The Brewers announced late last night that they’ve relieved manager Rob Roenicke of his duties, and shortly after, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that longtime Major League infielder Craig Counsell, who has been serving as a special assistant to GM Doug Melvin, would be tabbed as the new skipper in Milwaukee. The club took home a tough-fought win tonight in Counsell’s first game at the helm.
Here are some notes arising out of the switch…
- Roenicke himself expressed surprise and disappointment at the decision, writes MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “I told Doug I wished it would have happened a week ago,” Roenicke said, referring to the club’s back-to-back weekend victories over the division-rival Cubs. “I would have understood it better then.” Melvin said that he feels he gave Roenicke every opportunity that he could to right the ship, but ultimately making a change felt like the right thing to do.
- In a second piece from McCalvy, Roenicke says that he would like to manage again and is open to coaching roles as well. He says his one regret is that the Brewers didn’t win more games to open the season, but he knew when he took the job that this type of situation was possible. “When you go to manage, you know that’s a real good possibility,” said Roenicke. “It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when. You know you have a couple of years, three years, to prove that you can do the job, and if you don’t and the team’s not winning, you’re going to be fired.”
- Roenicke’s early departure is somewhat unusual, but not without precedent, as MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby writes. Only 19 managers have been fired within a season’s first 25 games, says Ringolsby, who notes that the earliest-ever hooks were made by the 1988 Orioles (Cal Ripken, Sr.) and 2002 Tigers (Phil Garner).
- Milwaukee felt comfortable giving Counsell a three-year contract due in part to his knowledge of the organization’s minor league system, McCalvy tweets. A potential “reset” at the big league level would be easier to accomplish given that familiarity, according to GM Doug Melvin.
- In an appearance on MLB Network this morning (video link), Counsell discussed the opportunity to manage his hometown team means to him. He said that attention to detail and dedication to understanding the game are the kinds of lessons he hopes to impart upon his club on a day-to-day basis. Counsell stressed that he does not foresee instituting wholesale change, but rather will focus on the “little things.”
- Counsell has been advised that he can add to the club’s coaching staff, tweets McCalvy. Understandably, given the timing, Counsell is still weighing that decision.