Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 47

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM DECEMBER 2023 43 IRISH IN THE PROS BY TODD D. BURLAGE I n a move that stunned the greater Milwaukee area and sent shock waves through all of Major League Baseball, former Notre Dame infielder and vet- eran Brewers manager Craig Counsell unexpectedly left his post in Wisconsin and moved 100 miles south to Chicago where he was named the Cubs' new skipper Nov. 13. Wildly popular in Milwaukee, Coun- sell, 53, played six seasons with the Brewers before landing the manage- rial job there in 2015. Counsell spent nine seasons at the helm and won a franchise-record 707 games and three National League Central Division titles while leading the franchise to the post- season in five of the past six seasons. "I think as I was going through this process, it became clear that I needed and wanted a new professional challenge," Counsell explained of his decision. The five-year, $40 million deal with the Cubs made Counsell the highest- paid manager in MLB history. Counsell's departure ended a con- tractual saga that began in January when the South Bend native entered the final year of a three-year contract ex- tension he signed with the Brewers. The two sides tried but failed to ne- gotiate a new deal, pushing Counsell down I-94 to the Windy City and put- ting him in charge of a franchise rebuild. The Cubs have won only one playoff series since they became World Series champions in 2016. "It's going to be hard," Counsell said of joining one of the Brewers' fiercest ri- vals. "It's scary because change is scary. But sometimes you need to push your- self out of that comfort zone, and that makes it exciting." If there was one knock on the Brewers during Counsell's tenure it was a lack of postseason success. Since their Game 7 loss in the 2018 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Brewers bowed out in the first round of their next four postseason appearances and were 1-9 in their last 10 postseason games. Counsell, a 1992 Notre Dame gradu- ate, was a standout Fighting Irish in- fielder who finished his career with a .306 batting average, 204 runs scored and 166 RBI before enjoying a 15-year MLB career. ✦ Former Irish Infielder Craig Counsell Signs Historic Deal Counsell, a 1992 Notre Dame graduate, signed a five-year, $40 million deal with the Chicago Cubs to become the highest-paid manager in Major League Baseball history. PHOTO COURTESY CHICAGO CUBS FIGHTING IRISH HEADLINERS Alohi Gilman, (Played at Notre Dame from 2017-19), S, Los Angeles Chargers, (NFL) In a 23-20 loss to the Packers Nov. 19, the Laie, Hawai'i, native recorded 9 tackles (1 for loss) — the second most he has recorded in a game this season. While in pass protection, the 2020 sixth-round draft pick of the Chargers allowed 4 receptions for only 26 yards. Through 10 games, Gilman was tied for fourth on the Chargers with 42 tackles and added 2 forced fumbles. Nick McCloud (2020), CB, New York Giants (NFL) In a 31-19 win over the Washington Commanders Nov. 19, the three-year NFL veteran enjoyed the best game of his professional career with his first career inter- ception, a forced fumble and 4 tackles. The performance earned the 2021 undrafted free agent a 91.4 overall grade per Pro Football Focus, which ranked third in the NFL for Week 11. The Rock Hill, S.C., native played one season at Notre Dame after transferring from North Carolina State. Tommy Tremble (2018-20), TE, Carolina Panthers, (NFL) In a 33-10 loss to the Cowboys Nov. 19, the 2021 third-round draft pick caught a 4-yard touchdown pass — his third of the season — for the struggling Panthers. Through 10 games, the Johns Creek, Ga., native had 12 catches for 77 yards on 15 targets. In three seasons and 43 games with the Panthers, Tremble has 51 receptions for 431 yards with 7 touchdowns.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - December 2023