Craig Counsell made MLB waves Monday when he reportedly agreed to terms to become the Chicago Cubs’ next manager on a historic five-year, $40 million contract.
He would be the highest-paid manager in league history.
And the Milwaukee Brewers are less than pleased Counsell left them for a division rival, especially considering all his years helping Milwaukee as a player and manager. The Milwaukee community is also not happy with the decision.
“Craig was definitely a key part of our success, but if I wanted to list all the reasons we’re successful, we’d be on another half an hour,” team owner Mark Attanasio told reporters Monday regarding Counsell’s decision to join the Cubs.
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Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers against the Arizona Diamondbacks before Game 2 of a wild-card series at American Family Field Oct. 4, 2023, in Milwaukee. (John Fisher/Getty Images)
“I’m not going to speak for Craig. He spoke plenty over the past several weeks as to what he was trying to do. We’ll see if it was successful or if this was a one-off.
“[We’re all here] today because we’ve lost Craig, but I’ve reflected on this. Craig has lost us, and he’s lost our community also.”
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Attanasio made the comments the same day a sign at Craig Counsell Park in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, was vandalized.
Attanasio added that the Brewers were willing to offer Counsell, whose deal expired at the end of October, a contract that would also make him the league’s highest-paid manager.
But Attanasio had to see Counsell’s possible departure coming despite how unexpected his move to the Cubs was. The Brewers gave permission to the New York Mets and Cleveland Guardians to interview Counsell for their managerial vacancies prior to his contract being up. Counsell then became a free agent, and he cashed in.
Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers walks off the field in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field Aug. 19, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Counsell began managing the Brewers in 2015 after the organization fired Ron Roenicke in May that season. He went 61-76 in the team’s remaining games before managing his first full season in 2016. The Brewers continuously improved under Counsell, and the Brewers won the NL Central with a 96-67 record in 2018.
They advanced that postseason to the NLCS, losing Game 7 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers made it to the postseason four of the next five seasons, including this year with a 92-70 record to win the division yet again. Milwaukee lost in the wild-card round to the eventual National League pennant-winning Arizona Diamondbacks.
Manager Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers before a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park July 31, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
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Counsell finishes his Milwaukee tenure with a 707-625 record, winning 53.1% of his regular-season games.
Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.