Craig Counsell

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Craig John Counsell

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Craig Counsell is the son of former minor league outfielder John Counsell.

His .990 fielding percentage as a second baseman ranked first in the National League in 2005. In 2011, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, he went through an 0 for 45 slump in July and early August. At the time, it was considered to be one at-bat shy of Bill Bergen's MLB record for failure set with the Brooklyn Superbas in 1909. However, Counsell's streak brought new attention to Bergen's, and on August 12th, SABR researcher Joe Dittmar announced that Bergen's streak had in fact been of 44 at-bats, meaning Counsell had tied the all-time record for futility. He didn't keep that dubious honor for long though, as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Eugenio Velez had a hitless season which extended his fruitless streak of at-bats to 46 over two years, although Counsell still held the single-season record. He decided to retire after the season, playing his last game in the 2011 NLCS.

Counsell got back in the game on May 4, 2015, when he was named as the replacement for Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who had been fired the previous day with the team sporting the worst record in the majors at 7-18. It was his first managerial or coaching assignment at any level, but he already knew many of the players on the team for having played with them only a few years earlier. After retiring, he had worked as a special assistant to Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, with his duties including some scouting and minor league instruction. He thus came into the managers's job with a thorough knowledge of the organization and its players, compensating for his lack of actual managerial experience. After not having been ejected from a single game during his 16-year playing career, he was tossed for the first time on July 27th, when he came out of the dugout to defend Carlos Gomez, who had been ejected for throwing his helmet after being caught stealing in the 9th inning of a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Craig came out to argue that the punishment handed Gomez was excessive, but all he got for his trouble was being shown the thumb.

In his first full season as manager in 2016, the Brewers had a forgettable year with few highlights as they finished in fourth place, well off the pace, but the team's top brass was evidently satisfied with his work as on November 11th, they signed him a three-year contract extension. In 2018, he led the Brewers to within one win of the World Series, as they bowed out in seven games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. During the postseason that year, he was noted for the creative use of his pitching staff, using a Bullpen game on a couple of occasions and relying heavily on his relievers, in the absence of true top-line starting pitchers who could be counted upon to go deep into games.

He has a degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
Ron Roenicke
Milwaukee Brewers Manager
Succeeded by

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
2015 Milwaukee Brewers National League 61-76 4th Milwaukee Brewers replaced Ron Roenicke (7-18) on May 4
2016 Milwaukee Brewers National League 73-89 4th Milwaukee Brewers
2017 Milwaukee Brewers National League 86-76 2nd Milwaukee Brewers
2018 Milwaukee Brewers National League 96-67 1st Milwaukee Brewers Lost NLCS
2019 Milwaukee Brewers National League 89-73 2nd Milwaukee Brewers Lost Wild Card Game

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bob Baum: "Counsell a Surprising Star", The Times Daily, October 24, 2001, p. 3C. [1]
  • Craig Counsell (as told to Al Doyle): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, December 2005, pp. 72-74.[2]
  • Rick Sorci: "Baseball Profile: Craig Counsell - Milwaukee Brewers", Baseball Digest, August 2007, p. 56. [3]

Related Sites[edit]