“Yeah, I didn't pick up (Cubs president Jed Hoyer)’s call,” Counsell said in his introductory press conference on Monday. “I wasn’t– that’s what first happened I guess.”
Of course, Counsell eventually called Hoyer back. That’s when Counsell first learned the Cubs were interested in hiring him and the two spoke generally about the job. At that point, Counsell wasn’t all-in on the opportunity.
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“I was interested, but cautious I guess is probably the best way to say it, but I was interested,” Counsell said. “So I suggested we get together that day because I was going to New York the next day and the time of my process was getting pretty fast. So then we got together later that day.”
Less than a week later, the Cubs fired David Ross and hired Counsell.
Counsell shared part of why he ultimately decided to join the Cubs, including his belief in the team’s core and Hoyer’s vision for the team. Of course, the record-breaking five-year, $40 million contract probably made Counsell’s decision a little easier.
Counsell has nine years of experience as a manager, all with the Brewers. He has a 707-625 record leading the team. The Brewers won the NL Central three times over his tenure and made the playoffs five times. The furthest the Brewers ever made it in the postseason under Counsell was the NLCS in 2018.