'01 champ D-backs filling MLB manager roles

'01 champ D-backs filling MLB manager roles

DENVER -- With the Brewers' hiring of Craig Counsell on Monday as manager, there are now three current skippers in the big leagues that have ties to the 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

Counsell joins Oakland's Bob Melvin, who was the D-backs' bench coach in 2001, and the Nationals' Matt Williams, who started at third base for Arizona that year, as former champion D-backs now leading a big league club.

Mark Grace, who was the 2001 team's first baseman and is now the D-backs' assistant hitting coach, said he is not surprised.

"There were some very wise, very smart, very talented individuals on that team," said Grace, who would like to manage at some point as well. "I think there will be more from that team in a few years. [Reds bench coach] Jay Bell is going to be [a manager] someday."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.