By Steve Haywood Special to Published Aug 10, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Hang in there Rickie ... hang in there.

This is not easy to write. The easy thing would be to bury him, because he has under-performed this season, even by his standards. It would be easy to write, "Let's just play Ray Durham every day." It would be easy to write that Ned Yost protects Weeks too much and has to hold him accountable. It'd be easy to write about the mistakes in big moments, or the low on-base percentage. I hear all that, from some more than others (paging 540 ESPN reporter C.J. Knee).


All of the arguments have merit. Other things have merit, too, when talking about Weeks. The biggest being to me if that if you believe in the short term and long haul that Rickie is not the answer at second base, you must understand that the people trying to bring a pennant back to Milwaukee disagree.

Rickie is a victim of his own immense talent, the rapid success of some teammates and self-applied pressure to justify the hype of being a No. 2 overall draft pick.

When you look at Rickie's career, he's about where he should be. Look at his numbers and compare them to other players that have become multi all-star second basemen. It takes more time for some than others. That doesn't excuse some things that should not and cannot happen. Rickie has to be more consistent in the field late in games, he has to be patient at the plate and not make the type of mental mistakes we have seen in recent games on the base paths.

He is still been a huge part of the Brewers' team recent success. Accountability becomes more of a issue when your team gets good enough that it matters if and when they make mistakes. Rickie Weeks is a front-line guy for the Brewers and has to be held as accountable as do Ben Sheets, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, CC Sabathia, Bill Hall and others. But in the process of doing that, don't lose perspective of what he brings to the team.

I'll take talent, every time and two times on Sundays. Second comes success and the impact of what that talent brings in terms of success, I know we have had some hard working, smart and skilled guys play in this town over the years, but when you combine that with the best talent -- then you have something big-time. Rickie has the talent and is hard working and smart; he just has to be more consistent.

As the mouthpiece for certain athletes, I know the easy way out was to bury 23 of the Brewers like a few of my colleagues in the media are and some fans are doing too, which is their right. All I will say is what I say to Rickie; "Hang in there," and Brewers fans believe you will truly reap the benefits in the short haul of the rest of this season and long haul of future seasons.

And for those that think it is time for him to go, you serve a purpose too ... motivation! I can't wait for him to shut you up, here or someplace else. We will revisit the journey of Rickie Weeks soon.

Steve Haywood Special to

Steve Haywood is the host of “That Being Said,” which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on Milwaukee’s ESPN Radio 1510 Days / 1290 Nights. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Steve has been working on the radio since 1996 and also is executive producer of Sports Perspectives on MATA Community Media.

After graduating from Milwaukee Tech High School in 1985, Haywood attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated in 1991.

He has covered a number of major events, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 and the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.

Haywood, 39, is married with two kids, a dumb cat and a dog described as a “real curmudgeon.”