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Melvin looking for what Nashville does NOT have: consistency

August 19, 2009

The Nashville Sounds clearly do not have what Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin wants to see: consistency.  That’s the bad news.  The good news, at least for now, is that the Memphis Redbirds lack it as well.

Doug Melvin recently made these comments, published on the TMJ4 web site:

“You look for consistency in this game, and we’re looking at consistency on the positive side of well pitched games, good defense, timely hitting and all that which you need to win,” explained Melvin.

“I saw the consistency, but it was all the things I didn’t want to see, and I was continuing to see. That was pitching that wasn’t getting big outs. It was a defense play that looked lethargic. It was offensive play that looked lethargic.”

“When that happened, I tried to give it as much time as I could. I thought our road trip wasn’t a bad road trip, but coming home to a homestand against a team that I felt we should be beating, and we just looked very flat, I felt something needed to be done.”

Nashville retains a half game lead in the American North division of the Pacific Coast League . . . but it’s not their fault.  The Sounds have lost three straight at home but Memphis has lost four. The real question right now in this division is who wants it?

A lot of fans, and apparently players, think this game is about pizzaz and flair.  The mega-home run shot over the guitar scoreboard, the 7-14 performance in a series, back-to-back multi-hit games, etc. As much as I like those things gimme plain ole fashion consistency.

There are just twenty games remaining for the Sounds. It’s real simple.  If Nashville can win 12 or 13 of these games, they will win their division.  If they stumble around .500 or go 8-12 they do NOT deserve to be division champs. It’s consistency that wins the day!

P4220048.JPG by you.

The Nashville Sounds in April 2009

There have been some very consistent players this season for the Sounds and look where they are today:

  • Tony Gwynn was arguably the most consistent Sounds player when he was traded to the Padres on 5/21. Many Brewers fans thought he was not major league material but he’s proved everyone wrong.  Before he was traded, he was batting .309, with nine RBIs, 34 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. He had hit safely in 15 of his last 17 contests. He immediately went in to the Padres starting line-up in late May and has performed solidly all year, batting .278 right now.
  • Alcides Escobar was called up to Milwaukee on August 12th. When he was called up he had hit safely in 55 of his last 74 contests at a .317 clip (92-for-290), ranking 8th in the PCL in hits (128). In just six games so far with the Brewers he is batting .263.  Consistency will keep him in the line-up.
  • Jason Bourgeois was probably the single most consistent player all year for Nashville by mid-August. He was also called up on August 12th. He was batting .316 with two homers, had 41 RBIs, 36 stolen bases in 105 games for Nashville.  He has not gotten much playing time yet in Milwaukee but Ken Macha says he will against left-handed pitchers.

Other notable-mentions for playing fairly consistent ball for Nashville this year must mention the likes of P Mike Burns, INF Hernan Iribarren, all-around-utility player Adam Heether, and P Chris Smith.

There are also some players who have not been very onconsistent,  and have thus been disappointing this season: Mat Gamel (right), Brendan Katin, Tim Dillard, Joe Koshansky, J.J. Hardy, and I could go on.

There have been some very young talented guys watching events unfold this year at Nashville, many waiting for their big break.  People like Chris Cody, Adam Stern, Corey Patterson, Angel Salome, etc.

There was a 90+ year old gentleman who threw out the first pitch last night at Greer.  He was a scout, mainly for the Boston Red Sox, from 1944 – 1994.  50 years of scouting baseball!  I bet he saw a lot of one-hit-wonders come and go during his five decade career.

There is no big secret to making it to the big leagues.  Assuming one has talent – and what Triple-A player thinks he does not – the real key to getting the big break and finally playing at the highest level is day-in-day-out, good old fashion, and almost boring . . .  consistency!

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