For Craig Counsell it was never of question of if, simply when.
The popular former Arizona Diamondbacks utility player, whose 16-year Major League Baseball career included two World Series championships (one with the 2001 D-backs) and an NLCS MVP, is back leading a team–much like he did as a player.
Monday he was hired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the seven teams he spent time with during his playing days. He had been serving as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin before replacing Ron Roenicke who was fired in his fifth season.
“I think the world of him,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat of Counsell during his weekly segment Wednesday morning. “I think he is a very, very solid baseball person who, no matter what happens here, will be in baseball for the rest of his life.”
In the present, the 44-year-old with the funky batting stance has his work cut out for Brewers, the same franchise his father John worked for as their director of community relations, who entered Wednesday’s games with the worst record in baseball.
“A manager is only as good as his talent,” Gomez explained. “The Brewers are a little thin when it comes to big league talent. They have some but they don’t have enough to compete.”
Many said the same about Counsell, an 11-round pick of the Colorado Rockies from Notre Dame back in 1992.
Two decades later he’s still etching his place in Major League Baseball.
This week simply started a new chapter.