Playoff contenders have fired managers mid-season before. It is not the norm, but happens frequently enough that it does not seem overly peculiar. Look at the Mets this year. As horribly as Willie Randolph's firing was handled, they handled a mid-season firing the way a good team usually does. The general progression is:
- Team has high expectations, and manager is possibly already in a little hot water
- Team gets off to bad start.
- Manager fired as a result of bad start.
- Interim manager takes over and team miraculously gets better, usually in part because they were bound to improve anyway.
- Team has promising expectations
- Team gets off to solid start
- Team makes huge trade to hopefully catapult them to the next level
- Team subsequently goes from solid to good
- Team stumbles a little late in the season, but is still tied for the wild card lead
- Manager fired as a result of one bad series at an inopportune time
- Interim manager takes over and...?
There is no debating that the Brewers did not look good in their most recent series. But, the franchise has been climbing fairly steadily the past six years. Four days of evidence versus six years; you be the judge. Doug Melvin sided with the four days, and he may pay a heavy price. Thanks to the wild card tie with only 12 games to go, the team was already in a high-pressure situation. Now, on top of dealing with that, the players must also cope with the firing and get comfortable with Sveum's style, and the changes he promises to make. Does that sound like a recipe for success? It does not to me.
Luck plays a surprisingly large role in a stretch of just 12 games, and making the playoffs would bury a bunch of the unease and distress in the organization right now. With that in mind, the change could "work." I have never seen a team so bent on making the playoffs, or at least one person (Doug Melvin). If the Brewers do not make it, he should be fired. Maybe he should be fired even if they do. The CC trade was risky, but the Yost firing is ludicrous.