MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers, completing their worst season in the 34-year history of the franchise, replaced team president Wendy Selig-Prieb and general manager Dean Taylor on Wednesday.
Ulice Payne, a managing partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner, takes over as team president and former Texas general manager Doug Melvin replaces Taylor.
Payne will be the first black president of a major league team.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer and the longtime lawyer for commissioner Bud Selig, also is a partner at Foley & Lardner.
Selig-Prieb, Selig's daughter, remains with the team in a newly created post as board chairman, but Payne will make day to day decisions.
The team said Selig-Prieb wished to resign from her day to day duties with the Brewers. Taylor was dismissed.
''I want to personally apologize to our fans for the failings of this season,'' Selig-Prieb said at the news conference.
She said she told the board of directors a few weeks ago of her decision to step down but delayed the announcement.
''The last thing that this club needed was another issue,'' she said.
The changes, first on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Web site Wednesday afternoon, were called exciting by Selig-Prieb.
''We're going to have fun with this,'' Melvin said, adding that he would challenge the team's scouts to go out and find the best talent available, whether they be late-round draft picks or potential comeback of the year players.
''We have to change the mindset here, and that's my goal as general manager,'' he said. ''We have to start thinking that we do have a chance.''
Payne, a former Marquette University basketball star, has no baseball experience, but is the chairman of the Bradley Center Board and brings a background in business and politics.
He was on the Marquette team that won the NCAA championship in 1977 -- Al McGuire's last game as Marquette coach.
Payne said he took the job to help the team and the city.
While he doesn't have all the answers on how to fix the team's problems, ''I'm going to take this challenge quite seriously,'' he said.
He said he was involved in the selection of Melvin.
''I have tremendous confidence in Doug,'' he said. ''I do think we're getting the perfect person.''
Taylor was hired as Brewers general manager in 1999. His contract runs through the 2003 season and the team said it would be honored. The news surprised him.
''I was working right up until the time I was told,'' Taylor said.
Taylor said he feels the team is in better shape than when he took over because of new talent, plus baseball's new labor agreement and revenue sharing.
''It would have been nice to be here to see the fruits of our labor,'' he said.
Melvin was Rangers general manager from 1994 until he was fired on the last day of the 2001 season.
He said he would meet Monday with manager Jerry Royster and probably make a decision within the next week about Royster's future.
''No one has called me to say I am no longer the man,'' Royster said before the Brewers played in Houston. ''It is unsettling. I don't know what my future is.
''I would want my guy also. But if Doug Melvin is the GM, I hope he would consider me. If it could happen to Wendy, it could happen to me.''
The Brewers were 55-102 before Wednesday night's game in Houston. The previous worst for the Brewers was in their first season in Milwaukee when they went 65-97 in 1970. The previous franchise worst was when the team was the Seattle Pilots and went 64-98 in 1969.
The Brewers have 10 straight losing seasons and haven't been to the playoffs in 20 years. Attendance at games dropped this year by 841,000 fans, to less than 2 million for the season, down from 2.8 million in the first season of Miller Park in 2001.
''We've lost 102 games. They weren't all mine,'' said Royster, who was hired in late April. ''We had a very poor season here. Do I think it's my fault? No. I think it's a reflection of all us.''
Melvin wouldn't put a timeline on his plans for improving the team.
''It is a process, it's not going to happen overnight,'' he said. ''We can start right here in hoping and feeling that we can get better.''
Payne also is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a civic organization. During the debate over construction of Miller Park, the group lobbied on behalf of the Brewers. Payne also is on the board of directors of Journal Communications Inc., which publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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