Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Milwaukee Brewers Fire Manager Ron Roenicke, Successor Not Yet Named…

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Folks, as anyone who follows my blog knows, I’ve wanted the Milwaukee Brewers to fire manager Ron Roenicke for at least nine months. (Take a look at my most recent blog on the subject, dated April 20, 2015, for example.)

Tonight, it actually happened. Roenicke has been relieved of his managerial duties despite the Brewers finally winning a series against the Chicago Cubs…and winning two games in a row for the first time all season.

Granted, the team is still only 7-18. Many of the hitters, such as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, aren’t doing well. Many of the pitchers have been inconsistent at best, downright awful at worst.

But the team was finally starting to look up. Which is why the timing of Roenicke’s firing looks so very, very odd.

All fans know thus far is that Roenicke is out, the coaching staff has apparently been asked to stay in place, and a new manager is on his way to Milwaukee right now. That person, whoever he may be, will be announced at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Monday.

Because I’ve listened to all of the various reports and studied what’s available online thus far, I can at least give you an idea of the candidates’ names who’ve been mentioned, and a few who haven’t been but seem like obvious choices.

Because this hiring appears to have been in the works for a while, it argues against any current Brewers coaches, much less anyone currently working in the front office (such as Craig Counsell). Any of them could’ve been named back when the Brewers were still 2-13, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that any of them would be named tomorrow morning.

Yet naming a new manager mid-season is often fraught with peril, which is why it’s likely that once a new manager has been named (with the caveat that all the current coaches are still in place), he will have some ties to the Brewers already.

Note that this list is purely speculative. I have no inside information whatsoever. All I know is what the rest of you know; I’ve read Tom Haudricourt’s article, Adam McCalvy’s article, and have heard various radio and TV reports in the Milwaukee area.

So, here we go — here are my seven most likely suspects for the Brewers managerial job:

  1. Ron Gardenhire, who formerly managed the Minnesota Twins, is currently on the unemployment line. He has a lifetime record of 1068-1039, is known as a manager who works well with young talent…but has past issues with three current Brewers players: Kyle Lohse, Carlos Gomez and Matt Garza. (But if Gardenhire is the pick, why wouldn’t he bring an entirely new bunch of coaches with him?)
  2. Former Brewer infielder Don Money managed at all levels of the Brewers minor league farm system and, perhaps more famously in Milwaukee, was an All-Star for the Brewers. Money is known as a player’s manager, like Roenicke, but has a bit more fire to him than Roenicke. Currently Money is a special instructor of player development for the Brewers, and may like that job better as he’s now 67 years of age. Could the Brewers have coaxed him to help them out as their manager for the big club?
  3. Former Brewer Cecil Cooper managed a few seasons with the Houston Astros and has a winning record. Like Money, Cooper was an All-Star and a member of the best team to ever play in Milwaukee, the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers (winners of the American League pennant). Cooper is now 65 and has been out of baseball for a while…could the Brewers have coaxed him out of retirement?
  4. Hall-of-Famer Robin Yount has never managed. However, as perhaps the best player Milwaukee has ever had, Yount has always carried enormous clout with current-day players. Yount also was briefly a bench coach for the Brewers back in 2008 after Ned Yost was fired during the Brewers Wild Card playoff run…could the Brewers have talked Yount into managing, at long last?
  5. Former Brewer Ted Simmons was known in his time as a volatile competitor. He also was the Brewers bench coach during much of the 2010 season under Ken Macha. (Simmons, like Cooper, Yount, and Money, was a member of the 1982 Brewers squad.) Simmons is a viable “old-timer Hall of Fame” candidate as he has the hitting numbers to someday make the Hall. Lately, he’s been a special advisor to General Manager Jack Zduriencik of the Seattle Mariners, so perhaps it would’ve taken a bit of time to get everything contractually straightened out to hire the 65-year-old Simmons.
  6. Former Brewer infielder Dale Sveum has lately been the hitting coach at Kansas City, but once upon a time he was asked by the Brewers to finish up the 2008 season after Ned Yost was fired. Sveum has some big-league managerial experience beyond that as he managed the Chicago Cubs during 2012 and 2013. Sveum also managed in the Brewers minor-league system and is popular with the current players on the Brewers roster. Could the Brewers have managed to pry Sveum loose from the Royals?
  7. Mike Maddux is currently the pitching coach of the Texas Rangers. Word is, he wants to manage, and was under consideration for a few jobs last year. Maddux has ties to the Brewers as he was their pitching coach for six seasons. Could the Brewers have managed to pry Maddux loose from the Rangers?

So that’s it — those are my top seven speculative picks for the Brewers vacant managerial job.

My hunch is that the Brewers may have hired Ted Simmons. I am not quite sure why I think this as his name has not been mentioned once by any member of the Milwaukee media, whereas Craig Counsell’s name has been floated a great deal.

But as I said before, if Counsell is the pick, the Brewers could’ve hired him when they were 2-13.

Anyway, we will all know tomorrow as of 10:30 a.m. who the next manager of the Milwaukee Brewers is. Stay tuned.

* * * * * * Edited to Add:

Multiple sources are saying now that Craig Counsell is the new manager of the Milwaukee Brewers (as of about 1:20 AM CDT). However, Greg Matzek of WTMJ-AM 620 radio in Milwaukee (the Brewers’ flagship station), has said there’s no official comment; the only thing he knows right now is that the new manager, whoever he may be, has been hired with a multi-year deal and will not be an interim manager.

Again, if the pick is Counsell, the Brewers could’ve hired him weeks ago without all this sturm und drang. It seems very unlikely to me that the Brewers would hire Counsell at this particular time, too, considering the man already works in the front office and that Roenicke had just managed the Brewers to their first winning series and first two-game winning streak all season long.

But I guess we will see what the Brewers will do later this morning.

You can be assured that if Counsell is the pick, though, I will not be happy about it, even though I do like Counsell. (I just do not think he can fix this team. Whereas any of the seven men I mentioned can.)

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  1. […] Brewers and their managerial situation don’t matter much in the cosmic scheme of things. But as I blogged about the possibilities I saw for a manager late last night, I thought I’d come back and say a few words about the selection of Craig Counsell as the new […]


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