Is now being a considered a legitimate pennant contender an excuse for the post Independence Day fireworks that have broken out in Milwaukee? Ryan Braun, self-proclaimed spokesman for the team called out the starting pitching during this weekend’s meltdown in Chicago and challenged General Manager Doug Melvin to do something about it.
“[The Cubs] starting pitching is a lot better than ours,” Braun said. “They threw the ball a lot better than our starters did. They certainly swung the bats better than we did. Clearly they were the better team. It’s nice to get the one win but they clearly outplayed us and outperformed us all series. No matter who is in there, we have to find a way to throw the ball better for us to have success,” Braun said Sunday. “I think when you’re constantly behind in games, it’s not easy and it’s not fun.”
Wow! This is being brutally honest. But a player criticizing teammates in this brunt fashion will not set well. Not in the clubhouse and not in Milwaukee.
Then he went further, he challenged Melvin. “We’re at the point right now where it would be important for us to go out there and acquire somebody,” Braun said.
So how did Milwaukee’s GM respond? Well, he didn’t exactly embrace Braun’s suggestion. “It was inappropriate for him to say what he said, and I’m not happy about it,” Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday. “To make the statements he made and also get on his teammates like that, it was irresponsible on his part. It just ticked me off.”
So what to make of this? It’s the rambling of a young star whose ego got in the way of logic. Yes it has been frustrating to watch the starters get pounded more often than not (save Giovani Gallardo). But as a Brewers fan and a partial season ticket holder, I have been observing Braun’s gradual migration toward cockiness and excuse making. Just last week he was complaining about the glass panels above the first base grandstand as being a hindrance to tracking fly balls. Could it be instead that he plays out of position?
If Braun is the self-anointed face of the franchise he best better think before he speaks lest he face the wrath of the fans. This may go over well in New York or Chicago but not in Milwaukee. No matter how good or as honest you are.