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Counsell focused on winning, not rebuilding

New Brewers manager's priorities have changed now that he's in dugout

MILWAUKEE -- The potential for a Brewers rebuild might have occupied Craig Counsell in his old job as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin.

Now that he's in the dugout, Counsell said he has more immediate matters on his mind.

"Look, I've seen Doug's comments so it's -- everybody knows the spot we're in," said Counsell, who was named manager on Monday. "It's been put out there, Doug's put it out there, and really, it's what Doug has said. It's a possibility, but I feel like you focus on winning games. [A rebuild] is something for the future. You're aware of it but it's not what you focus on right now and the way I see it, there's nothing I would do differently [as manager].

"I'm just trying to win games. I don't see how it would affect how I do what I'm doing. If that's the direction then, you know, I understand that."

Melvin's comments Iabout the possibility of a "reset" have been public for several weeks. On Tuesday, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio addressed the idea and said he was "ready to make the hard decision to do what's best for the organization, whatever that will be."

If that entails trading away established players for young ones, it will be Counsell's job to maintain focus among players.

Could that be a challenge?

"The biggest thing they worry about is the game the next day," Counsell said. "That's what really grabs most of your attention and that's easy to grab most of your attention, I think. It's not a distraction, it's the thing and that's how I'm going to approach it, you know? Whatever is going on around us, we can give a great effort and play a great game tonight."

Counsell said the potential for a long-term rebuild had nothing to do with his getting a three-year contract. It covers this season and each of the next two.

"I feel like whoever the manager is, you're evaluated on how you're doing your job," Counsell said. "I feel like I'm accountable for certain things, and certain things are out of my control, and you have to accept that. But I feel like if I put sound rationale, sound logic and sound preparation into everything I do, then you have to live with the results. That's how I have to treat it."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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