CHICAGO, Ill. (WFRV) – Former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell was officially introduced in front of the Chicago media on Monday, where he was given his jersey, a sight many Brewers fans never thought they’d see.
Counsell is Chicago’s 56th manager in history, replacing David Ross, who won a World Series with the Cubs as a catcher in 2016.
“At some point over a pretty long timespan, I thought that a new challenge was where I had to push myself,” stated Counsell, sporting the Cubs pinstripe home uniforms.
Counsell continued to tell the Chicago media that momentum is happening with the Cubs and now is as good of a time as ever to become a Chicago Cubs fan.
“There’s a really exciting future ahead of us, and now it’s my job to be part of taking [the Cubs] to the next level,” explained Counsell. “That’s the plan.”
The former Brewers skipper had plenty of action against the Cubs in 2023, beating them 7-6 in the season series. Counsell expressed a lot of gratitude toward his roster with Milwaukee but is excited to take over a new challenge in Chicago.
“The 2023 Cubs team had a good season,” said Counsell. “There’s a core team, it’s 83 wins, and that means that there are things that are close.”
Counsell led the budget-conscious Brewers to five playoff appearances in six years, including three NL Central titles. His contract expired at the end of the season, making him one of the biggest managerial free agents in recent years.
The Cubs jumped at the opportunity to poach Counsell away from their division rivals, making him the highest-paid manager with a five-year contract worth more than $40 million.
Counsell had a 707-625 record, which made him the franchise leader in managerial wins for Milwaukee. Though solid in the regular season, many note Counsell’s ability in the playoffs, as the Brewers have lost nine of their last ten postseason games.
The state of Wisconsin took Counsell’s departure to Chicago personally, with many fans upset at the lack of loyalty. His park in Whitefish Bay, his hometown, was vandalized after his decision.
The Brewers continue to scout for a new manager, but mark your calendars for May 27, when Counsell will return to American Family Field.