Craig Counsell might be taking a sledgehammer to the Chicago Cubs way

Craig Counsell is establishing a new culture for the Chicago Cubs that extends beyond the field.

Chicago Cubs Workout
Chicago Cubs Workout / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

"The Cubs Way" was the moniker used by former Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein when he led the organization through a rebuild that not only altered the expectations of the Major League team but was a dramatic shift for every element of the team's baseball operations.

The establishment of that philosophy from Epstein is what led the Cubs to win the World Series in 2016. It was perfect execution of the plan for the Cubs but it proved to not be sustainable. The Cubs Way was broken and is a large part of the reason why the team hasn't won a post-season series since 2017.

Epstein is no longer the top voice in the Cubs' front office as his long-time running mate, Jed Hoyer, is now at the helm but given how abruptly the last contending window ended for the Cubs, there was a need to make sure that the way of life moving forward was different than anything the Cubs' organization has been through before.

Enter Craig Counsell.

The hiring of Craig Counsell is going to be unlike any managerial change the Chicago Cubs have had in the past.

The hiring of Counsell this past off-season while unseating incumbent manager David Ross is one that shook the Cubs' organization at its core. That was the point as explained by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Subscription Required). Rosenthal caught up with Counsell as the Cubs started Spring Training and the quote that needs to be emphasized is what Counsell said Hoyer expects of him, “I felt certainly that Jed wants to have the debate and be challenged on his assumptions. He said it in front of the whole organization. So yeah, I do feel the responsibility to do it rather than not.”.

While Counsell is an extension of the team's front office, he's not going to be the manager that Ross was. While that is no slight against Ross and his job as the team's manager the past three seasons, Counsell is going to have strong objections to certain ideas that Hoyer shares and the new Cubs' manager will be able to defend his reasoning.

The Craig Counsell who made Cubs fans uncomfortable when the team was playing the Milwaukee Brewers in recent seasons is the exact same person the Cubs have as their manager now. The difference is that Counsell is planning on using that uncomfortable to break the stench of a Cubs Way that has been tarnished.

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