Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Should Doug Melvin Be Mad?

In a story that surfaced on Monday, Ryan Braun spouted off about the state of his team, his pitching staff and what Braun thinks General Manager, Doug Melvin, should do about it. The story goes on to state that Bob Melvin was angry over the comments. So the question is: Should Melvin be mad?

Unfortunately, we have to fall back on the problem with blogging: This blogger doesn't have access to any previous interactions with Braun and Melvin concerning the team. The Fan doesn't know if Braun had talked to Melvin and found no satisfaction in the conversation. The Fan doesn't know if Braun has a leadership role in the Brewers' clubhouse which would give him a right to discuss the state of the team.

What is known is that that Braun is the best over all player on that team (all due respect to Fielder). The best player on the team does have some consideration on what goes on around him. But if he is the quiet type in the clubhouse and is trying to rouse his team suddenly with his outburst, then it's out of line.

Here is the bottom line to this writer based on what little information is available. First, Doug Melvin should be big enough and secure enough in his position to not get riled by what a "dumb player" has to say. The Fan has been in business for a long time. Employees should never be ridiculed for stating what's on their mind. On the other hand, as a manager of people, the Fan never wanted to be disrespected by an employee because it erodes the respect level the others have for the manager.

This situation is borderline. What Braun is quoted as saying is not really a direct disrespect of Melvin. He actually says that he knows Melvin is trying to better the team. He just hopes it happens quickly. He never said that Melvin was a turkey because he wasn't doing anything. So in this case, Braun didn't disrespect Melvin. Certainly, if Braun had never discussed this privately with Melvin, then it would have been better for Braun to go to Melvin privately to discuss his concerns. But even so, with no disrespect really shown, then Melvin should have just laughed it off. It would have been the bigger move.

As for Braun calling out his teammates, again, that depends on whether Braun has a leadership role in the clubhouse. If he does not, he's out of line. If he does, then this is not that bad a deal. But again, he would have been better served, even if he was a leader, to call out his teammates in the clubhouse and not in the paper.

The most likely scenario is that Braun was frustrated by the loss and spouted off, which was dutifully captured in a story by the writers who overheard what Braun said. In the old days, the writer never would have reported Braun's statements. But if Braun spouted off in the heat of a moment of frustration, then he needs to apologize to his teammates. Again, he did not openly disrespect his general manger and owes Melvin nothing.


Josh Borenstein said...

I think you mean Doug Melvin. Braun probably should have kept his thoughts on the matter to himself. Even if it is true.

William said...

Oops! Thanks for the correction.