Cubs shock baseball world by hiring rival manager Counsell


In a stunning move that rocked the baseball world, the Chicago Cubs announced on Monday that they have hired Craig Counsell as their new manager, replacing David Ross. Counsell, who spent nine seasons as the manager of the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers, was the most coveted skipper on the market and had been linked to several other teams, including the New York Mets and the Cleveland Guardians.


Counsell leaves Brewers as their most successful manager

Counsell, a 53-year-old Wisconsin native, led the Brewers to three division titles and five postseason appearances in his nine-year tenure, making him the most successful manager in franchise history. He won 707 games, the most by any Brewers manager, and had a winning percentage of .531 despite working with limited payrolls. He was also known for his tactical acumen, his calm demeanor, and his ability to create a winning culture in Milwaukee.

Counsell’s contract with the Brewers expired at the end of the 2023 season, which gave him the opportunity to explore other options. He was heavily pursued by the Mets, who recently hired his former boss David Stearns as their president of baseball operations. He also interviewed with the Guardians, who hired former catcher Stephen Vogt as their manager on Monday. However, Counsell surprised everyone by choosing the Cubs, who reportedly offered him a five-year deal worth more than $40 million, making him the highest-paid manager in baseball.

Cubs fire Ross after disappointing season

The Cubs’ decision to hire Counsell also meant that they had to part ways with Ross, who had two years left on his contract. Ross, a former catcher who helped the Cubs win the World Series in 2016, took over as the manager in 2020 and led the team to a division title in his first season. However, the Cubs struggled in 2021 and 2023, finishing fourth in the NL Central both times. The team also underwent a major overhaul at the trade deadline in 2023, trading away stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Craig Kimbrel.

Ross, who had a close relationship with many of the players and the front office, was expected to return for the 2024 season and oversee the rebuilding process. However, the Cubs apparently could not pass up the chance to land Counsell, who has a proven track record of winning with limited resources. The Cubs thanked Ross for his contributions and wished him well in a statement, while also expressing their excitement about hiring Counsell.

Counsell faces challenge of rebuilding Cubs and facing former team

Counsell will inherit a Cubs team that is in transition and lacks star power. The Cubs have some young talent, such as outfielder Brennen Davis, catcher Willson Contreras, and pitcher Adbert Alzolay, but they also have many holes to fill and questions to answer. The Cubs will likely have a low payroll in 2024 and will have to rely on Counsell’s creativity and leadership to compete in a tough division.

Counsell will also have to face his former team, the Brewers, who have dominated the NL Central in recent years. The Brewers have a strong core of players, such as outfielder Christian Yelich, pitcher Corbin Burnes, and reliever Josh Hader, and they will be motivated to prove themselves against their former manager. The Cubs and the Brewers have a heated rivalry, and Counsell’s move will only add more fuel to the fire.

Counsell will be formally introduced as the Cubs’ manager in a press conference on Tuesday. He will become the 62nd manager in Cubs history and the first to join the team from a division rival.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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