Out with the old and in with the new. Though the Brewers wouldn't confirm it last night, national news reports came out that the Brewers choice to replace fired manager Ron Roenicke would be former player Craig Counsell.
At a Monday morning press conference, the Brewers confirmed that decision, as general manager Doug Melvin introduced Counsell as the 19th manager in franchise history and the seventh since entering the new millennium.
Though Counsell has no managerial or coaching experience, he has 16 years of playing experience under his belt, including six with the Brewers. Since retiring after the 2011 season, he has also been working as a special assistant to Melvin, giving him experience on that front. Counsell had become something of a hot commodity in baseball and was considered for the Rays vacant managerial position last off season as well as the Red Sox hitting coach job in 2012. In both cases, Counsell removed his own name from consideration, opting to remain with the Brewers.
Counsell, 44, also brings a hometown flare to the position. He grew up and still lives in Whitefish Bay, right outside Milwaukee and grew up watching the Brewers in County Stadium as his father worked for the team.
Counsell should also be very familiar with the roster: After all, part of his duties in his front office role was to help in building the team and analyzing player personnel. He's also played with a good chunk of players on the team, having been teammates in the majors at one time or another with: Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Martin Maldonado, Jonathan Lucroy, Logan Schafer, Mike Fiers, Francisco Rodriguez and Jeremy Jeffress.
Where the Brewers go from here is unclear. The team is reportedly ready and willing to begin trading off veteran players like Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza and Aramis Ramirez but they have also been playing better recently. Whether the decides to keep trying in 2015 or regroup for 2016, it will be Craig Counsell leading a fresh start.