Brewers Fire Ned Yost

Brewers Fire Ned Yost

Brewers Fire Ned Yost

Apparently losing a 5 1/2 game lead in 13 games is not good for job security. Word out of Milwaukee this afternoon is that the Brewers have given manager Ned Yost the axe with 12 games remaining in the 2008 season with their team tied for the National League wild-card lead.

Of course, the being tied part is the problem given the massive lead the Brewers enjoyed just two weeks ago. When players like Ryan Braun are calling things "a complete and total disaster," the handwriting is more than on the wall. GM Doug Melvin released a pithy statement:

"This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender," Melvin said. "In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our Club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season."

Manager Ned Yost was fired Monday by the slumping Milwaukee Brewers, losers in seven of their last eight games and 11 of 14.

Yost, 53, succeeded Jerry Royster as Brewers skipper on Oct. 29, 2002, and posted a 457-502 record in Milwaukee.

He was replaced by third-base coach Dale Sveum on an interim basis, with bench coach Ted Simmons reassigned to an undisclosed advisory role.

"This was a very difficult move to make," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement.

"We appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender."

Milwaukee is seeking to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1982, and received a major boost by acquiring pitcher CC Sabbathia in a July 7 trade with the Cleveland Indians.

Third-base coach Dale Sveum will take over as interim manager for the remainder of the season. The Brewers have lost seven of eight and fallen into a tie with Philadelphia for the NL wild-card lead.

At 83-67, the Brewers have just 12 games to rebound.

Milwaukee came into this month with a 5 1/2-game lead in the wild card, but since has lost 11 of 14 — including a four-game sweep completed by the Phillies over the weekend.

Milwaukee was idle Monday, and was scheduled to begin a three-game series with the Central-leading Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

"This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender," general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement. "In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season."

The team has scheduled a news conference Monday night in Chicago. Yost did not immediately return a message left on his cell phone by The Associated Press.

Bench coach Ted Simmons, once considered a potential successor should Yost be fired, has been reassigned to an "advisory role," making his long-term status with the team unclear.

By shaking up its on-field leadership, Milwaukee is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's collapse. In 2007, the Brewers held an 8 1/2-game division lead in late June but slid to 83-79 and missed the playoffs.

The Brewers came into 2008 with even higher hopes for the playoffs, and received a major boost when they made a trade with Cleveland for ace CC Sabathia on July 7. That acquisition certainly has worked out, as the reigning AL Cy Young winner is 9-0 in 13 starts with six complete games and a 1.59 ERA.

But little else — not the other starters, the shaky bullpen or a home run-happy offense that has gone colder than a Wisconsin winter — is working for Milwaukee these days.

Now Yost has paid the price.

Yost became a lightning rod for fan criticism in Milwaukee in recent years as he stubbornly stuck by players mired in slumps and refused to criticize them in public — even when they get in shoving matches in the dugout during games.

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