4. Craig Counsell
Are there times I don’t fully understand the motivation behind certain strategic moves in the game? Yes. Are there times I ever question if Craig Counsell is the right man to lead this team? No. There is no one better fit to manage this team than Craig Counsell.
Counsell knows how to manage the team, and he has done nothing but prove that he is capable and competent at bringing out the best in the team. The Brewers are lucky to have him, and 2021 may be the year he finally wins the Manager of the Year Award, after two second place finishes in 2018 and 2019.
Again, 2020 was a different season. After planning to have a Gold Glove winner patrolling the outfield, Counsell had to adapt and overcome, by using a Avisaíl García, a non-typical center fielder, in the most important spot.
After planning to have a platoon of Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard at third, with Justin Smoak at first base, Counsell had to readjust. Luis Urías moved to third, and Jedd Gyorko shifted to first after Smoak was DFA’d. Counsell has a way of rolling with the punches as they come in that is unmatched in the league. He always finds a way to guide the team in a steady manner.
His propensity for depth and platooning fits well with Milwaukee’s payroll, as it allows for more flexibility when filling out the roster.
Counsell surrounds himself with people who know the game, and bring out the best in players. Coaches like Pat Murphy, Chris Hook, Steve Karsay, and others have helped this team find their groove in the past, and will do so again.
However, Counsell can only go so far unless he is given a strong cast of players to choose from that fit into his managerial style, which leads us to the next reason to be optimistic.