Believe it or not, we are living in the golden age of Milwaukee Brewers baseball.
Sounds crazy, I suppose, without a title, but over the course of the franchises 55 seasons, the Brewers have made the playoffs a total of 8 times, with 4 of those coming in the past 5 seasons.
A big reason why, maybe the biggest reason of all of them? Manager Craig Counsell.
With a franchise record of 623 wins, and counting, on Tuesday evening in Arizona, Counsell broke another record, officially becoming the Brewers manager with the most games managed in franchise history at 1,181.
There is no secret, in today’s game, the big dogs rule the sport – The major markets with billionaire pockets are usually the ones fighting for an October to remember, but as of late, the small market Brewers have pushed those buttons themselves.
And, yeah, winning a world series is the ultimate goal for any team, but breaking news here, winning is hard – and the Brewers have consistently been winners in a league that does absolutely zero favors to small market teams year in and year out.
How have they done it?
Not sure about you, but it’s rather a simple answer for me: That reason is Craig Counsell.
A guy who was raised in Milwaukee, who won a couple of World Series rings, and knows what winning baseball means for the city and the fan base, the pressure seemingly has never gotten to him or how he manages.
The players love playing for him, they respect his leadership, and he just finds ways to win – regardless of the market size, regardless of the budget, and regardless of what rule changes the league makes.
You just don’t fall into over 600 wins in Milwaukee, it doesn’t happen, and happen in only 8 full seasons.
In my opinion, with Counsell at the helm, he has been the constant denominator in keeping baseball relevant in Milwaukee, and has helped shape the expectations in a city that had once lost hope for their favorite team.