Ozzie Guillén says Craig Counsell is not an upgrade for the Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Not every baseball expert is buying the narrative that newly-hired Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell is the best in the business.
Ozzie Guillén appeared on 670 The Score’s “Mully and Haugh Show” Monday to dish about last week’s bombshell that the Cubs had fired David Ross in favor of the former Milwaukee Brewers manager.
Mike Mulligan asked Guillén, who is an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago, point-blank if Counsell is an upgrade over Ross.
“Nope,” Guillen said. “If you don’t have a ring on your finger, you’re nobody. You can be Manager of the Year [this year], and next year, you can be fired.
“At the end of the day, if you don’t have a ring on your hand, I don’t care how good a manager you are.”
Guillén was “shocked” when he heard the Cubs had cut ties with Ross, especially given how popular Ross was with his players.
“In my view, I think [Ross] did a tremendous job with the Cubs,” Guillén said. “I think they did more than expected. I think he was great with the people, great with the players. I was really shocked.
“Is [Counsell] going to do a good job? I expect that, because now the Cubs are in the position [where they better win now].”
He gave credit to Counsell for what he was able to do in a “low-impact” market like Milwaukee, where winning isn’t the expectation every year.
“Now he’s going to be in the biggest market, biggest media with the biggest critics in baseball,” Guillén said.
It’ll also take time for players to adjust to a new coaching philosophy, according to Guillén.
“It’ll take a little while for [Counsel] to get adapted to a new ball club, and the ball club adapted to him.” he said. “With [Ross], it seemed like everybody loved him, everybody was on the same page. They fought through it all the way ’til the end for the Wild Card.”
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