KENOSHA — The news that Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell is trading in Brew City for the Windy City was a move not many people saw coming.
“When I heard the news, I thought it was a joke in all honesty,” said Art Debaere, owner of Champions Sports Bar in Kenosha.
Even lifelong Milwaukee fans like Michael Rugg were not expecting Counsell's next career move to be in Chicago.
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“I was very surprised, I did not think he'd go to the Cubs. I thought he might retire - but for that kind of money I'd probably start working again,” Rugg laughed.
The Cubs are certainly paying. Counsell’s new contract has a price tag of over $40 million, now making him the highest-paid manager in the league.
But money isn't everything for fans like Clint Truax. It’s also about loyalty.
“I'll be there the first time they're playing the Cubs so I can boo him,” Truax said.
Even Chicago White Sox fans like Debaere are not so thrilled with the northside's newest leader
“He's a great coach, a great manager. I'm upset because it's going to make the Cubs better, which I can't stand. We had a tough year on the southside so this is going to hurt even more.”
Cubs fans on the other hand seem to be looking forward to the addition.
“Oh, it’s the best thing ever,” Chicago fan, Vinny, said. “I know the Brewers fans are going to hate it because he's the best coach out there. Don’t worry about it, I got the Kleenex for them.”
While changes are coming for both teams, Milwaukee fans say the hope for the Brew Crew is still alive for 2024.