09/15/08 9:54 PM ET
Brewers dismiss manager Yost
Sveum takes over in interim role, brings Yount back to bench
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
"That's a difficult one to answer myself," Melvin said. "The club is just not performing close to the way they performed earlier. We have 12 days left and we don't know what could jump-start the club. This was, I guess, the only thing we thought had a chance of jump-starting the club."It's tough when you have someone who has done what Ned has done for the organization, built the organization back where it hasn't been in 15 years. I feel sometimes I quit on Ned a little bit by not allowing him to do it for the last two weeks. But in the end, the decision was made." The Brewers went 20-7 in August -- no NL team was better -- but have been outscored this month, 75-38, while losing 11 of 14 games. In dropping both ends of a doubleheader on Sunday, they were limited to five runs and seven hits in 18 innings. Yost, a former Brewers backup catcher, inherited a team coming off a 106-loss season when he took over in October 2002, and, with help from Melvin's moves and shrewd Drafts under Jack Zduriencik, restored the Brewers to prominence. The team snapped a streak of 12 losing seasons with an 81-81 finish in 2005, then went 83-79 last season for its first winning year since 1992. But the season ended in disappointment. The Brewers finished two games behind the Cubs in the NL Central after leading the division by as many as 8 1/2 games. The team is hoping for a bit of history to be repeated. In 1982, the Brewers fired manager Buck Rodgers when the team started 23-24 and players began to grumble about his style. The team went to the World Series after hitting coach Harvey Kuenn took over. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two teams in contention had changed managers during the season's final month. In the 1981 season interrupted by a strike, the Yankees reached the playoffs by virtue of their first-place standing in the AL East before play was halted. During the second half, manager Gene Michael was replaced by Bob Lemon with 25 games to go.
The other instance came in 1930, when the Cubs -- three games behind the Cardinals with four to play -- dismissed Joe McCarthy and turned the team over to star Rogers Hornsby. The reigning NL MVP guided the Cubs to four straight wins, but the Cardinals won three of four to clinch the pennant.
Yost was under contract through 2009. Attanasio was sensitive to the notion that Monday's decision represented a panic move."This, as well as everything we do, is part of a very disciplined process," the owner said. "We have a process and a dialogue in which we make decisions. Whatever they appear to be on the outside, nothing we ever do is rash. It's well reasoned and thoughtful and I believe always in the best interests of the Milwaukee Brewers. We don't give any thought to what it looks like to third parties." Sveum has Minor League managerial experience but has never managed in the Majors. "It's not like we're going to play harder for Dale, because we're already playing as hard as we can," Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy said.
Successful managerial changes
|Only 12 teams have advanced to the postseason after changing managers during the season. Two of those teams (1978 Yankees, 2003 Marlins) won the World Series:|
|2004||Astros||Jimy Williams||44-44||Phil Garner||48-26||Lost NLCS|
|2003||Marlins||Jeff Torborg||16-22||Jack McKeon||75-49||Won World Series|
|1996||Dodgers||Tommy Lasorda||41-35||Bill Russell||49-37||Lost NLDS|
|1989||Blue Jays||Jimy Williams||12-24||Cito Gaston||77-49||Lost ALCS|
|1988||Red Sox||John McNamara||43-42||Joe Morgan||46-31||Lost ALCS|
|1983||Phillies||Pat Corrales||43-42||Paul Owens||47-30||Lost World Series|
|1982||Brewers||Buck Rodgers||23-24||Harvey Kuehn||72-43||Lost World Series|
|1981||Yankees||Gene Michael||48-34||Bob Lemon||11-14||Lost World Series|
|1981||Royals||Jim Frey||30-40||Dick Howser||20-13||Lost ALDS|
|1981||Expos||Dick Williams||44-37||Jim Fanning||16-11||Lost NLCS|
|1978||Yankees||Billy Martin||54-42||Bob Lemon||48-20||Won World Series|
|1938||Cubs||Charlie Grimm||45-36||Gabby Harnett||44-27||Lost World Series|
|1932||Cubs||Rogers Hornsby||53-46||Charlie Grimm||37-18||Lost World Series|
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.