By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jun 23, 2015 at 7:34 PM

Let’s throw three incongruous words together for today’s discussion: honesty, fans and sports.

Normally the first word isn’t one that is much associated with the passionate world of the other two. But this has been an issue for a long time and in this day and age of spin control and media manipulation, it may be time to ask some questions and search for answers.

This is prompted by the woes of the Milwaukee Brewers, the worst team in all of baseball. We love our Brewers, no doubt about it.

But this team is full of woe and so are we fans. It’s sad to have to root for a team that is this lousy.

Doug Melvin, the general manager, is the architect of this nightmare and he is, apparently, going to continue to captain this ship and try to stop it from listing and sinking.

When a team finds itself in this kind of situation, there is going to be a lot of talk about what to do. Fans have suggestions and they have questions.

The big question, though, is how honest and frank Melvin and the Brewers should be about all fans' questions.

In a story over the weekend, Tom Haudricourt, the great beat writer for the local newspaper, had the following paragraph in a story on the Brewers:

"Asked point-blank if he was ready to declare a massive rebuilding plan at this point, Melvin said, ‘I don’t know if you ever say that. We know internally what we need to do. We’re open-minded.’"

Do we deserve more than that? Should Melvin tell us all what’s in his plans, what he thinks is going to happen, what his hopes are? Because clearly we don’t really believe he has told us the whole story.

There are arguments on both sides of this coin.

Let’s take us fans first. We buy the tickets to the games. We listen on radio and watch on television so the team can sell the rights to sponsors to advertise on their games. If it wasn’t for us, the Brewers – or the Packers or Bucks for that matter – would probably go out of business.

Plus, we aren’t dumb. Most of us probably think we know more about sports than we really do, but we aren’t stupid. We can tell what the problems are. Maybe not all of them, but we can identify things that need to be changed. Maybe we don’t know as much as Melvin about what they should be changed to, but we are not without ideas.

Melvin or John Hammond or Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy or Jason Kidd ought to level with us. They owe us that much.

Now, let’s take the team’s side of all this. Teams think they have an absolute monopoly on the kind of knowledge needed to run a franchise. They need to keep the fans out of it because teams make decisions without the kind of emotional fuel that makes the fans so crazy.

Teams know they have an obligation to the fans, but that doesn’t mean they have to be an open book. They don’t want other teams knowing what they think and they don’t want their players to know what they are thinking. Imagine how a player would feel if a general manager told the truth and said that the player was going to be trade bait?

Generally speaking, I’m in favor of transparency in all things. About the only exceptions are things like intelligence gathering in the military or deeply personal things that have no impact on other people.

Decisions on trading baseball players or firing basketball coaches or benching a football player are neither deeply personal nor are they military intelligence machinations.

On balance, I think we would all be better served if everybody didn’t dodge the tough questions or the tough decisions.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.