Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) – The Milwaukee Brewers named Craig Counsell
as their new manager on Monday.
A former Brewer, Counsell replaces Ron Roenicke, who was fired just 25 games
into the season on Sunday.
Counsell doesn’t have any managerial experience at any level, but has been
with the Brewers’ front office since 2012 as a special assistant to general
manager Doug Melvin. He played 16 seasons in the majors, retiring after
spending the final five years of his playing career with the Brewers following
the 2011 season.
“Craig has many years of major league playing experience, and his three-plus
years of learning all aspects of baseball operations helps prepare him for
this managerial position,” said Melvin. “There will be challenges, but Craig
has never shied away from leadership responsibilities on the field as a player
or in his most recent role. I believe his on-field success as a player and his
awareness for preparation should resonate in the clubhouse. Growing up in
Milwaukee, it is very important for him to bring a winning culture and team
success to Brewers fans.”
A former infielder, Counsell, 44, batted .255 with 42 homers, 390 RBI and 103
stolen bases in 1,624 games with Colorado (1995, ’97), Florida (1997-99), Los
Angeles (1999), Arizona (2000-03, 2005-06) and Milwaukee (2004, 2007-11)
“I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to manage the team that I
rooted for, played for and worked for in the front office,” said Counsell, who
won a pair of World Series titles. “In the 10 years that I have been a member
of the organization, I have grown to feel a great responsibility to baseball
in the city of Milwaukee. This has been a difficult time for the Brewers, and
we all share the responsibility. I understand the work ahead to be the team
our fans deserve. We have challenges ahead of us and I look forward to working
tirelessly to achieve our goals.”
The Brewers jumped out to a disappointing start and sit last in the Central
Division with a 7-18 record following last season’s second-half collapse.
Last season, the Brewers were 51-32 and led the Central by 6 1/2 games on June
28, but wound up finishing third in the division and six games back in the
wild card race at 82-80.
Despite the forgettable finish, Milwaukee decided to stick with Roenicke and
picked up the 2016 option on his contract in March.
In four-plus seasons as the Brewers’ manager, Roenicke compiled a 342-331
record. In his first year in 2011, he led the Brewers to a franchise-record 96
wins and a division title.