There is the parable of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across the river and then halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog asks, “Why? We are both going to die.” The scorpion replies that he couldn’t help himself, “It is in my nature. It is how I am.”
At first look, Craig Counsell leaving his home town team, to go to the arch rivals may seem very wrong. Counsell is a Brewer. It is who he is.
But like all of us, Counsell is more than one thing. He is more than a Brewer. Fans will focus on the idea that Counsell should be loyal; but for Counsell, loyalty may be important but other things drive him.
And as someone who has grown up around baseball, Counsell also recognizes that loyalty isn’t really an attribute that is highly valued in his profession. Baseball players by nature move from team to team. In what other employment setting, does the employer have the right to trade you to a rival company and make you move across the country? Counsell may still be a Brewers fan; but he understands that in the show, loyalty is about as thick as the jersey you are wearing today.
Beyond everything else, Craig Counsell is a competitor. As a player and then as a manager, he strived to be the absolute best with the talent he was given. As a player he never had the talent to reach that level. But as a manager he might. The way to prove he is the best manager is to replicate the success he had with the Brewers with another team. Also, at very least, he got paid like he is the best ever, and that in its self is a win.
The Chicago Cubs are providing him the opportunity to prove his mettle. Is Counsell one of the best managers ever? He wasn’t going to find that answer if he just stayed with the Brewers. He will find it, as he tries to manage the Cubs. Can we really blame him for wanting to take on that challenge? After all, we always knew it was in his nature.