Brewers' manager Craig Counsell entered the 2023 season as one of best managers in baseball. After eight full seasons with the team, the winningest manager in club history, and longest tenured manager in the National League also entered the season as a lame duck with no contract in place for the next season.
Despite interest from the Brewers, Counsell specifically requested to push contract negotiations until the end of the season.
Matt Arnold spoke to Adam McCalvy today and provided an update, while in typical Brewers fashion saying nothing definitive about the situation.
While at face value it appears to add nothing new, this again reiterates that if Counsell is not managing the team next season it will not be because the Front Office does not want him around, rather it would be a decision made by Counsell himself.
Should Counsell choose to leave the Brewers with an interest in managing elsewhere there will certainly be teams interested in hiring him. Jon Heyman previously reported "some suggest" Craig Counsell could go with former President of Baseball Operations David Stearns to wherever his next job is, providing a new organization with a potent duo to head both the front office and the clubhouse.
Bob Nightengale, reported it's likely "Counsell completely steps away" before reevaluating his options and making a potential return to baseball in one form or another be it as a manager or a broadcaster.
A manager returning to the Brewers after time away would not be a new concept for the team. George Bamberger managed the team from 1978 - 1980, before returning to helm the club for the the 1985 and most of the 1986 season. Ironically, Bamberger did manage the Mets in between stints in Milwaukee.
Family is clearly important to Craig Counsell, who missed a game last month to see his son graduate from high school, and next season he will have two sons playing collegiate baseball, one at Minnesota, and one at the University of Michigan. He has spoken about his desire to watch his sons play baseball and that's something that he's not had much of an opportunity to do in person because of the rigorous schedule of the Brewers.
As much as Counsell means to the city and to the franchise, Arnold also does accept life will go on with or without Counsell at the helm pointing out regardless of who is filling out the lineup card the Brewers "have to play games in March and April".
Whatever the future holds for Counsell is yet to be determined by him, and if this is his last ride, he has done an excellent job managing a roster that has been plagued by inconsistent offense to hold onto a 1.5 game lead in the division, done in part by winning six of the last seven against the second place Reds.