Even though the Milwaukee Brewers’ season already is slip, slidin’ away, don’t expect them to raise the white flag just yet. And they shouldn’t.
They are professionals who have an obligation to their fans and themselves to perform to the best of their abilities no matter the circumstances.
Having written that, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin need to immediately redirect their focus from the present to the future.
Attanasio and Melvin have to realize that barring a miracle the Brewers won’t be in the playoffs this season. They are 15½ games out of first place in the National League Central Division and 12½ out of a wild-card spot.
Attanasio and Melvin don’t have to necessarily dismantle their roster, which has some certifiably top-shelf players, but they do have to tweak it. They can start their renovation project by trading Kyle Lohse, who they signed as a free agent not even three months ago.
Lohse has pitched relatively well as a Brewer. His record is 2-6, but he has a solid 3.84 earned-run average and the Brewers are averaging only 3.12 runs in his starts — 13th worst in the majors. What’s more, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is almost 4-to-1, which is excellent.
But Lohse turns 35 on Oct. 4. He’ll be 36 in the final year of his $33 million contract. Does anyone truly believe Lohse will be worth his salary at that time?
So, now is the time to move him. Move him to a contender, one that knows Lohse could enhance their prospects of playing in the postseason and one that might be willing to depart with a promising prospect.
But Attanasio and Melvin shouldn’t stop there. Jettison Aramis Ramirez, another quality player who is heading toward the finish line of his nice career — he turns 35 on June 25 — but who could still help a contender this season.
Lastly, Attanasio and Melvin have to try and unload Rickie Weeks, one of the most underachieving players in the game. Good luck with that one.
Getting some love
Jamil Wilson isn’t in this year’s NBA draft, but Vander Blue believes the former Horlick High School star could have been if he had so desired.
Blue, who is a potential second-round pick in the June 27 draft, was a teammate and friend of Wilson’s the last three years at Marquette University.
“Jamil is a great player; he can do it all,’’ Blue told me at the pre-draft camp in Chicago. “He’s 6-7, he can dribble, he can shoot, he is very athletic. I have seen him do some incredible things. Jamil has the full package.
“I think he’s ready for the pros now.”
Wilson has one year of eligibility remaining at Marquette and one website — www.nbadraft.net — recently had the 6-foot-7 Wilson the 42nd overall pick in its 2014 NBA mock draft.
Speaking of big-time athletes
There are some longtime prep basketball observers who contend Kevon Looney may be the best high school player this state has ever produced.
Looney, a silky-smooth 6-foot-8 forward from Milwaukee Hamilton, is expected to determine his five official college visits by the end of summer.
While Duke is rumored to be the front-runner for his services, I’ve been told Wisconsin is a legit candidate. Florida and Michigan State are also drawing serious consideration from Looney.
On the move
Nate Brandt of Burlington, a 6-6 forward who played last season for Mississippi Valley State, intends to transfer to Simon Fraser University, an NCAA Division II school in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling (262) 631-1713 or by email at email@example.com