Brewers: A Managerial Prediction
Admittedly, I’m basing this on a very small sample. Plenty of things could go wrong and it is possible, perhaps even likely, that new Milwaukee manager Ken Macha will have a lower winning percentage as Brewers manager than did his predecessor, Ned Yost. But my guess is that Macha will be perceived by fans as a better manager than Yost because of how he deals with the press.
Milwaukee was Yost’s first managerial job after having served on Bobby Cox’s Atlanta staff for many years. Cox himself can come off at times as prickly with the media, but he has a long and largely successful background after winning 14 division titles over 19 seasons as the Braves manager. As a first time manager, Yost had no such background to fall back on and less perspective than his mentor when it came to dealing with reporters. Yost was therefore never really given the benefit of the doubt and often came off as snarky and defensive when his less successful managerial moves were second guessed.
Macha, on the other hand, is older and has managed before; winning two division titles in four years with the Oakland A’s. He has also has experience in the media, having worked on Boston Red Sox telecasts with New England Sports Network (NESN) for two years prior to being hired by Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. His familiarity with with the press, combined with his managerial experience, should give him more savvy when dealing with the public. Since fans primary access to their favorite teams is through the reporters that cover those beats, it follows that a more confident approach with the media should result in a more positive reception from the fans.
Managers and coaches of professional sports teams usually get more credit and blame than they deserve. Given their different personalities, my hunch is that Macha will be viewed as an upgrade over Yost regardless of his record . At least until his inevitable firing.