Monday, May 11, 2015

Craig Counsell Named New Manager of Brewers

Following a utterly disastrous 6-18 start to the season, and in actuality, embarrassing play since mid-August of last year, the Brewers finally decided to relieve Ron Roenicke of his managerial duties last week Sunday.  Less than 12 hours later, the Brewers already had named his successor in a morning press conference - former Brewer player and 16-year MLB veteran Craig Counsell, who had been working as a special assistant under the tutelage of Doug Melvin since his retirement following the 2011 season.  This appears to be far from a PR move or a temporary position, as he was signed to a 3-year deal.  In hiring Counsell, the Brewers are following the current trend in MLB of hiring a young manager with no prior experience at any level.

I won't elaborate on the Brewers being terrible - we know they are terrible and I already expounded on this a couple of weeks ago.  My opinion related to this specific move is that there really could not be a much better choice for this team and this situation than Craigers.  Paraphrasing what Ryan Braun said after the news broke, there is really nobody that more exemplifies the Milwaukee Brewers, outside of Bob Uecker, than Craig Counsell.  He knows this organization better than anybody with all the time he spent here as a player and in the front office.  I don't think it is a coincidence that so many managers such as Mike Matheny, Brad Ausmus, and Matt Williams are enjoying success in their first gig as a manager - they are not that far removed from playing and can relate to the players of today with a fresh perspective.  I think Counsell has a great chance to enjoy the same success for the same reasons.  To me, the hiring of Craigers and signing him to a 3 year deal is the first domino to fall, and an all but sure sign that the Brewers are in for the upside-down rebuild I have been clamoring for.  The upper management could just as easily have signed a high-profile name like Ron Gardenhire or Bobby Valentine only to sell tickets and signal to fans that they are still looking to win this year, no matter how unrealistic that would be.  No proven manager would ever walk into a mid-season gig to not be competitive.  Hiring a younger unproven guy who knows the farm system really well, coupled with a general manager whose contract expires at the end of the year, says that Mark Attanasio is in this for the long haul and ready to make the hard decisions that will be good for the future of the franchise - namely, trading away all assets and perhaps finding a new progressive General Manager.

At worst, Counsell will be a fresh voice who makes the rest of the season exciting for the fans and players, and perhaps is only a stopgap until more changes in the offseason.  At best, Counsell will be around through a robust rebuild, and by the end of his contract, some of our high-ceiling talent in A/AA, as well as potential prospects from trades, will be up and the Brewers will be an exciting team again.  Either way it's a resume builder for Craig and it's a win-win for the organization.  For the first time in a couple years, I am excited for the future of the franchise.

Brewers 11-21, -11.5 (3 v. White Sox, 3 @ Mets)
Reds 15-16, -7.0 (3 v. Braves, 4 v. Giants)
Twins 18-14, -2.5 (3 @ Tigers, 3 v. Rays)

Erik - 2 (+5 worked)

Peter - 10

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