The rumors continue to swirl about the future of Craig Counsell in the Brewers dugout. He remains without a contract extension and is willing to wait until the season ends before he discusses his contract with the team.
Counsell is rumored to be willing to walk away from managing, preferring to instead watch both his sons play college baseball. The Brewers obviously would love to keep him, but it's up to Counsell and his willingness to go without a contract into next year may be a strong indicator he's looking to walk away,
It's completely up to Counsell, as Mark Attanasio has noted. If he decides to walk away, the Brewers will be left looking for a new manager. Who could it be. Let's look at some candidates.
Here are five candidates to the Brewers manager in 2024 if Craig Counsell decides to walk away from the job.
Brewers managerial candidate #1: Bench coach Pat Murphy
The most obvious in-house candidate to take over for Counsell if necessary is bench coach Pat Murphy. Murph has been on Counsell's staff since 2016 and was previously the interim manager for the San Diego Padres.
Murphy has loads of coaching experience and is beloved in the clubhouse. He was the head coach at Notre Dame and coached Counsell when he was in college. He was essentially Counsell's mentor.
Murphy was the head coach at Notre Dame from 1988 to 1994, then was the head coach at Arizona State from 1995 to 2009. He became a coach in the Padres system after that, becoming a minor league manager before moving up to the big league coaching staff in 2015. Then Counsell brought him over as his bench coach as he filled out his staff.
Murphy has interviewed for other managerial openings in the past but ultimately has decided to stay with Milwaukee, perhaps knowing that Counsell would eventually walk away to watch his sons play college ball. If the Brewers want continuity after Counsell's potential departure, Murphy would be the best choice for that.