Guardians Receive Permission to Interview Big-Name Manager

The Cleveland Guardians have received permission to interview a Terry Francona replacement candidate.
The Cleveland Guardians have received permission to interview a Terry Francona replacement candidate. / Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly a full month has passed since Terry Francona managed his last game for the Cleveland Guardians, and the team is still searching for his replacement.

The Guardians haven't gotten much traction in their search yet, but that could be about to change based on the latest development.

Guardians Manager Search

Beat writer Paul Hoynes reported on Friday that Cleveland has received permission to interview Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Counsell has managed the Brewers since 2015, leading them to a 707-625 record and five postseason appearances during that time. He most recently guided them to their third division title during his tenure with a 92-70 season in 2023.

For all of Milwaukee's regular-season success under Counsell's watch, it has consistently fallen short in the playoffs. The Brewers have lost 11 of their last 13 postseason games under Counsell and haven't won a playoff series since 2018.

Still, Counsell's experience with Milwaukee makes him a good fit for Cleveland. Both teams play in Midwestern cities in smaller markets, so Counsell is used to working with younger players and getting the most out of rosters that lack star power.

Prior to managing, Counsell enjoyed a 16-year playing career spread out across five different National League teams. While he never had much individual success, he was regarded as a smart, hard-working player who maximized his abilities and played much longer than expected. He also helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win the World Series in 2001, so he knows what it's like to win on the game's biggest stage.

After nearly a decade in Milwaukee, Counsell could be ready for a change of scenery. Cleveland seems like a good landing spot for him, but time will tell if he feels the same way.

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