Counsell replaces Roenicke with Brewers after 7-18 start

Counsell replaces Roenicke with Brewers after 7-18 start
Craig Counsell

The Brewers fired manager Ron Roenicke and replaced him with former Milwaukee infielder Craig Counsell.

Milwaukee, a major league-worst 7-18, lost 40 of its final 56 games under Roenicke. The skid included a late-season collapse last year after the Brewers led the NL Central for nearly five months, and a 2-13 start this season.

Counsell, a 44-year-old Milwaukee-area native, was given a contract through the 2017 season, the Brewers said Monday.

“I’m a Milwaukee Brewer. I’ve always felt that way,” Counsell said. “I feel responsible for Milwaukee baseball.”

He said Roenicke wished him well and offered support.

“I think I’ll be better at this than I was at playing,” Counsell said.”Let’s get them playing to their capabilities and find out if we’re contenders. Right now, we’re not.”

Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin said the decision came down to last year’s collapse and this year’s bad start. He said he approached Counsell over the weekend.

He spent the final five seasons of his 16-year big-league career with the Brewers, retiring after the 2011 season. A two-time World Series champion, he scored the winning run for Florida in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 World Series and was MVP of the 2001 NL Championship Series for Arizona.

Melvin said Counsell’s winning experience, front office work since 2012, scouting, and draft meeting experience will be very helpful to Counsell.

“A lot of managers don’t have managerial/coaching experience. Counsell knows today’s players better than someone from outside the team,” Melvin said.

“Even on days Counsell didn’t play, he was always prepared to play. Think that will resonate in the clubhouse,” Melvin said.