MLB

Cubs surprisingly hire Counsell from Brewers after firing Ross

By Sports Desk November 06, 2023

The Chicago Cubs still had a manager under contract, but that didn't stop the club from firing him and hiring one of MLB's top managers in a surprise move.

The Cubs fired David Ross on Monday and hired Craig Counsell away from their NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers.

To lure Counsell away from the Brewers, the Cubs emptied their wallets, making the 53-year-old the highest-paid manager in MLB history, signing him to a five-year, $40million contract.

"On behalf of the Cubs organization, we express our deep gratitude for David's contributions to our club, both on and off the field," President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said in a release. "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.

"Going forward, our major league team will be managed by Craig Counsell. We look forward to welcoming Craig at Wrigley Field early next week."

 

Counsell spent the last nine seasons managing Milwaukee, leading the franchise to five play-off berths. Prior to Counsell's arrival in Milwaukee during the 2015 season, the Brewers made a total of four play-off appearances.

The Brewers only won play-off series under Counsell, but many experts believe he is one of the smarter managers in baseball and was able to accomplish more with less for a small-market team that didn't spend a lot of money.

His contract expired at the end of this past season, and he became one of the biggest free-agent managers in recent years.

Counsell led the Brewers to three NL Central titles and went 707-625 as Milwaukee's manager, establishing franchise records for wins and games managed.

The 46-year-old Ross went 262-284 in four seasons with Chicago.

Beloved in Chicago as a member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team, Ross took over as manager following the departure of Joe Maddon.

In his first season at the helm in 2020, the Cubs won the NL Central, but that marked their only play-off appearance under Ross. Chicago overachieved for much of this past season and was in position to make the playoffs before collapsing over the final few weeks.

The Brewers went on to win the 2023 NL Central title, and following the season, Counsell interviewed for the open managerial position with the Cleveland Guardians and was also being pursued by the New York Mets.

Both of those teams ended up naming new managers earlier Monday.

The Guardians hired former catcher Stephen Vogt to replace Terry Francona, while the Mets named Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza to take over for the fired Buck Showalter.

Mendoza, who turns 44 this month, spent the past four seasons as a bench coach with the Yankees and has never managed above Class A in the minors.

He becomes the fifth Mets manager since the start of the 2018 season, and takes over a club that finished fourth in the NL East in 2023 at 75-87 - 29 games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves.

Vogt was the Seattle Mariners bullpen coach last season and has no managerial experience.

A two-time All-Star, the 39-year-old Vogt played for six teams over a 10-year MLB career before retiring in 2022.

The Guardians finished third in the AL Central in 2023, but won four division titles and made the play-offs six times during Francona's 11 years as the franchise's manager.

Related items

  • MLB: Holliday gets first hit, Rays batter Snell MLB: Holliday gets first hit, Rays batter Snell

    Jackson Holliday collected his first major league hit and scored the go-ahead run to help the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

    Holliday, the No. 1 pick of the 2022 MLB draft, was part of a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning that enabled the Orioles to prevent Milwaukee from sweeping the three-game series.

    The 20-year-old infielder had gone 0 for 13 with nine strikeouts to begin his major league career before recording a single in the seventh.

    Former Brewers ace Corbin Burnes did not factor in the decision in his first meeting against his ex-team since being traded to Baltimore in the offseason. The 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs - two earned - while striking out five in five innings.

    Blake Perkins' solo homer in the top of the seventh gave Milwaukee a 4-3 lead that turned out to be short-lived, as Jordan Westburg, Holliday and Gunnar Henderson all singled off reliever Abner Uribe in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.

    Holliday advanced to third on Henderson's run-scoring hit before crossing the plate on a double-play grounder off the bat of Adley Rutschman.

    Colton Cowser's solo homer in the eighth gave Baltimore some insurance before Craig Kimbrel stranded two runners in a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the season.

    Burnes was greeted by a leadoff homer from William Contreras in the top of the first inning, though the Orioles answered in their half when Henderson was hit by a pitch by Milwaukee starter Colin Rea and later scored on Ryan O'Hearn's single.

    Cedric Mullins' homer off Rea in the second put Baltimore up 2-1, and O'Hearn sent the Orioles back ahead with a solo shot in the third after the Brewers scratched home a run in the top of the inning. 

    Burnes couldn't protect the 3-2 lead, though, as the Brewers put two on in the fourth before Brice Turang put down a bunt that brought in a run when the Baltimore right-hander threw wildly to first base to allow Willy Adames to score.

    Perkins went 3 for 4 with two runs scored for Milwaukee. Rea lasted 5 2/3 innings and was reached for three runs while striking out six.

     

    Rays slug four homers to spoil Snell's return to Tampa Bay

    Rene Pinto drove in four runs and had two of four Tampa Bay homers as the Rays spoiled Blake Snell's return to Tropicana Field with a 9-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. 

    Snell was tagged for seven runs in four innings in his second straight lacklustre start since joining the Giants as a free agent in the offseason. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was making his first appearance at Tropicana Field since being traded by the Rays to the San Diego Padres in December 2020.

    The 31-year-old pitched five seasons for Tampa Bay and won the American League's Cy Young Award after going 21-5 with the Rays in 2018.

    Snell took the mound with a 1-0 lead after the Giants scored once in the top of the first inning, but the left-hander was greeted by a leadoff double from Yandy Diaz and a one-out single by Randy Arozarena that quickly tied the game.

    Two batters later, Amed Rosario homered to left to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 advantage.

    Isaac Paredes' two-out RBI single off Snell in the third increased the Rays' margin, and Snell issued two walks in the fourth before Pinto launched a three-run homer to center to extend the lead to 7-1.

