Brewers exercise 2016 option on Ron Roenicke
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
PHOENIX--Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke admitted he didn’t know where he stood with upper management at the end of the 2014 season.
“Of course I was wondering,” Roenicke said. “It’s part of the job. Fair or unfair, it is part of the job.”
Roenicke found himself squarely in the bull’s-eye of disgruntled fans after the team collapsed over the final five weeks and fell out of the playoffs despite leading the National League Central for 150 days. In an impromptu media session on the field at Miller Park on the penultimate day of the season, upset team owner Mark Attanasio said every aspect of the baseball operation would be thoroughly examined.
That was hardly an endorsement of Roenicke, but the manager had a lengthy meeting with Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin a couple of weeks later in Los Angeles. Not only was Roenicke kept as manager, matters progressed to the point that the Brewers announced Thursday his option for 2016 had been exercised.
Noting that the clubhouse is closed to media for 10 minutes after games as a cooling-off period, Melvin said, “I probably viewed that as a three-week cooling-down period we needed after that. Ron wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy, Mark wasn’t happy, fans weren’t happy. It just took a little longer to get through it.
“When it gets down to the end, you’ve got to act professional and sit down and say, ‘What is it we want to do?’ We felt in the end it was good to continue.”
Word of Roenicke’s extension was met favorably in the Brewers’ clubhouse, where players knew the 2014 collapse was not the manager’s fault. The main issue was an offense that disappeared over the final month, which cost hitting coach Johnny Narron his job.
“How do you blame the manager when we don’t do good on the field?” centerfielder Carlos Gomez said. “He put the lineup and pitchers out there that are supposed to do the job that day. If we don’t do it, how do you blame the manager? It’s how the game goes.
“I’m never going to agree to blame the manager. We have to take it like a man. We felt bad when we go home, but it is our fault when we don’t do our job.”
Melvin, who is working on the final year of his contract, said he felt it more essential to extend Roenicke than worry about his own status at this time.
“It’s more important for Ron,” he said. “Our careers are a little different. I’ve been doing this for 20 years as a general manager and 40-some years in baseball. So, I’m not worried.
“It was more important for me to have Ron feel some sense of security. Mark and I have a good relationship. At some point, we may talk about it and address it. But we don’t need to do it at this point.”