The Milwaukee Brewers lost Craig Counsell in heartbreaking fashion as he left them for the division rival Chicago Cubs. His tenure with the Cubs is officially underway as Chicago officially introduced him during a press conference on Monday afternoon. During this time with the media he revealed when he first thought about managing outside of Milwaukee.
Craig Counsell, current Chicago Cubs manager, has thought about managing a team other than the Milwaukee Brewers for two years.
In September of 2023 Craig Counsell told Mark Attanasio that he was leaning toward managing in 2024. At this time he also told the Brewers principal owner that he would consider external options as well. Knowing that your manager essentially had one foot out the door while in the middle of a division race is unsettling, but it gets worse.
During Craig Counsell’s press conference with the Cubs Adam McCalvy, current Brewers beat report for MLB, asked when he considered a new challenge outside of Milwaukee. Craig Counsell’s response was for the last two seasons.
Craig Counsell, when asked by @AdamMcCalvy, says he has considered a new challenge outside of Milwaukee for the last two seasons.
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) November 13, 2023
Looking back two seasons ago, which was the 2022 season, it’s easy to pin point a moment that may have pushed Craig Counsell over the edge to consider managing elsewhere. That would be the Josh Hader trade. Craig Counsell did not confirm this as a major contributing factor, but it makes sense if it did.
Following the front office’s decision to trade Josh Hader Craig Counsell was left to deal with the emotions among his players. He also had to try and re-shape a bullpen that was missing its best player. The result ended up being a bullpen that consistently blew games, the team missing the playoffs, and several stories regarding clubhouse concerns being leaked.
Josh Hader’s departure in 2022 now appears to not have only cost the Brewers another bite at the apple that year, but it may have put thoughts in Craig Counsell’s head to consider managing elsewhere.
Follow me on Twitter @tylerkoerth. Follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great sports content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!. We cover the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, and Wisconsin High School Sports. Additionally we provide the latest news coverage on the NFL, MLB, and NBA.