Home Sports ‘Managerial Hunger Games’: Baseball business conflicted in aftermath of Craig Counsell’s choice

‘Managerial Hunger Games’: Baseball business conflicted in aftermath of Craig Counsell’s choice

‘Managerial Hunger Games’: Baseball business conflicted in aftermath of Craig Counsell’s choice

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As quickly as experiences of Craig Counsell’s shock vacation spot circulated on-line, one National League govt, unprompted, texted a reporter two exploding head emojis together with three letters: WTF. When requested to elaborate, the manager defined, “It’s a lot to digest. I am not sure what’s more shocking — where he landed or how much he got.”

Counsell turned the highest-paid supervisor in baseball on Monday, when phrase emerged that he’d be the following Cubs skipper. This was notably notable as a result of the membership already employed a supervisor in David Ross. Now Ross is out of a job and Counsell has a brand new five-year, $40 million deal, the tip results of an sudden growth that despatched shockwaves all through the business.

Almost nobody knew about Chicago’s secret courting of Counsell, who had been linked to a number of groups with managerial vacancies. The Athletic spoke to almost a dozen folks across the recreation, granting anonymity as wanted in order that workers of different organizations might communicate freely, with the intention to survey the ripple impact that Counsell’s choice might need on managerial jobs and baseball as a complete.

“About time managers get paid what they’re worth,” one present big-league supervisor stated. “(Having) no coaches union has hurt this part of our game for years. Hate it for Rossy, but love what Craig did for the industry.”

A former supervisor informed The Athletic that he had as soon as been in the identical place as Counsell: supplied a job that was at present occupied by another person. He declined it as a result of “it just felt wrong” and wonders why the “brotherhood” of managing appears to have passed by the wayside. This former supervisor stated he’s a fan of Counsell, although he doesn’t know him effectively, however identified that the brand new Cubs skipper hasn’t received a World Series and thought the hysteria and bidding struggle surrounding him was a bit a lot.

“(Bruce) Bochy? Now if it was Bochy I’d understand,” he stated of the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers supervisor.

When The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Counsell would handle in 2024, however it might be for a crew with out a identified opening, the Rangers have been a typical guess within the business as his touchdown spot, with the idea that Bochy was retiring and that Counsell was his substitute. Then the remainder of the story got here tumbling out: Per Rosenthal, Counsell was headed to the North Side.

“I was a little like ‘whoa.’ Not surprised because there’s been managers that have made that much. But still, the way it happened,” stated Astros basic supervisor Dana Brown, who had curiosity in Counsell for the Astros’ open place attributable to Dusty Baker’s retirement. “It was quick. Kind of out of nowhere. But I’m happy for him. He’s been a lifer in the game and he’s done some wonderful things.”

Said one other former skipper: “Craig Counsell is an elite manager. Look at his record in one-run games. Look at his record compared to projections year after year. He deserves to be paid.”

Some within the recreation imagine Counsell’s deal will assist drive up salaries for different skippers sooner or later: “a bigger piece of the pie,” as one agent put it.

“The truth is, no one will ever realize their maximum value until or unless you’re willing to be a free agent,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts stated. “That’s just the fact of the matter. Counsell was willing to do that. Players do it every year. It shouldn’t be looked at as taboo for a manager to exercise his right to become a free agent. I think the industry has sort of frowned upon that and I give Counsell a lot of credit and respect for talking through it with his family and being willing to do that.”

Others have been skeptical that it might make any significant change.

“Look at what the Mets just paid (Carlos) Mendoza,” stated an American League exec of the Mets new skipper, who’s making $4.5 million complete for 3 years, a lot lower than Counsell. And, even when it’s finally a great factor for supervisor salaries, some questioned the ethics of the Cubs ready to dismiss Ross till Counsell had agreed to take the job.

“The reason manager and coaches’ salaries don’t move much is because someone is always willing to take your job,” a present member of a major-league teaching employees stated. “If I had fought for another 40K or another year they wouldn’t have renewed me as a coach. I don’t know how much front offices really value (the contributions). I don’t think Counsell changes that much because look at what the Mets just did.

“I think the only time it would really change is if people really roll the dice and say, ‘I think I’m worth more than that,’ and take the risk. But there’s always someone willing to take your job. We really need to unionize, but look at how long it took the minor-league players to form a union. It’s still a culture of ‘be glad you have a job.’”

It’s the “managerial Hunger Games,” a former supervisor joked earlier than mentioning some historical past. The scheme from Cubs president Jed Hoyer took a web page from former govt Theo Epstein, who employed Joe Maddon to take Rick Renteria’s place after the 2014 season. (Renteria’s contract was terminated every week after Maddon opted out of his cope with the Tampa Bay Rays.)

“It’s in their playbook,” stated a former supervisor. “I’m glad Counsell came out and said the bar needs to be set higher for manager salary, but I’m not sure I would have taken a job where there was a manager already in place.”

Are the optics actually that dangerous? Hoyer informed reporters on the GM conferences his job is to win as many video games as attainable “in the short term and long term” and there was “nothing about this move” to get Counsell that didn’t meet that standards.

In that vein, Ross was only a casualty in an business usually mercilessly in search of an edge.

“If you take away the emotional aspect of it and look at it from a pure business standpoint, it happens in every company,” stated one other present supervisor, who thinks Counsell’s deal shall be good for the opposite 29 groups. “Baseball is entertainment, but it’s a business and these transitions take place frequently (in business). In our industry, it’s looked at as taboo.”

The similar supervisor believes that the Cubs have been finally doing Ross a disservice by publicly saying he was their man — after which privately making an attempt to improve.

“If I’m in an organization that doesn’t value me I don’t want to be there,” the supervisor stated. “To me, the intimacy of those relationships (between a front office and manager) are what we are looking for. My bosses provide that in making me feel valued and thankful for the work I’m putting in.”

Even Counsell’s former boss was stunned.

“I didn’t see that coming,” stated Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns, who was with Counsell in Milwaukee. “Craig can play things pretty close to the vest. In this case, clearly he played it very close to the vest, because none of us had any idea of where this was headed.”

(Top photograph of Craig Counsell as Brewers supervisor: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)

Source web site: theathletic.com