NEW YORK -- All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman logged another save on Wednesday -- No. 601 -- but still won't offer any clues about his plans beyond this season. When he does decide whether to come back for a 19th season or retire, he wants to be sure."I think we've seen in the area where we live what happens when someone changes his mind a few times," said Hoffman, a friendly jab at former Packers quarterback Brett Favre. "I just don't want to be that guy. If I emotionally say, 'I'm tired, I'm out of it, I've had enough,' and then have something come up, I'd kick myself. "I don't need any fanfare. I'll be a little blip somewhere if it is [the time for retirement]. If not, it will be playing for somebody else." Wednesday's save was notable for Hoffman. He had never pitched at new Citi Field, for one, and it meant a little extra considering it was a moment in which he was legitimately the closer again. John Axford, the rookie who took over for Hoffman in May, pitched Tuesday night and again in Game 1 of the doubleheader. He notched his own save in the afternoon game and was unavailable in the nightcap. "It was nice to not just get thrown a bone, in a sense," Hoffman said. "I was going to be in that game, so it was nice to step up and do my job. There was no wondering if the phone was going to ring. ... It couldn't have worked out any better." Hoffman cannot say it, but his time with the Brewers is almost certainly coming to an end. The team will decline his $7.5 million option for 2011 and pay a $750,000 buyout instead. The cost of that buyout increased by $250,000 when Hoffman finished his 35th game of the season on Sunday. The Brewers will stick with right-hander John Axford as their closer in 2011. Hoffman, if he returns to pitch, will probably seek a situation in which he at least has a chance to be the closer. He turns 43 on Oct. 13. "Ax is going to take the helm," Hoffman said. "I have nothing but respect for him."
Attanasio renews commitment to Melvin
NEW YORK -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio thanked players for their effort during his annual season-end address Thursday, then renewed his commitment to general manager Doug Melvin as the leader of the club's baseball operations."He's the guy next year," Attanasio said. "He's still got two years under his contract." Melvin, 58, inherited a 106-loss team in 2002 and built the Brewers back to respectability, a rise that culminated with the '08 National League Wild Card. But the club took a step back in '09 and another in 2010 mostly because of the pitching, and Melvin has been taking more heat from frustrated fans. Attanasio, like he did back in May when the Brewers were falling out of the NL Central race, is standing behind his GM. "In my six seasons here, this was his first tough season," Attanasio said. "When we were building and got to .500 [in 2005], we thought we were maybe a little ahead of ourselves, actually. This year, our performance was a little behind where we thought it would be." The Brewers' chances in 2010 were scuttled early, when starters Randy Wolf and Doug Davis struggled, Trevor Hoffman faltered in the closer's role and setup man LaTroy Hawkins developed a shoulder injury. All were offseason free-agent signings, as was veteran catcher Gregg Zaun, who was sidelined in May by a season-ending shoulder injury. In previous comments this summer, Attanasio has said that it may have been a mistake to rely on so many older players. But as the summer progressed, the Brewers skewed younger again, with closer John Axford leading an influx of relief reinforcements and catcher Jonathan Lucroy and center fielder Lorenzo Cain making their mark in the field. Attanasio expects the Brewers to be competitive in 2011. He will leave the decisions about the team's coaching staff, including manager Ken Macha, to Melvin. "Doug is doing his assessment now and then we'll meet," said Attanasio, who will sit down in New York with Melvin on Friday. "We think we can compete next season in this division. But we're going to have to take a hard look at ourselves in order to make the adjustments necessary to compete." He'll also try to leave 2010 behind him. Attanasio's address to the team on Thursday lasted only a couple of minutes. "This year has been challenging, because we've never really been in it," he said. "You all write about how it's a humbling sport. It's a sport that in many ways is based on failure. I don't know anything else in life where if you get things right 30 percent of the time, you succeed fabulously. You succeed at the top of your profession. "... So baseball, for the players, is a game of adjustments. For management, it's a game of adjustments. When the season is finally over, we have to look at what we have. I think we have some bright spots."
Brewers set rotation for final series
NEW YORK -- Mark Rogers will get one Brewers start, but not where he expected. Chris Capuano will get one more start that he didn't expect at all. And Randy Wolf will make the last start of all.With a four-game series against the Mets in the rear-view mirror and only once interrupted by rain, the Brewers set their starters for the final series of 2010, a three-game set against the National League Central-champion Reds. Rookie Rogers, originally slated to start in New York before weather forced some changes, will work the opener on Friday night, followed by Capuano on Saturday and Wolf on Sunday afternoon. Rogers is expected to throw about 75 pitches this time, and for the second straight start, he will be followed by fellow rookie Jeremy Jeffress. Both are among Milwaukee's top pitching prospects. "We'll see how much ground they can cover," manager Ken Macha said. Capuano thought his win over the Marlins in Milwaukee's home finale was his last start, but Monday's rainout in New York opened one more opportunity. He'll be a free agent at season's end. "It worked out just right for me," Capuano said.
Brewers manager Ken Macha jumbled the lineup Thursday, moving Ryan Braun up to second in the order and Casey McGehee to third. Prince Fielder batted in his usual cleanup spot, followed by Corey Hart hitting fifth. Macha was a bit coy about the changes, but they were probably designed to help McGehee get his 100th RBI. He had been stuck at 99 since Sept. 22. ... The Brewers advised fans planning to attend Saturday's Farm Aid concert at Miller Park that, barring rain, the roof will be open. Parking lots will open at 11 a.m. CT, gates to Miller Park seating will open at noon and the concert is expected to begin at approximately 1 p.m. Guests may not exit and re-enter Miller Park using the same ticket.