In the fallout of the Brewers recent implosion, GM Doug Melvin is facing more criticism than ever before, and for the first time his future with the organization seems somewhat in doubt. But he’s not without his defenders. To be sure, the Brewers have been generally competitive during his tenure, and under Melvin, came within two games of the World Series for the first time in nearly 30 years.

One defense of Melvin you will often hear from some fans or local media members is that compared to his predecessors, Melvin has done a much better job building playoff caliber teams. While it’s true that the Brewers made the playoffs twice under Melvin and never under the watch of Sal Bando (1991-1999) or Dean Taylor (1999-2002), there are a few things to consider when making this comparison.

First and foremost, Melvin has an owner in Mark Attanasio who wants to win. That might not always work in Melvin’s favor, given Attanasio’s apparent tendency to meddle in contract negotiations and force win-now moves that probably aren’t in the best interest of the team long term, but it can’t be denied that Attanasio is more willing to open his wallet to keep his own stars and sign veterans than Bud Selig ever was. The team made legitimate (however unrealistic) attempts to keep players like CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder, made a huge investment in pre-suspension Ryan Braun through 2020, and has repeatedly signed veteran players to big money deals in a misguided attempt to stay competitive. The Brewers recent failures have not been for lack of trying. The same can’t be said for the team under Selig, who by the 1990’s seemed content to coast on the goodwill of being the man who saved baseball in Milwaukee.

Yet, despite this advantage, Melvin has not been markedly more successful in the win column than at least two of his predecessors:

Harry Dalton 1149-1062 (.520)
Doug Melvin 978-1024 (.489)
Sal Bando 668-723 (.480)
Others 1969-1977 614-836 (.423)
Dean Taylor 197-289 (.405)

Assuming Melvin isn’t fired in the immediate future, given the current state of the team it would be shocking if he doesn’t drop below Bando on this list in the near future. That would put him approximately in the middle of Brewers general managers in win/loss record, meaning that contrary to popular belief, Melvin has not elevated the Brewers far beyond where they were prior to his arrival.

As for the two playoff appearances, it should be pointed out that the Brewers 2008 record of 90-72 is the seventh best in team history, behind four Dalton seasons, one Bando season, and one other Melvin season (2011). The 2011 team won 96 games, the most in team history, making it the one year during Melvin’s tenure that stands out when compared against Dalton and Bando.

Simply put, Melvin is not an exceptional Brewers GM, he’s par for the course for an organization that has been mostly mediocre, and occasionally competitive. And with the team in the midst of a complete implosion under his watch, it should be about time to move on.