Quotes from Doug Melvin’s End of Season Press Conference

Miller Park has been pretty quiet for the last two days. Signs of the NLCS still can be seen throughout the ballpark, but it seemed as though the entire organization stopped for two days to catch its breath after their Postseason run.  Most of the players and coaches had cleaned out their lockers Monday and Tuesday, but today the clubhouse still had some activity. Rickie Weeks claimed he was the last one to clean out his locker as he sat in the clubhouse and packed boxes before heading home to Florida. LaTroy Hawkins was also in the clubhouse today as was Brewers Hall of Fame radio announcer Bob Uecker.

Also showing some activity at Miller Park today was the Media Interview Room where Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin hosted his annual end of season press conference with local media.  Here is a selection of quotes from the press conference that just wrapped up about 30 minutes ago.

On the season…

“It does feel pretty good to get to where we got. It’s a grind to get to the World Series. It’s a lot of baseball. Those who travel with us know the grind. We had a lot of exciting moments and times this year, things that I will never forget. It was an exciting year for me personally, I have been to Postseason five years and never advanced beyond the first round, we always lost to eventual World Series champs.”

On the season…

“We provided a lot of baseball to our fans and they provided us support. We still want to get to a World Series and still want to win a World Series. Our goals and mindset haven’t changed, but our roster probably will change.  I’m not going to feel lousy about three bad postseason games; I might feel disappointed, but not lousy, because it was a special season for all of us. There weren’t a lot of people who picked us to win the Division or the World Series. I don’t think anyone thought we would break a franchise record. There are too many good things happened this year for me to be hanging my head. We are very proud as an organization. While it’s disappointing, we have so much to be proud of this year.”

On last two and a half days…

“We have already begun working. I told baseball people to take off the last two days and we are back at it again today.  We are going to meet this afternoon, there is always something going on. There is Arizona Fall League to go to; the new Dominican Academy is opening up. I’m also going to talk to each one of our coaches. I will fly out and meet with Ron (Roenicke) and Mark (Attanasio) in Los Angeles. Between all of that and the Winter Meetings and the General Managers meetings, there are not a whole lot of days where you don’t do something.”

On building the roster for next year…

“It’s not as easy as one player’s salary coming off and adding the other one on because there are other salaries increasing, Rickie Weeks, Yovani Gallardo, their salaries will increase. It’s not like adding and subtracting. It’s hard to predict your team this early. If I sat here a year ago today, we didn’t know that Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Nyjer Morgan, K-Rod and Yuniesky Betancourt were on the team. It’s way too early to project where we will be. It’s hard to improve on a 96-win club. It shows getting to Postseason is the most important thing. Just getting there and giving yourselves a chance at that point. It’s about getting to Postseason and playing good at the right time.”

Moving quickly…

“I think that is a credit to the people I have working with me. We were two days off and back at work. We have a lot of energetic people on the baseball staff. To work hard, not wait and put a plan in place. We went into the Winter Meetings with a good plan and we are working on that plan now. To have five starters, a closer, a catcher and outfielders, that is a strong start to building a roster for next year.”

On starting pitching…

“We wouldn’t even have been close to winning 96 games without the starting pitching we had this year.”

On Shaun Marcum’s struggles in the Postseason…

“I don’t think it was anything health wise, pitchers and hitters go into slumps at different times of the year and it is unfortunate that his came at this time. We controlled Pujols one series where he was 3-for-30 at one point and then he got hot. I know Ron and Rick (Kranitz) talked about it, the other choices included Chris Narveson, but then you can’t use Shaun in relief. The other option was Yovani and he has never pitched on three days rest. I’m not that worried about Shaun Marcum for next year.  These are all learning experiences for everybody when you get to this point. Hitters go into slumps and it is not as magnified as pitchers who do not pitch as well.”

On Yuniesky Betancourt

“I thought Yuniesky Betanocurt was a better player than the critics said. I thought he did a very good job. I thought he made a lot of great plays, a lot of outstanding players, he is great at starting the double play, he has never had problems on pop ups, I’m surprised at the critics of him.I know a lot of it is the analytical studies, but I think you have to look at the player. Sure he made some errors but also made some outstanding plays.”

On areas of improvement…

“We didn’t hit well in the fifth and sixth spots. We were not very productive in those spots compared to the other clubs. We were okay in the seven and eight spots. Those two spots hurt us offensively, again, priorities, on a 96 win team, if I could pay all these guys the same money next year, I would have them all back. I’d be glad to go to war again with this team; there is not anybody I’m backing up a truck and getting rid of on this team.  They all have a lot of heart on this team. We had a lot of new players, a new manager and they all came together and came in here with the same goal. Every team has their flaws, but defensively that was one area we have to get better at.”

On the set up role…

“I think LaTroy and Saito both did an outstanding job and both are in pretty good shape. We will look at them and see what they are thinking about with their careers, but they were both very productive with us. K-Rod wants to be a closer and he should be a closer. We really took off when we got him. He keeps you on the edge of your seat, but that was a lot of our whole season. That is what was fun about this year, the pacing and agonizing. I welcome that anytime as opposed to turning it in in the seventh inning. He did an outstanding job for us, but deserves a chance to be a closer.  He is still a young guy.”

On Casey McGehee

“We will talk about him as well, he did have a season that regressed and he will be the first to admit that. He had a big season in 2010. He can still be a good player. We will wait and see and he will be a part of our evaluation. With him, you are getting a player that won’t give up, will try hard, has a great heart and who loves this organization. I think when players go into slumps they all try too hard. They get out of what they are capable of doing. That is what slumps are about. Great players have slumps too, but they don’t last as long.”

On Craig Counsell and Jerry Hairston, Jr.

“I told Craig we will get together and meet, but he never said one way or another if he wants to play or not, but we will meet and discuss his future. Jerry is a free agent, same thing; I will sit with him and talk with him and his agent. You always need that kind of player that can play a number of positions when you have an injury to fill in. In the end Jerry filled in well at the right place and got hot at the right time.”

Stay tuned to the blog for some news and notes from the offseason!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

1 Comment

I think Hairston is a real good fit, but we need an everyday 3b and he nor mcGehee are it. It’s been a real problem with defense and production. I think with Weeks it’s tied to his injury, so I think he is fine. I don’t think Gamel is the answer either. So, addressing corner infielders should be the first priority.

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