Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ned Yost Joins Willie Randolph in the Unemployment Line

By Tony Mazur

After a three-game sweep in Philadelphia, Milwaukee Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin announced that manager Ned Yost will be relieved of his duties.

Back in June, New York Mets GM Omar Minaya controversially announced that Willie Randolph had been let go. The Mets, at the time, were below .500 and needed a shot in the arm. Minaya sent a message out to the players, giving them an ultimatum: You better get out there and play good baseball, or else you'll end up like Willie.

Now with manager Jerry Manuel, the Metropolitans have run off with the NL East, leaving Philadelphia and Florida in the dust. That, I believe, was a brilliant move on Omar Minaya's part.

The news about Ned Yost's firing comes as sort of a shock, since the Brewers have spent the entire year atop the National League Wild Card race. In understand that Milwaukee has struggled mightily as of late, now tied with the Phillies in the Wild Card, but is it really time to wipe the slate clean, here in the middle of September? At least Randolph's departure was early enough.

(It's funny. Ned Yost has a playoff-contending team and gets fired, but Eric Wedge has a team full of has-beens and never-will-bes, and he gets to keep his job for 2009.)

Personally, I feel this move is not a momentum builder, it's a buzzkill. I don't think a change of that magnitude should be made with the playoffs just two weeks away.

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