MILWAUKEE -- Hometown favorite Craig Counsell will not be back with the Brewers in 2012. General manager Doug Melvin said he has informed Counsell's agent, Barry Meister, that that he was not planning to offer Counsell a contract to return for a seventh season with the Brewers. Counsell, who lives in the northern suburb of Whitefish Bay, Wis., turned 41 in August. "He was very popular among his teammates," Melvin said. "He was a guy you could put out there on defense and you felt very comfortable with him, no matter where you played him. He always had great instincts. ... I think the manager and coaches really like those players."
Melvin called it a "great experience" for his own career to have Counsell as part of his teams. Counsell is coming off a season in which he hit .178 in 107 games, including an 0-for-45 streak that tied a modern Major League record. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he would ponder both playing and off-the-field offers for 2012. "I definitely would say I haven't retired, but I'm listing to things outside of playing," Counsell told the newspaper. "I might talk to the Brewers about that at some point, but we haven't talked yet." Counsell has played in more than 1,600 games over 16 seasons with the Brewers, D-backs, Marlins, Rockies and Dodgers. He has won two World Series rings and played in 41 postseason games.