Craig Counsell named new Milwaukee Brewers manager

Counsell replaces Roenicke after 7-18 start this season

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.

“It happened much sooner than I thought,” Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin said of the decision to let Roenicke go.

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

“I’ve watched Bewers games for 35 years. I’m a Milwaukee Brewer. I’ve always felt that way,” Counsell said at a Monday morning news conference.

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.

Since 2012, Counsell has been working in the Milwaukee Brewers front office.

“He is very passionate, has energy, has edge for preparation,” Melvin said.

Counsell said he’s looking forward to trying to “give the fans what they deserve” and win games.

“I don’t believe in a style of managing. I believe we take rosters and we try to get the best out of our players. We try to get our players to perform to the best of their abilities based on what their skills are. I’m gonna try to get these guys to playing to the best of their abilities,” Counsell said.

Counsell is going to talk to the players Monday afternoon.

“I’ll have some simple messages for them and we’ll build on this weekend,” Counsell said. “On a daily basis, they’ll know what I expect from them.”