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Milwaukee Brewers: Time to Clear the Front Office

Andrew Prochnow@@AndrewProchnowAnalyst IApril 21, 2015

Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, right, talks with general manager Doug Melvin in the dugout before a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

The 2015 season is starting much like the 2013 season did for the Milwaukee Brewers, and that's light years from good.

Kicking off the 2015 season with a franchise-worst 2-11 record, the Milwaukee Brewers may find themselves out of contention even faster then the 2013 squad, which was basically out of the race before June.

The Brewers did lead their division for a good portion of the year in 2014, but they have now sandwiched futility around that one bright spot.

After strong words of disapproval by ownership following the Brewers' collapse last season, the team made few discernible changes going into 2015 and the result has been a squad that mirrors the one that collapsed last fall.

It is another Brewers team characterized by an anemic offense, ineffective starting pitching, and woeful results.

You can only say "It's too early" for so long and that period is close to over. With Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy now on the disabled list, it's nearly impossible to imagine that the team's fortunes will change much before the All-Star break, or after, for that matter.

After nearly 13 seasons with Doug Melvin in charge of personnel management as the Brewers' general manager, it has become clear that change is needed in Milwaukee.

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Given owner Mark Attanasio's disappointment with the 2014 collapse, there can be no doubt he's probably fuming over the team's follow-through in 2015.  

Hopefully Attanasio spent at least part of the off-season sketching out a disaster plan to put in motion for this current development.

The team went 9-22 over its last 31 games in 2014 and has started 2015 with a 2-11 record. Combined, that makes the Brewers' record 11-33 over their last 44 games, far below .500 ball.

Attanasio favored continuity over disruptive change this past winter, but with that strategy now backfiring, there's really no other option left for him except a major overhaul, at minimum in the front office.

This time around, Attanasio might actually consider trying something new in Milwaukee. The Brewers have patched together a team for far too long with aging, expensive veterans like Aramis Ramirez and Francisco Rodriguez. The team might better consider a draft-and-develop approach like its NFL counterpart in Green Bay.

It's hard to imagine that many schemes could be worse than what the Brewers' front office did to prepare for 2015, a collective effort that has netted the club baseball's worst record.

Former Brewers skipper Ned Yost has the Kansas City Royals competing at a high level using a team filled with low-dollar names. Such a strategy certainly seems well-suited to the small-market Brewers.

When seeking a new general manager, the team should consider tapping one of the assistants in Kansas City or elsewhere who has a knack for doing more with less. Recruiting a baseball executive from the St. Louis Cardinals organization, a perennial contender, doesn't sound like the worst idea either.

Whatever steps are ultimately taken, there's no doubt that the first needs to be Melvin's removal.

Ownership stayed the course last season and it now has absolutely nothing to show for it. For the second time in three years, it looks as though the team will drop out of contention before the start of summer in Wisconsin. The season between those two, unfortunately, ended in a train wreck.

It is difficult to imagine that a savvy owner like Attanasio isn't seeing the same writing on the wall.

The only question that likely remains is the timing of the changes. And one can only hope those arrive sooner than later.

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