Brewers owner backs GM's decision to fire Roenicke

Published May. 5, 2015 11:41 p.m. EDT

MILWAUKEE (AP) Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said on Tuesday that he supported general manager Doug Melvin's decision to fire manager Ron Roenicke.

Roenicke was fired Sunday with Milwaukee off to a 7-18 start. He was replaced Monday by former Brewers player Craig Counsell, who had been a special assistant to Melvin in the front office since January 2012.

''I'm not sure it's ever the right time,'' said Attanasio, who spoke to reporters during Tuesday night's game at Miller Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

''Timing these decisions is difficult, especially in a sport, in a business where you play every day. You don't have a lot of time for breaks or to reflect or in between games.


''Doug Melvin came to me on the off day and said he was thinking seriously that we needed a manager change, so we did our evaluation in a short period of time to make a decision, and decided to move forward with Craig.''

In addition to the poor start this season, the Brewers' late-season collapse in 2014 also figured into the managerial change.

The Brewers led the NL Central for 150 days last season, before losing 22 of their last 31 games to miss the playoffs.

After a torrid start last season, the Brewers' slide began in late June. Counting this season, the Brewers were 38-65 in Roenicke's final 103 games.

''When I was here talking with everybody a few weeks ago, management change was not on the table,'' Attanasio said.

''In life sometimes things can change, and when they do change you have to be able to react. Doug was looking back over 100 games, and I think he did a good job of representing how he felt in terms of why he came to his decision.''

''I was looking at it from a more micro standpoint, but from my standpoint, we won five games this month, in April, we won nine games in September, and that's not what we're trying to do in Milwaukee in baseball,'' Attanasio said. ''I was receptive to him approaching this with me.''

Attanasio said that Counsell was the primary candidate to replace Roenicke despite not having any managerial experience.

Counsell had a 16-year playing career for five teams and won two World Series. He grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay, where he played high school baseball. His father, John, worked in the Brewers front office from 1979 to 1987.

''Craig, for any number of reasons, had the inside track,'' Attanasio said. ''In fact, the first thing he talked about when I spoke to him over the weekend was that he's been watching baseball games in Milwaukee for 35 years.

''He feels a real commitment and responsibility to the community. That, coupled with his pretty extensive knowledge of our farm system, and even our rookie level players, really made him a consensus choice. We didn't really discuss anybody else seriously.''