Let me say first that I am writing this on November 4th, 2020. How is the Brewers future? Still insane? Ed Sedar is an advisor? Andy Haines is still there? Madness.
Anyways, I say today’s date because a million things could have already happened during the offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers or when you are reading this. Free agency is open, and the Brewers have a lot of roster spots to fill.
Myself, along with a lot of other Brewers fans, are concerned how those holes are going to be filled.
The First of November
Free agency for Major League Baseball started on the first day of November in 2020. The Packers just lost to the Minnesota Vikings at home. Tensions are high because of an election. Wisconsin sports fans are already on edge. And then the news hit.
Tweets started going around about the Milwaukee Brewers social media department. After some searching, I discovered that the entire social media team had been eliminated by the Brewers. This was shocking. I should say I wasn’t surprised, but I was. No fans in the stands at the last year of Miller Park was no doubt a killer for the Brewers. That is three million people that didn’t come and spend money on your business.
Covid-19 has affected everyone in one way or another. The thing that some people are still calling a “hoax” has now made it to the Crew’s bottom line.
Small Market Problems
A small market team is already in a tough spot to compete. But now, you take away a bunch of revenue, rumors of a television deal possibly ending and streaming services like Hulu Live and YouTube TV pulling their Fox Sports channels because greed. Not a great combo.
Most fans could tell early on in the year that this offseason would be completely different. There was a good chance that teams would not be able to spend a lot of money and that cutbacks were inevitable.
But, your first step was to eliminate your social media department. Why?
Small market teams need good social media people a lot more than big market teams do. Who will ever forget the “Sandlot”, “Mean Girls” and “Back to the Future” promos? The Tim Dillard videos, Bernie Brewer and Barrelman and the Sausages doing silly things with players. Your hype video before the 2018 Game 6 home game. This are unforgettable moments. Will we see things like this ever again?
And now, you are starting your social media from scratch. Social media is essential for business these days. To see people who did amazing things for the Brewers for 18 years being let go was depressing, just like this year as a whole. Business is business, but removing good people from your organization is never a good look. Sure, new employees or interns can and will do a fantastic job, but it might never be the same. And I think it’s only fair that fans want some answers.
2020 Free Agency
Let’s move on to signing players for the Brewers. Free agency and team salary is a toss up. Will all of the teams cut salary? Will only the small markets? I really hope it is all teams, but I have a feeling the small markets will be the ones to suffer. Will California and New York teams be able to spend big money again while other teams can’t? It’s very likely with their large TV deals.
That means, the Milwaukee Brewers could definitely have a team salary of under $100 million. Heck, they could be at $80.
The Brewers declined options for Ryan Braun, Jedd Gyorko, Eric Sogard and Ben Gamel. I know they will try to keep Braun for one more year, but it will be up to him. I hope he gets a farewell season with fans. Come back Braun. Come back. Gyorko was surprising, but they might try to bring him back for a smaller deal too. Gamel still has some options with Milwaukee. For Sogard, I honestly don’t know. But, that means the Brewers have an extra 20 million to work with right now. Let’s all hope we spend it on quality players.
The Brewers Need Players
In my opinion, the Brewers need 3 positions. First Base to play with Daniel Vogelbach, Third Base to play with Luis Urias, and Starting Pitching. You probably need two starting pitchers. The bullpen and the outfield are set. But, you need those corner bats and another ace on the mound with Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes to compete.
The question is, will the Brewers sign any bigger contracts? Contracts around the league will be down, and a lot of smaller deals for one or two years is very possible. I’ve already seen connections to picher Robbie Ray for a one year deal. Why the heck not!
Will they sign people to fill those holes, or once again sign players for smaller deals with possible upside? The third option is they sign almost no one, and hope that young players and our minor league system can fill in the holes and keep the team competitive. I hope it isn’t the latter, but it might be.
So here is the point of my open letter. To Mark. To David. To the Brewers organization. To everyone except Cardinals and Cubs fans.
First of all, we love you so much. The true Brewers fans will never leave. We have Yelich for the prime of his career, and we can’t complain about that. We will always be competitive with him on the team and our current talented young pitching.
My only request is: Please be as honest and transparent as possible.
We are in uncharted territory. It will be new for you and Major League Baseball as a whole. Take this chance to stand out and start a trend of breaking things down as they happen.
I also understand this is a business. With the lost revenue, corners will need to be cut and people will lose their jobs. I can’t begin to understand how tough it is, but it was still a bad look to immediately get rid of good people.
My only hope is that going forward, the team is honest and available to explain decisions. Why not? What do you have to lose? If something happens, let us know. Sign a player? Try to explain why. If you don’t sign a player, explain that you made an offer. Are you going to cut payroll by a bunch, go into detail why.
Can It Happen?
Now will this happen? Probably not. But it’s something to think about. Keeping your fans informed and happy keeps them in the ballpark and spending money. If you can’t field a packed line-up in 2021, take us through the steps! Fans want to know. Now, that doesn’t mean break down your business or expose parts that would make the team look bad or appear weak. But, you can give more access and detail than in other years.
I will admit, Stearns and Attanasio have been pretty open, but you never quite know if it’s the whole truth. Running a business isn’t easy, but a lot of fans are scratching their heads after the roster of 2020 and even back to 2019 when no pitching was addressed. Yes, the 2020 roster was built for 162 games instead of 60. But, almost all of those signings under-performed, along with the team. That being said, the team still made the playoffs. I know, I kind of sound like a spoiled child.
You signed Yelich. You have an amazing bullpen and a current roster with a ton of upside. Now, let’s get a team together that can take the Central. And if you can’t, let us know and try the Boy Band Theme Night again. I for one am still waiting for that Boy Band Brewers shirt. I wanted to see Yelich, Braun, Hiura, Arica and Gamel as the Backstreet Boys. Why Gamel? Well, you need a guy with long hair like the band. Duh. Don’t skimp on the sweet giveaways, and you will see four million in 2021 if it’s possible.
We know you will do your best with what you have. I just hope that you keep us fans in mind and bring us along for the ride. Do you have to? No. But it would be fun. And it could help change and evolve the game for the better.
Either way, you will see me at Miller Park in my blue Milwaukee Brent Suter jersey cheering on the team when fans are allowed again. No, I will not call it American Family Field yet. Give us time, we will embrace it eventually. Also, I apologize for that “filling those holes” line earlier. That now seems gross re-reading it. Also I don’t hate Andy Haines. I’m a lifelong fan. That won’t change. But my love can grow stronger. Because I, Want It, That Way.
P.S. – I mean, if you are looking for new social media people, I do know a Raptor…
P.P.S. – encourage more bat flips.