Your Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Coaches, Part One

So as you may have noticed in the Fanshot immediately below this entry, the Brewers hired Willie Randolph as bench coach today. With that and the hiring of Billy Castro as pitching coach, bullpen coach is the only coaching vacancy left for the Brewers. This seems like as good a time as any to ask, "Who are these guys?" I'll cover the big three today, and the others later.

Ken Macha, manager:

As a player: Played parts of six seasons, primarily as a third baseman, for the Pirates, Expos and Blue Jays between 1974 and 1981. Spent four seasons in Japan playing for the Chunichi Dragons. Never accumulated more than 107 ABs in a major league season.

As a coach: After retiring, Macha spent six seasons as a coach with the Expos, although his Wikipedia page doesn't say what he did. (see update) He coached the bullpen and third base for the Angels, and from 1999-2003 he served as the bench coach for the A's.

UPDATE: TheJay found this old bio, which clarifies some of Macha's coaching background:

Macha's coaching career began in the Major Leagues with Montreal in 1986 when he was named to Buck Rodgers coaching staff. His responsibilities included pre-game workouts, defensive positioning and charting pitches. He was named third base coach in 1987 and remained in that role until taking a job as bullpen coach for the California Angels in 1992. He was moved to third base following the May 21 team bus crash and remained with the Angels through 1994.

Thanks Jay!

As a manager, minor leagues:
Trenton Thunder (AA), 1995-1996: 159-126
Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA), 1997-1998: 158-124

As a manager, major leagues:
Oakland A's, 2003-2006: 368-280, 2 division titles

Over the past two seasons, Macha has served as an analyst for NESN in Boston. Here are some stories of note from a Ken Macha Google search:

FireMacha.Blogspot.com
An ESPN article with speculation on reasons for Macha's departure in Oakland
A column from the Oakland Tribune on his departure.

Willie Randolph, Bench Coach:

As a player: Randolph played 18 major league seasons, 13 with the Yankees and one each for the Pirates, Dodgers, A's, Brewers and Mets. A .276/.373/.351 career hitter, Randolph was a six time All-Star, and started the All Star Game at second base four times. He made six postseason appearances, five for the Yankees.

As a coach: Randolph served as third base and bench coach for the Yankees for 11 seasons from 1994 to 2003.

As a manager, minor leagues: No experience

As a manager, major leagues:
NY Mets, 2005-2008, 302-253

Randolph was hired to manage the Mets despite never having managed at any level. As a bench coach, though, he brings about as much experience as you can ask for, having served for over a decade and won four World Series in that role.

From the early results in a Google search for Willie Randolph:

Randolph was "stunned" by his firing in New York.
He complained about fan negativity at Shea in May.
He later apologized for those comments.
The New York Observer criticized his media strategy.

Dale Sveum, hitting coach:

As a player: Sveum played 12 major league seasons as a Brewer, Phillie, White Sox, A, Mariner, Pirate and Yankee. Sveum was only a full-time player for two of those seasons and finished his career with a .236/.298/.378 line.

As a coach: Sveum coached third base for the Red Sox in 2004 and 2005, served as bench coach for the Brewers in 2006 and 2007, and coached third base for most of 2008.

As a manager, minor leagues:
Altoona Curve (AA), 2001-2003: 214-210
Sveum was named the top managerial prospect in the Eastern League in 2003.

As a manager, major leagues:
Milwaukee Brewers, 2008: 7-5, one playoff appearance

Sveum has worn a fair number of hats since retiring as a player in 1999, but this is his first shot as a hitting coach. His career .298 OBP leads me to wonder if he'll be able to preach patience to some of the Brewers' more strikeout prone hitters.

There's not much out there in the google search that we haven't discussed recently:

Several Brewers were outspoken about wanting Sveum back as manager in 2009, including Craig Counsell, Jason Kendall and former teammate Robin Yount.
Walkoff Walk on Sveum's reaction to not being hired as manager.

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