Melvin has Brewers eyeing 2005

Updated: November 14, 2003, 8:39 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
PHOENIX -- Milwaukee General Manager Doug Melvin gets his share of e-mails and angry calls from fans with opinions on the Brewers. Like any good executive with a desire to please the ticket-buying public, he's been known to pick up the phone and respond.

"I shock the hell of them when they hear it's me on the line," Melvin said, laughing.

One fan recently called and lamented the team's inability to retain franchise favorites over the years. When Melvin called back and asked the fan to name the last prominent Brewer to leave through free agency, the fan replied, "Paul Molitor."

That was in 1992, when Molitor left Milwaukee to sign with Toronto. With the exception of a Greg Vaughn here and Jeromy Burnitz there, the Brewers haven't suffered many other regrettable departures through the years. When you've had 11 straight losing seasons, you don't develop enough good players for contenders to cherry-pick.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer