Milwaukee Brewers all-star outfielder Ryan Braun told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his .120 batting average last week had nothing to do with his feud with Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. Braun is simply chalking up the bad offensive week to the ups and downs of a season.
Melvin blasted Braun for remarks made in Chicago after the Brewers lost three of four games to the Cubs. Braun said the Cubs starting pitchers were “clearly better” than the Brewers' and was trying to get Melvin to make a trade to shore up that area.
Melvin was upset by the remarks and called them “inappropriate”. Braun and Melvin met later that day to discuss the issue and Braun later issued a public apology.
What Braun isn't willing to admit is that the Brewers problems are more than just starting pitchers. And Melvin has to have something to trade. He's already stated that the teams top two prospects, Mat Gamel, who's already up with the big league club, and shortstop Alcides Escobar are untouchables. The Brewers don't have a lot of what other teams are looking for and it takes two sides to work a deal.
The Brewers have already dealt away top young players in the CC Sabathia trade last season and a 3 for 1 deal involving reliever Scott Linebrink the year before. At some point, you have to stop opening your doors and shedding yourself of young talent. The Brewers are at that stage right now.
Doug Melvin wants to win as much as anybody, but he has a lot more to consider than just keeping Ryan Braun happy.
And where does Braun get off. Since he signed a big contract with the team, now he all of a sudden has the right to voice his opinion whenever he wants. I bet he's a real popular guy in that clubhouse, especially the area where the starting pitchers sit. If Braun was knocked down or hit by an opposing pitcher, do you think the Brewers pitching staff would have his back. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if they didn't.
If Doug Melvin can improve his team in a way that makes sense, he'll try. He doesn't need Ryan Braun to tell him where this team needs help. Braun needs to put his head down and be the best player he can be in the second half. The Brewers are within striking distance and that will hopefully continue well into the second half.