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Scott Schoeneweis says Brewers released him 'because my wife died'

Mar 23, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

Milwaukee released Scott Schoeneweis today after signing him to a minor-league contract about six weeks ago and the veteran left-hander had some harsh words on his way out the door:

The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time. I didn’t have a chance to make the team. That’s what I learned today. I’m a big league pitcher and I shouldn’t have to prove anything. This will be my 12th year in the big leagues and I wasn’t injured, I wasn’t out of the game because my skills diminished. … It’s just ironic that I can’t get a job because my wife died. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Schoeneweis has no doubt had a very rough time since his wife passed away from an overdose of cocaine and lidocaine last May–and I’m certainly not here to pick on him–but I’m sure the Brewers would vehemently deny that had anything to do with his release.
He was brought in to compete for a middle-relief job after posting a 7.12 ERA last season, and while there’s a tragic explanation for those struggles at 36 years old he certainly did have to prove himself again. Instead he continued to struggle this spring and the Brewers apparently felt like they had better (or younger) options given that his upside is a left-handed specialist.
I don’t blame Schoeneweis for being frustrated, on several different levels, but the Brewers signed a 36-year-old pitcher coming off a poor season to a minor-league contract and deciding that he’s not one of their dozen best options for Opening Day shouldn’t come as a huge shock. He turned down the chance to accept an assignment to Triple-A, but seems unlikely to land a major-league offer at this point.

  1. JCD - Mar 23, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Wow that’s some bitter words he’s spewing. Yeah we feel bad his wife died and all, but he seriously thinks just because he’s been a major leaguer before he has nothing to prove? Last year Julian Tavarez had to accept a minor league deal with the worst team in the league and all I heard him say was how grateful he was to the Nats for the opportunity. It’s amazing how someone with a reputation for crazy hot-headedness could give some of these entitled players a lesson in graciousness.

  2. Largebill - Mar 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    JCD,
    Good call on remembering Tavarez’ graciousness. It is amazing how players develop a sense of entitlement. It isn’t just the great players (and just for the record I had no problem with an all-time great like Bonds having a special chair in the clubhouse) but journeymen guy like Schoeneweis acting like being a major leaguer is a permanent thing. It reminds me of the stupid comments from some players regarding guys who were willing to be replacement players. Don’t they understand they are all replacement players and they are all replaceable.

  3. Andy II - Mar 23, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    *Is patiently awaiting the day baseball is played by computers so we can stop having to deal with these pesky feelings*

  4. MaskedStrikeoutArtist - Mar 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Last 3 years of ERA: 5.03 3.34 7.13, “I wasn’t out of the game because my skills diminished”… Yeah I don’t know a team around that wouldn’t want a player who can put up that kind of stats, I mean those are hall of fame numbers!…….

  5. BC - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Guys, his WIFE died!! And he battled a serious case of depression. Of course this will trigger a response like this. No one in Tavarez’s family died. This isn’t about Schoeneweis being a jerk – he’s obviously still dealing with the situation. And if the Brewers did promise him a chance to make the team and then did an about-face, that isn’t right. Wouldn’t think it would have been too hard for them to put him AAA and see if he had anything left in the tank instead of just dumping him.

  6. Jamie - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Considering the average Major League career is 5 or 6 years, Scott should be pretty content that he even got a chance to pitch for 12.

  7. JCD - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    BC,
    They offered him a chance to go to AAA but he said he had no intention of toiling around the minor leaguers with the same players he apparently had so much trouble getting out.

  8. franco - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I feel for Show. he is in a bad place right now. You can’t take this stuff he is saying to heart. His mind has to be all over the place
    and as for Julian Tavarez, he called the nats “the last girl in the bar at 4am” so, don’t think he was too gracious

  9. talex - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Give the guy a break. He lost his wife, and now he is losing his living. I think you’d be a little frustrated, too, no?
    Talk about lack of compassion!

  10. JCD - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Franco,
    Yes he made a pretty honest assessment of his situation but quickly corrected himself to explain that he was extremely appreciative of being given a chance on that team, and when he was cut he had nothing but positive things to say about the organization. I’ll take a funny analogy which in a roundabout way means someone is happy for the opportunity, against a guy saying he shouldn’t have to prove he can still, you know, actually do the job he is being hired to do any day.

  11. Joey B - Mar 23, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    “Give the guy a break. He lost his wife, and now he is losing his living. I think you’d be a little frustrated, too, no?
    Talk about lack of compassion!”
    Tough to pony up a lot of compassion for someone that doesn’t want to ‘toil around the minors’, you know, with the regular people. Why? Is it beneath him? I have no idea of the thought process on this one. He stunk last year, but possibly with good reason, but he stunk in ST. So he expects the Brewers to automatically give him a job, even though some kid might be pitching circles around him?

  12. AJAY - Mar 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    It can’t be easy to lose your wife and then lose your job too. I can appreciate the difficult transition he is going through, and I am sure he is very frustrated at how much his life has changed so quickly. However, I don’t agree with his assessment of the situation. The Brewers have a much deeper pitching staff this year, and Schoeneweis was clearly not going to win a roster spot. He knew what the competition was heading into spring training, and perhaps he should have signed a minor league deal with another team that wasn’t as deep in competition. I still hope he finds something and I wish him well. Give the Brewers credit for releasing early so that he still has time to audition for another team. By the way, he needs to pitch better too.

  13. Old Gator - Mar 23, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Oh, I don’t know. In my youth I had more than one occasion to be grateful for the tender mercies of the last girl in the bar at 4AM. Fortunately, my judgment was never so impaired that I had to chew the proverbial arm off in the morning – at least I never woke up with Nancy Pelosi.

  14. The Rabbit - Mar 24, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    LOL-I’ve been waiting for your promised “non-partisan” shot.
    Priceless.

  15. bambi - Mar 26, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Ok guys.. I keep reading these posts and have yet to comment but I just have a few things to add.. Scott went through a life altering tragedy last year. One most of us wouldn’t be able to handle. Yet he didn’t throw in the towel and give up, he kept pushing forward. Ya, he may have slipped a few times and maybe he had to take some time off to “re-group”, but he didn’t give up. Instead of using his situation as an excuse, he’s used it to inspire and push him self to improve. And it makes perfect sense that he’d be feeling bitter about the entire situation. Prior to his wife passing he wasn’t in question, he abilities weren’t in question and his career wasn’t in question. I feel like people forget he is human. I don’t know anyone who could have handled the situation any better then the way he has. People need time to “heal”, and he took his. That being said, it should in no way put his career in jeopardy. This wasn’t a situation he asked to be in, or a position that he placed him self in; he was dealt the cards with no forewarning and had only a split second to begin to deal with it. I don’t think I’d have the strength or the courage to pick myself back up and move forward so strongly as he has. Maybe you all should think about the situation he was instantly forced into a little more before passing judgment on his abilities, give him the opportunity to be the great player he is.

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