaching staff." He also mentioned his reputation as a teacher and how it would benefit the Brewers young team.
A great example is second baseman Rickie Weeks. He had never lived up to his potential in the majors so far. With Willie taking him under his belt, and teaching him some of the nuances, it allowed Rickie to slow down the game so to speak.
All three of these men know so much about the game, and the players, that they can help out each other. They all get along with each other, and as we see, not getting the managerial position didn't affect their relationship with one another or the organization.
Any good clubhouse needs a coaching staff that can get along and gel well with others, as well as the players.