Counsell to remain with Brewers
Former big league infielder Craig Counsell said he had removed himself from the running to be the next Tampa Bay Rays manager, in part because he’s enjoying his role as a special assistant to the general manager for the Brewers.
“It’s multiple reasons, and that’s one of them. I’m happy here,” Counsell said. “I don’t really want to go into all of the reasons and make a big story, but basically I’m happy here and I want to keep working here.”
Counsell had been one of 10 candidates to replace departed Rays manager Joe Maddon, and took part in a formal telephone interview as well as a more informal meeting with Tampa Bay officials during General Managers Meetings in Phoenix before informing those officials of his decision to remain in his current post.
Other candidates to interview for the position included Dave Martinez, Ron Wotus, Kevin Cash, Doug Glanville, Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Don Wakamatsu, Raul Ibanez and Barry Larkin.
Counsell, who was raised just north of Milwaukee and whose father worked in the Brewers’ front office, was extremely active in the Major League Baseball Players Association during a 16-year playing career that ended with the Brewers in 2011, then joined GM Doug Melvin’s staff in January 2012. In his new role, Counsell has immersed himself in the workings of a front office, toiling extensively in everything from the First-Year Player Draft to free agency and trades to player development.
This was not his first opportunity to leave the job for a field position. Counsell also interviewed to be the Red Sox hitting coach following the 2012 season before removing his name from consideration and remaining with the Brewers.
He remains open-minded about whether his long-term future is in the dugout or a general manager’s suite.
“I don’t like to answer that question because I don’t know why I have to choose,” Counsell said. “I’m working for the Brewers and I’m trying to help us win, and whatever role that ends up in baseball, that’s what I’m hoping for [to win].”
Melvin’s current contract expires at the end of next year, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is under contract for next season with a club option for 2016.
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