At the very least, I had hoped Macha's many assertions that Spring Training was an actual competition and that Suppan's spot in the rotation was really up for grabs was the truth. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, refrain from calling him a bald faced liar and assume that his comments were truthful.
Giving him that, however, also means reevaluating his role with the team. Macha has never really managed a baseball team before. He played dress up for Oakland while GM Billy Beane reportedly made all decisions from personnel to pitching changes. Macha was content to go along for the ride. Beane cut the puppet strings in 2006 and Macha disappeared until last season. He was offered two high profile jobs with Seattle in the interim but refused. Perhaps the Mariners expected him to make decisions on his own?
Last year Macha stubbornly refused to go away from Suppan, refused to give Mike Rivera more playing time and gave Bill Hall 234 at-bats despite a complete and utter lack of production. What do these AA caliber players do to earn their playing time? Each were given huge contracts by Doug Melvin. Now we hear today that the Brewers will be giving Suppan yet another chance to cost them ballgames.
Like I said, lets assume Macha really meant it when he said spring performance mattered. The only conclusion we can make is that this was not his decision. It is impossible to claim Suppan was the fifth best starter this spring. There is not one thing you can point to to make that claim. Therefore, unless Macha is simply a liar, this was absolutely NOT his decision.
Macha has resumed his role as the GM's uniformed surrogate and is not (has never been?) making decisions regarding the rotation and God knows what else. Therefore, as the title suggests, Doug Melvin needs a raise. He is filling two roles with the organization, manager and GM, and deserves to be compensated as such.
I'd also like him to publicly take up the managerial role, as it is infinitely easier to fire a manager than a GM.