Cubs Manager Craig Counsell Faces Former Team Brewers Amid Tense Rivalry

The Chicago Cubs, led by former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, host the Brewers in a three-game series starting Friday. Counsell faces his former team for the first time since leaving in the offseason, sparking controversy among Brewers fans.

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Cubs Manager Craig Counsell FacesFormer TeamBrewers Amid Tense Rivalry

Cubs Manager Craig Counsell FacesFormer TeamBrewers Amid Tense Rivalry

The Chicago Cubs are set to host the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series starting on Friday, marking the first time Cubs manager Craig Counsell will face his former team since leaving in the offseason. Counsell, who signed a five-year, $40 million deal with the Cubs nearly six months ago, led the Brewers to five playoff appearances during his eight-year tenure from 2015 to 2023.

Counsell's departure from the Brewers in November has sparked controversy in southeastern Wisconsin, with some fans viewing his decision as a betrayal. However, his former players, including Brandon Woodruff and Christian Yelich, have expressed understanding and support for Counsell's move. "Frustration? It's not even close to that," said Woodruff, who made his major league debut under Counsell in 2017.

Yelich, who played six seasons under Counsell and is still with the Brewers through 2028, echoed Woodruff's sentiments. "It's just part of professional sports. It just happens," he said. Yelich also acknowledged the rivalry between the Cubs and Brewers, stating, "Look, I understand where the fans are coming from. I get it with the rivalry and all that. I mean, Cubs fans hate me. So like, I get it."

Counsell has admitted to underestimating the reaction to his move to the Cubs. Woodruff believes the decision was challenging for Counsell, given the expected backlash from Brewers fans. "I think that was probably the most difficult choice he's ever had to make," Woodruff said. Yelich hopes that, in time, Brewers fans will appreciate Counsell's contributions to the team and the success they achieved under his leadership.

As the series begins on Friday, the Brewers will start right-hander Joe Ross (1-3, 5.40 ERA), while the Cubs will counter with righty Hayden Wesneski (2-0, 0.87 ERA). The Brewers enter the series with a record of 19-11, coming off a 7-1 home win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. The Cubs, meanwhile, have a record of 19-12 and are looking to bounce back from a 7-6, 11-inning loss to the New York Mets on Thursday.

The upcoming seriesbetween the Cubs and Brewers promises to be an emotionally charged affair, with Counsell's return to face his former team adding an extra layer of intrigue to an already tense rivalry. Games unfolding, fans and players alike will be closely watching to see how Counsell and his new team fare against the Brewers, and whether the Cubs manager can lead his squad to victory against the team he once called home.

Key Takeaways

  • Cubs host Brewers in 3-game series starting Friday, Craig Counsell's 1st game vs. former team.
  • Counsell's departure from Brewers sparked controversy, but players like Woodruff and Yelich support him.
  • Counsell admits underestimating fan reaction, Woodruff calls it "most difficult choice" he's made.
  • Brewers start Joe Ross, Cubs start Hayden Wesneski in Friday's game.
  • Series promises to be emotionally charged, with Counsell's return adding to Cubs-Brewers rivalry.