In a stunning twist, the Chicago Cubs are hiring Craig Counsell as their supervisor.
The Cubs introduced Monday they’re bringing within the former Milwaukee Brewers supervisor, whose contract expired on the finish of this previous season, and shifting on from David Ross, who was underneath contract by means of subsequent season with a membership possibility for 2025.
Counsell will get a five-year contract value greater than $40 million that might make him the foremost leagues’ highest-paid supervisor, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported. Counsell’s company, Meister Sports, confirmed that report.
“Today we made the difficult decision to dismiss David Ross as our major-league manager,” Cubs President Jed Hoyer mentioned in a press release. “On behalf of the Cubs group, we specific our deep gratitude for David’s contributions to our membership, each on and off the sector.
“First as a player and then as a manager, David continually showcased his ability to lead. David’s legacy will be felt in Chicago for generations and his impact to our organization will stack up with the legends that came before him.”
It’s an abrupt ending to Ross’ tenure in Chicago that noticed the Cubs go 262-284 (a .480 successful proportion) underneath his route the final 4 years. They have been poised to succeed in the postseason this yr for the primary time since 2020, Ross’ debut season as supervisor, earlier than they collapsed in the course of the remaining three weeks to squander their wild-card place.
Despite the painful ending, Ross obtained public help from Chairman Tom Ricketts and Hoyer when each have been requested whether or not the previous catcher on the 2016 World Series champions would return for the ultimate yr of his deal.
“Rossy had a great season and the players play hard for him,” Ricketts mentioned on the ultimate day of the season in Milwaukee. “He’s our guy, so I like him a lot. … He’s a great manager. He creates a great clubhouse culture. The players love playing for him.”
Hoyer echoed Ricketts’ sentiment whereas acknowledging the expectations going ahead.
“He’s not a new manager anymore,” Hoyer mentioned. “He’s going into his fifth season. I believe he’s actually matured within the job and developed. Like all of us, I believe he desires to get higher yearly. … One of his best expertise is he’s self-critical. He desires to proceed to get higher. And I do know he’s going to spend the winter enthusiastic about how he may have executed issues in another way.
“Do now we have disagreements and do now we have heated conversations? Of course we do, however you’ll with any supervisor. They should make so many alternative choices. You have so many issues to weigh, so clearly we work onerous on a regular basis to present the precise data and if there are issues that we disagree with or issues that we will do higher, he’s very open-minded to that. He’s consistently making an attempt to enhance.
“But ultimately we’re very pleased with the job he did this year and I think that he should be proud of the fact that that group kept fighting for him.”
Ricketts and Hoyer counseled the job Ross did in main the Cubs turnaround this previous season, going from 10 video games underneath .500 in June to 12 video games over .500 in early September, a primary in franchise historical past.
Ross’ strengths centered on managing the participant and clubhouse aspect of the job and he was popular with the group, with Hoyer noting throughout his end-of-season information convention in October that “creating that type of culture is incredibly difficult and he does a fantastic job of that.”
“Fifty to sixty people are down here every single day. All those people at some point in that day want or need his time, his mood, his direction,” Hoyer mentioned. “Everything concerning the supervisor, it simply defines what occurs within the clubhouse.
“And this recreation is so up and down on a regular basis, to have the ability to carry a optimistic, productive power each single day to remain on message on a regular basis, to be encouraging the gamers and to maintain their respect on a regular basis — there’s not loads of teams of people which can be extra cynical than a gaggle of major-league gamers, and in the event that they sense any weak spot, that any a part of you isn’t real in any respect, you’ll be able to lose that group of gamers actually shortly.
“No one’s more self-deprecating about their own (playing) career than Rossy, a guy that got carried off the field after his last game and somehow he’s incredibly self-deprecating and talks about knowing how hard the game is, and that’s something that really resonates with the players.”
The Brewers went 707-625 (.531) in Counsell’s 9 seasons as their supervisor and made the playoffs 5 of the final six years, together with three National League Central titles.
His departure for a division rival will add spice to Brewers-Cubs collection. The Cubs’ first collection in Milwaukee subsequent yr is scheduled for May 27-30.