Just one week ago the Milwaukee Brewers led the NL Central by 10.5 games. As of today that lead has been cut down to 5.5 games. The St. Louis Cardinals seemed to have come under a near-the-end-of-season-renaissance and the Brewers are about to get passed up. What’s not helping them are the distractions that the team has gone through.
Anyone could understand if the distractions were external. It happens all the time. Players have family members that get sick and so on. What makes this particularly peculiar is that Brewers dealing with distractions of their own creation.
“I’m signed for this year, but being real about it, it is probably the last year,”
Prince Fielder said this in an interview with TBS. Why now? When your team is leading the division and about to enter the playoffs this isn’t something you go around talking about. I’m not naive enough to believe that guys weren’t already talking about it in the locker room but, bringing that matter out to the media changes the game entirely. Once a player admits that publicly that’s all the reporters will want to talk about. They’ll turn to other players in the clubhouse for insight on the situation. This is a distraction that will continue for the rest of the season and going into the playoffs. The timing of that statement was bad. Prince Fielder made a mistake.
“I’m pretty much trying to come in every day, ready to pitch, and get my job done when they needed me,” Rodriguez said. “But at the same time, I had an expectation like every other player. They told me they were going to do something, and they didn’t. That’s why I’m a little disappointed with the situation.”
Francisco Rodriguez isn’t happy in is new role as Brewers set up man. K-Rod was acquired earlier in the season in a trade with the New York Mets. Rodriguez is good closer and really wanted to be in a role to finish games, despite how well he’s pitching now. John Axford is the team’s closer and quite frankly, he’s good at it. It makes no sense to displace Axford on a whim from Rodriguez. This is why these statements can be chalked up to another unnecessary distraction. There is no reason to go about talking to the media about this when this kind of disagreement can be kept in house.
When a team is chasing a World Series Title distractions can be costly. That’s why it would behoove any player on the Brewers not to put his team in such a precarious position. Think before you speak.