Not long after the Milwaukee Brewers spiraled deep into the standings at the outset of season and speculation began about whether manager Ken Macha might be fired, I wrote here about how awful the Brewers' pitching was and how no manager would have won with that group.
Within hours, I received an e-mail response to that piece -- about how it was a dead-on assessment of Milwaukee's troubles and how poorly the team's general manager had done in building a pitching staff that could contend.
The note was from someone uniquely qualified to render an opinion on the matter: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin.
He will not repeat his mistakes going into next year, with the additions of Shaun Marcum -- who figures to be a high-end National League starter along the lines of a Tommy Hanson -- and now Zack Greinke after Sunday's trade with the Royals. Suddenly the Brewers might have the best rotation of any NL team other than the Phillies and Giants.
Under any circumstance, Melvin was determined to make the Brewers' pitching better in this offseason, but presumably, Milwaukee's aggressiveness was fueled by two factors:
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