Less than a week after the World Series wrapped up in Arizona, all was relatively quiet across the baseball landscape.
But then all of a sudden, the Chicago Cubs shocked the baseball world on Monday afternoon.
The Cubs fired their manager, David Ross, after it was reported that the Cubs had immediately agreed to terms with longtime Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell. He’s been regarded as one of the best managers in all of baseball for many years now, and has led the Brewers to several division titles and playoff appearances. As a result of his managerial success, Counsell will receive the largest managerial contract in baseball history, earning a five-year, $40M deal.
In his time as Chicago Cubs manager, David Ross went 262-284 (a .480 win percentage) over three seasons beginning in the 2020 season, and led the Cubs to an NL Central Division title that year. After down years in 2021 (when they sold off Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez at the Trade Deadline), and 2022 (a rebuilding season), the Cubs rebounded nicely in 2023, nearly making the postseason with a record of 83-79. In the end, it wasn’t good enough for upper management, and they relieved him of his duties about a month after he managed what would be his final game.
Counsell comes into Chicago as the winningest manager in Milwaukee Brewers history. He went 707-625 over nine seasons as their manager (a .531 winning percentage). He led the Brewers to five playoff appearances (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023), including three division titles (2018, 2021, 2023). He’s been a perennial National League Manager of the Year candidate, and he’s been highly regarded as one of the top managers in baseball.
Counsell coming to Chicago is a huge step forward for an organization that believes that it’s ready to start competing for October baseball. This is a big move, but only time will tell if the Cubs follow up this one with an equally as big roster addition.
By Jermale Dabney, Junior, Lindblom Math and Science Academy
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