    Tyler Fitzgerald doubled in the top of the sixth and scored on Jorge Soler's single to get the Giants closer, though Pinto answered in the bottom of the inning with his second homer of the day.

    A solo homer by San Francisco's Michael Conforto in the seventh was countered by Paredes' solo blast in the Rays' half of the inning as Tampa Bay took a 9-3 lead into the eighth.

    Fitzgerald finished 2 for 4 and knocked in the Giants' final run with a triple in the ninth.

    Tyler Alexander picked up the win after allowing two runs across six innings in relief of opener Shawn Armstrong, who permitted one run in two innings.

     

    Guardians rally for three runs in 10th to stun Yankees

    Andres Gimenez's sacrifice fly capped a stunning 10th rally as the Cleveland Guardians avoided a series sweep by the New York Yankees by rallying for a wild 8-7 win.

    After the Yankees tied the game on Anthony Volpe's RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning and scored twice more in the top of the 10th, Cleveland struck for three runs off reliever Caleb Ferguson in the bottom of the inning to salvage the series finale.

    Jose Ramirez started the comeback with a leadoff single and Josh Naylor followed with a fielder's choice groundout that scored brother Bo Naylor, the Guardians' designated runner to begin their half of the inning. David Fry then doubled to put two men on before Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres threw late to home plate after bobbling a ground ball, allowing Josh Naylor to score and tie the contest at 7-7.

    Gimenez then lifted a fly ball to right deep enough to bring home Fry with the winning run.

    The Yankees were down to their final out in the ninth when Volpe drove a pitch from Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase into the gap in right center field to drive in Oswaldo Cabrera from first and knot the score at 5-5.

    New York then loaded the bases with none out in the 10th to set up Anthony Rizzo's single off Tyler Beede which sent home designated runner Juan Soto and Aaron Judge, who was intentionally walked.

    Judge belted a three-run homer off Cleveland starter Logan Allen in the top of the third inning to open the scoring, though the Guardians countered with Ramirez's two-run shot off Nestor Cortes in their half of the frame.

    Jose Trevino's solo homer in the fourth increased New York's lead to 4-2, but Cleveland again answered with two runs in the fifth.

    Gabriel Arias led off the bottom of the inning with a homer off Cortes before Josh Naylor later tied it with a one-out single that plated Steven Kwan.

    The score remained 4-4 until former Yankee Estevan Florial delivered a pinch-hit solo homer off Luke Weaver in the eighth.

    Ramirez and Josh Naylor each had two hits and two RBIs for Cleveland, while Allen allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings. 

    Volpe went 3 for 4 for New York, which removed Cortes after four-plus innings after the left-hander was reached for four runs despite striking out six. 

  • MLB: Yankees sweep Guardians to improve to 12-3 MLB: Yankees sweep Guardians to improve to 12-3

    Juan Soto’s three-run homer backed a stellar season debut by Cody Poteet and the New York Yankees rolled to an 8-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians for a doubleheader sweep on Saturday.

    With a 3-2 victory in the opener, the Yankees are 12-3 for the seventh time in their history and first since 2003. They have won eight of nine road games.

    Poteet allowed one run and six hits over six innings to earn his first win since 2021 with Miami. He did not pitch in the majors last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022.

    Soto’s three-run homer came off starter Triston McKenzie and was preceded by Anthony Volpe’s RBI single.

    Josh Naylor and Estevan Florial homered for Cleveland, which is 1-9 in its last five doubleheaders.

    In the opener, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Clay Holmes survived a shaky ninth inning.

     

    Brewers slug way to another win

    Jake Bauers snapped a tie with a three-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers scored at least seven runs again in an 11-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

    Rhys Hoskins also homered and Willy Adames and Brice Turang each added three hits for the Brewers, who have scored 58 runs in their last six games, with at least seven in each. That streak ties a franchise record set in 1982 and 1989.

    Ryan Mountcastle, Jordan Westburg and Adley Rutschman went deep for Baltimore, which has allowed 22 runs in the first two games of this series.

    Milwaukee went 6 for 10 with runners in scoring position and is 33 for 69 (.478) over the last six games.

     

    Cubs’ Imanaga continues strong start

    Shota Imanaga allowed one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings and Michael Busch homered in his third straight game to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

    Imanaga has thrown 15 1/3 innings in his first three major league starts without giving up an earned run. He scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two.

    Mark Leiter Jr., Yency Almonte, Hector Neris and Adbert Alzolay surrendered just two baserunners in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

    Seiya Suzuki and Miguel Amaya added solo home runs as the Cubs improved to 2-3 on a nine-game road trip.

  • Spencer Strider has season-ending elbow surgery Spencer Strider has season-ending elbow surgery

    Atlanta Braves ace and 2023 All-Star Spencer Strider will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right elbow Friday.

    Strider, 25, had his right ulnar collateral ligament repaired by Dr. Keith Meister, the club announced Saturday.

    The procedure was notably a repair of Strider’s existing UCL with an internal brace, not a total reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery.

    While UCL repairs typically require less recovery time than Tommy John surgery, the Braves said that Strider will not return this season.

    Strider pitched four innings in the Braves’ 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 5, leaving the game with elbow discomfort. An MRI the next day revealed damage to his UCL.

    Strider led the major leagues with 20 wins and 281 strikeouts last season and finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting.

    The flame-throwing right-hander made two starts in 2024, allowing seven runs in nine innings.

    Elbow injuries have ravaged major league pitching staffs early this season, with the Cleveland Guardians announcing last week that ace Shane Bieber will undergo Tommy John surgery. New York Yankees ace and reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole is out at least until June with elbow inflammation.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.