Brewers owner Mark Attanasio admits to being just as stunned as anyone when he heard the news of Craig Counsell joining the Cubs. However, he insists that he does not feel betrayed by the longtime manager’s departure from Milwaukee. The shocking move by the Cubs to fire manager David Ross and replace him with Counsell sent ripples throughout the baseball world. After spending the past 17 years with the organization as a player, executive, and manager, Counsell became synonymous with the Brewers. Attanasio reflects on the loss but emphasizes that it is not just the team that has lost Counsell, but also the community that held him dear.
A Surprising Turn of Events
Craig Counsell’s decision to join the rival Cubs took everyone by surprise, including Brewers ace Corbin Burnes, who told MLB.com, “It kind of came out of nowhere.” The unexpected move left both the organization and the fan base shocked and puzzled. Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff shared his initial reaction, stating, “I was not expecting the Cubs. … But then when you dig down a little bit deeper, you kind of get it.” It seems that while the news was initially difficult to process, some understand why Counsell made this unexpected career move.
When asked whether he views Counsell’s move to the Cubs as a betrayal, Attanasio denies any sense of betrayal and expresses his optimism about the Brewers’ future. He cannot fathom why anyone would want to be somewhere else, given their potential. Attanasio’s goal is for him and his sons to be stewards for the community for a long time, ensuring the same passion and emotion for the team and the special community in Milwaukee for years to come. He emphasizes that there is no place in the country quite like Milwaukee and his faith in what the Brewers have to offer is unwavering.
A Generous Offer Declined
Attanasio reveals that the Brewers had previously offered Counsell a contract that would have made him the highest-paid manager in baseball, both in terms of annual salary and overall compensation. Despite feeling good about the offer, Counsell made a decision to go in a different direction. Attanasio refrains from commenting on whether the Brewers had the opportunity to match the Cubs’ offer, leaving the details of their negotiations undisclosed.
Craig Counsell’s ties to the Milwaukee Brewers run deep. Growing up in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, as a Brewers fan, Counsell’s family also had close connections to the organization. His father, John Counsell, served as the Brewers’ former director of community affairs. Taking over as manager in 2015, Counsell guided the team to five playoff appearances and three NL Central titles over the past six years. His impact on the franchise is evident, as he holds the records for most wins and games managed. However, Attanasio shares that Counsell had hinted in September about being open to a change, and he wanted to give him the opportunity to explore other options.
Continuity in Coaching Staff
Despite the departure of Counsell, Attanasio announced that the Brewers’ coaching staff would remain intact for the upcoming season. He expresses the team’s commitment to finding a manager who can continue to build on the success that Counsell helped establish. Attanasio acknowledges the positive influence Counsell had in assembling a talented coaching staff, and he appreciates their dedication to staying with the Brewers.
While the unexpected departure of Craig Counsell may have left the Brewers organization and its fans shocked, it is crucial to recognize that change is a part of professional sports. Despite the initial surprise and disappointment, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio displays resilience and optimism for the future of the team. With a strong coaching staff in place and a commitment to finding a new manager who can continue the Brewers’ success, the franchise remains dedicated to serving the community and bringing more thrilling moments to the beloved city of Milwaukee.