By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Jul 27, 2001 at 4:57 AM

Wednesday's win was a big relief for every fan who suffered through the Brewers' 11-game losing streak, but it won't be enough if the team goes right back to its losing ways.

The Brewers' woes go back farther than the 11 games. They have lost 22 of their last 28. So, they still have their work cut out for them before anybody can talk about them turning it around in the right direction.

GM Dean Taylor knows this as well as anybody. He knows that the "Taylor Made" Brewers need some mending.

"The first thing we need to do is get healthy," Taylor said in an interview this week. "That might take some time.

"As far as deals, we're looking to make moves that improve our ballclub all the time. It's not always easy piecing together deals with salaries and other things."

That statement sounds very much like the words of Sal Bando in his last couple years as GM. Let's hope Taylor will stay aggressive and continue to make deals.

He seems to have possibilities of trading a reliever and/or infielder. David Weathers and Mark Loretta seem the most likely candidates, although this writer would rather see him move Curtis Leskanic and Ron Belliard or Jose Hernandez. What the Brewers need is a run producer who hits singles and doubles and an occasional home run, rather than those who are all or nothing hitters.

"We are a free swinging team, but our hitters have to discipline themselves, especially with men on base. We have to execute better," Taylor said. "It's natural to press when you are in a slump, but that makes it worse."

At least publicly, Taylor does not put any of the blame on manager Davey Lopes and the coaching staff. "Everybody is still working hard," Taylor said. "I don't see anything in our preparation that is lacking."

The GM is never in an enviable position when his team goes in the tank. He is the guy who has assembled the talent, or lack of it. He also is the guy who has to decide whether the problem is a lack of talent, or how that talent is being managed.

My own feeling is that Taylor will eventually have to fire Lopes, either at the end of this season or after the manager's contract is up next season. He also will have to make some significant personnel changes, whether it be while Lopes is still manager or after.

"It's difficult when a team is in a slump like we have been to evaluate things," Taylor said. "This basically is the same club that played well the last two months of last season and earlier this season. I think this club is much better than it has played the last 25 games or so."

All Star Excitement

Almost lost in the losing was the unveiling of the All Star logo last Monday. In fact, disgruntled fans even jumped on the logo, noting that "Milwaukee" is nowhere to be found on it.

But, the All Star Game, and the events around it, should provide a great amount of excitement next season. Johnny Logan, who played in the first All Star Game in Milwaukee, remembers how it was in 1955.

"The fans were excited then, and they do a lot more with it now." Logan said. "I think this will be a great things for this city. Many cities never get this chance."

Gumby Honored

Former Brewer Jim Gantner was inducted, along with five other individuals, into the Miller Park Walls of Fame this week. See a story on the Brewers' news and message board for more details. Look for Gantner in the second "Gumby Talks Ball" in an upcoming Brew Crew Review.

Player of the Week

Mark Loretta and Jeromy Burnitz share this honor for leading the Brewers to the win that snapped the 11-game losing streak. "I got mugged pretty good," Loretta said of his teammates' reactions to his game-winning hit Wednesday. "Guys were hitting me in the head, but I didn't mind. That was a fun time. We haven't had many of those lately."

Burnitz hit two home runs to drive in the Brewers' first three runs in the 4-3 win.

Play of the Week

What else? It has to be Loretta's single in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday. You also could look at Henry Blanco's two hustling plays and sacrifice bunt in that game as other biggies.

Goat of the Week

You could give this "honor" to most of the Brewers, but my pick is pitcher Jamey Wright, who failed to cover first base on a ground ball in Tuesday's game. He followed his mental mistake by giving up back-to-back homers to Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green.

Review and Preview

The Brewers finally got the monkey off their backs with the win over the Dodgers on Wednesday, but they still have a chore ahead of them before they can claim to be back on track. Before that game, and even earlier in that game, they failed to get clutch hits and made mistakes that a winning team can't make.

The San Diego Padres, who swept the Brewers on the West Coast last weekend, come into Miller Park this weekend. If the Brewers could return the favor, it would go a long way to getting them back on that track.

Gregg Hoffmann writes The Brew Crew Review column on Mondays and Fridays and maintains a special Brewers' news and message board on OMC.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.