While outfielder Geoff Jenkins and first base coach Davey Lopes prepare for Philadelphia's World Series victory parade and their ring-fitting appointments, their former club -- the Brewers -- have hired a manager.
Brewers sources confirmed that former Oakland skipper Ken Macha will be the guy, and the team will officially announce the hire today at a 2 p.m. press conference at Miller Park.
Macha, who turned 58 last month, interviewed for the Brewers' job recently and was considered the leader in a three-man race that includes Chicago Cubs TV announcer Bob Brenly and former New York Mets skipper Willie Randolph.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said that he'd like to make an announcement this week, but was adhering to a baseball directive that discourages clubs from making major personnel moves during the World Series.
When the Brewers bypassed interim manager Dale Sveum for the job, Melvin said he was seeking a manager with experience and a history of success. In four seasons as manger in Oakland, Macha guided the Athletics to a record 368-280 (.568). His teams won two division titles and finished second twice.
The A's lost playoff series to Boston in 2003 and Detroit in 2006 and Macha was dismissed after the latter loss. After turning down offers to be a bench coach and special adviser in Seattle, he landed a job in April 2007, as a pre- and post-game host on Boston Red Sox broadcasts.
Macha grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville, played college baseball at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 1972 June Draft. He spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues with Pittsburgh, Montreal and Toronto. In 180 major-league games, Macha hit .258.
After spending four seasons in Japan, Macha retired as a player in 1985 and joined the Expos as a coach the following season. After six seasons in Montreal, he joined the staff of the California Angels, for whom he served as a bullpen and third-base coach.
In 1994, Macha began coaching in the Red Sox organization, working his way through Class AA Trenton and Class AAA Pawtucket. In 1999, he joined Art Howe's staff in Oakland.
The Red Sox tried to hire Macha as their manager in 2002, but the A's denied permission for an interview and Boston hired Grady Little instead. The following year, Howe took a job with the New York Mets and Macha took over in Oakland.
Macha had a strained relationship with A's general manager Billy Beane. At the end of the 2005 season, contract negotiations between the two reached an impasse and Macha appeared ready to take over as the Pirates' manager. After a strange week, he ended up re-signing with the A's, who ended up firing him after the season.
In addition to tension with Beane, Macha seemed to lose standing among players in the clubhouse, many of whom cited a lack of communication. In interviews earlier this month, Melvin talked about the importance of "second chances."
"I'm a better general manager the second time around," he said, referring to his stint in Texas.
If Macha is named manager this week, his first order of business may be to call pitching coach Mike Maddux. The Brewers would like to retain Maddux as their coach, but the Texas Rangers also have expressed interest in Maddux.
The Brewers denied permission for the Rangers to interview Maddux, but he'll be able to do so when his contract with Milwaukee expires Friday.
Maddux, who joined the Brewers on Ned Yost's original staff in 2003, resides in Waukesha County, where his two daughters attend high school, and has often said that he likes living in Wisconsin.
Still, the pull to join the Rangers could be very strong.
Texas team president Nolan Ryan is part owner of the Round Rock Express, a minor-league team where Maddux got his start in coaching. Jackie Moore, who was Maddux's manager in Round Rock, recently was named the Rangers' bench coach.
If Maddux leaves and Macha is named manager, look for Rick Peterson to get an interview for the position of pitching coach. Peterson, who was fired by the Mets, served as Macha's pitching coach in Oakland and was credited with helping Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson develop into a top trio.
The Brewers are expected to announce that bullpen coach Bill Castro, first base coach Ed Sedar and possibly even Sveum will be back on the staff with the new manager.
The Brewers will be in the market for a third base or bench coach (depending on which role Sveum takes) and a hitting coach.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.