Counsell joins Brewers front office
UPDATE at 10 a.m. CT: The news is official: Counsell will serve as a special assistant to the general manager.
“We are pleased to have Craig join our organization in a very significant role,” GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. “His knowledge of how to play the game along with his work ethic and passion to see the Brewers succeed will now be utilized and welcomed by our front office.”
And this, from Counsell: “I am excited to begin a new challenge in baseball. I look forward to contributing in any way I can to the success of an organization that has been a special part my life for many years.”
More to come after an early afternoon press conference at Miller Park. Here’s the news from this morning:
After 16 Major League seasons, nine postseason series and two championships, Craig Counsell is ready to begin a second career as a front office man.
Several media outlets reported Tuesday that Counsell’s hometown Brewers were poised hire him for a front office role. The Brewers have yet to make their announcement, but Counsell is a good bet to be a special assistant to the general manager.
Until now, Counsell, 41, had been weighing offers to play another season in 2012, but Brewers GM Doug Melvin made clear earlier in the offseason that Milwaukee would find its infield depth elsewhere. Counsell was coming off his toughest season in 2011, finishing with a .178 batting average (28-for-157) mostly as a pinch-hitter, including an 0-for-45 streak that spanned nearly two months.
It was a sour end to an otherwise sweet career that saw Counsell on base for a pair of World Series-winning hits. He was traded from the Rockies to the Marlins as a rookie in 1997 and wound up scoring the winning run in a decisive Game 7 against the Indians on Edgar Renteria’s 11th-inning single. Four years later, with the Diamondbacks, Counsell was hit by a Mariano Rivera pitch to load the bases for Luis Gonzalez’s winning bloop in Game 7 of the 2001 Series against the Yankees.
In all, Counsell was a .255 hitter in parts of 16 Major League seasons, six of them with the Brewers.
He was born in South Bend, Ind. but grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wis., a suburb just north of Milwaukee, and still lives there. Counsell’s father, John, worked in the Brewers’ front office during the franchise’s glory years in the early 1980s and often took his son to the ballpark. Now Counsell and his wife, Michelle, are raising four children in the area.
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