Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic
  • NEWS: Brewers to Name Pat Murphy Manager, Rickie Weeks as Bench Coach

    Matthew Trueblood

    We have a manager! A week after Craig Counsell left as a free agent, the Brewers are expected to name his former bench coach as his successor.

    Image courtesy of © Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

    Brewers Video

    The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers will name Pat Murphy their new manager, taking over for Counsell (and, presumably, maintaining as much continuity on the coaching staff as was possible under these circumstances).

    All along, Matt Arnold said Murphy would be strongly considered for this job. Yet, this feels (in a small, strange way) surprising. Institutional memory is good. Murphy will be able to implement many of the routines and systems that made Counsell so successful, and the staff is likely to be happier with him as their new leader than they would have been with most potential external hires. It's just that, given the circumstances and the fact that he was the only member of last year's coaching staff not to sign a new deal last month, Murphy going with Counsell to Chicago felt somewhat likely. 

    Instead, the baseball lifer is now getting his first full-fledged chance to manage in the majors. Murphy will turn 65 later this month, and has been coaching and managing at various levels of collegiate and professional ball for four decades. He never made the big leagues as a catcher, but now, he gets the big chair for an MLB team for the first time, at an advanced age. This move is an interesting echo of the Phillies' elevation of Rob Thomson from bench coach to manager (a first gig for him) in the middle of 2022. Thomson is only 60, so this is even more unusual, but it's in the same vein. It certainly worked for Thomson and the Phillies.

    As Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel beat reporter Todd Rosiak noted, Murphy's was the only name Arnold actually said publicly during the brief search for a new skipper after Counsell, er, skipped town.

    Now that we know this is happening, it's possible to reframe the decision he made not to sign a new deal for 2024, as the other coaches on staff did. Maybe Murphy knew he would have a shot at this job, instead, and wanted to ensure some leverage for himself in that process. Whatever the case, the Brewers have chosen to preserve a significant level of cohesion and familiarity in their dugout, even without the man who was most visible and familiar to Brewers fans for almost a decade.

    In doing so, though, they're certainly going a different way than they did when they fired Ron Roenicke and hired Counsell. That was a move to install a young, forward-thinking baseball person from within the ranks of their front office. Murphy is an old-school baseball man. Let's watch closely whom they hire as his bench coach. It might be that they're hoping to groom another Counsell, but didn't yet feel comfortable turning to any of the people they view as that caliber of managerial prospect.

    UPDATE: According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Rickie Weeks will be Murphy's bench coach. It feels an awful lot like they're grooming Weeks, the former second baseman and fan favorite, as the next in line. Weeks would be the Counsell-type hire for whom more Brewers fans were hoping, and his inclusion on the staff probably tells us something about the team's plans for the rest of this winter.

    Was this the hire you were hoping for? Let's react and break down Murphy's promotion, in the comments. This offseason should be an interesting one.

    Think you could write a story like this? Brewer Fanatic wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    — Latest Brewers coverage from our writers
    — Recent Brewers discussion in our forums
    — Follow Brewer Fanatic via Twitter, Facebook or email


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    I think this is the most logical since we are keeping most of the staff. I like the idea of getting Rickie Weeks or Matt Erikson to be the bench coach and grooming them to be the manager in a couple years.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    4 minutes ago, jay87shot said:

    I think this is the most logical since we are keeping most of the staff. I like the idea of getting Rickie Weeks or Matt Erikson to be the bench coach and grooming them to be the manager in a couple years.

    Those two. Carlos Villanueva. Yeah, I think they're looking ahead here, even though it reads as looking back on the top line.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’m fine with this. It’s not a sexy hire but just fine, probably as a bridge guy for 2-3 years assuming the org doesn’t implode in some fashion. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Seems like they intend to compete this year with this move. If they wanted to tear it all down and rebuild, they would have gone with a younger manager.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Oh hey, I just scanned this last night as I was dozing off, I didn't realize Weeks was named bench coach!

    That's pretty fun, I hope he does well.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Makes sense, at least in the short term.  Weeks have it in him to be manager some day?  I question his ability to communicate well with staff and players but maybe he's grown while in the front office.  Erickson having managed at some level makes more sense to me, but coming right from the front office worked with CC I guess.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    It is expected, and Murphy was perhaps the logical guy to step in if Counsell left. Villanueva staying in the front office is interesting... backup for Weeks? Maybe he's slated to replace Hook if Hook gets hired away at some point?

    Could be Murphy can season Weeks while Weeks is bench coach.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I havent't seen Weeks as the bench coach, just that he will join the coaching staff. I think many are assuming something that may or may not be true. Maybe its McKinven getting the bench role?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Create New...