The reports started late last night and into the wee hours of the morning: Dale Sveum will be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. Those reports have gotten more confident as the hours have gone by, and have reached the point where everyone accepts it as truth.

Everyone except Theo Epstein, that is. The Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations isn’t quite ready to announce his first managerial hire with the Cubs.

“We can’t address anything specifically at this point,” Epstein said as he left the GM meetings today. “As Jed said [Wednesday], we’re at that stage. We’ve been open with [the media] throughout this process, very open, but when it gets to the final inning here, we need to keep things confidential. If and when we have somthing to announce, we’ll do so.”

In baseball metaphor terms, Epstein said: “We’ve got our closer in the game. We’ve got to get the 27th out.”

Insert Carlos Marmol joke here – but, remember: the Cubs would like to get a good return if they decide to trade him. So, tread lightly.

Gleaning what’s out there, it sounds like the contract details are being worked out, but it’s just the t’s and i’s that are holding an official announcement up. The deal could be finalized anytime, and there could be a public introduction as soon as tomorrow.

I’m still going to wait on the formal announcement before throwing up my Cubs-hired-Sveum-and-here-are-my-thoughts post. But, suffice it to say, I’m confident enough that I’ve started writing it.

UPDATE: The Cubs have announced that it’s a done deal. Dale Sveum is the team’s new manager, and he’ll be introduced tomorrow at 9am CT at Wrigley Field. According to reports, Sveum is getting a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year.

  • hansman1982

    damnit, another guy with limited hair resources with which to pull at?

  • ISU Birds

    Less scary looking than the last manager. Pretty excited. Think he may try and convince one of his old players to look into coming with him?? hmmm?? hmmm??

  • BD

    I think that means one of 2 things:

    1.) Theo and Jed got their #1 choice, even though Boston was interested. (Sounds a bit like Ricketts in the GM search)
    (2) Mike Maddux was their #1, and after he declined due to family matters, they swooped up their #2 choice. (Which is also encouraging, since they stayed aggresive.)

  • oswego chris

    hoping for Maddux, Svuem just didn’t excite me…which probably means he was the best choice…don’t really want to know if Maddux took his name out or not, all that would do is make Svuem seem like a second choice….

    therefore I will support and endorse this choice….(I am sure that is important to Theo)

    cue Die Hard with sardonic comments either about hiring, or just Cubs in general

  • Alex

    Phil Rogers thinks the best revenge for the Red Sox is to hire Ryne Sandberg as their next manager?,0,2876398.story

    Wait; WHAT?

    Memo to Phil:
    The Cubs didn’t even consider Ryno for the manager’s job. Not even as bench coach. If he were such a “hot” commodity, why didn’t Sandberg make it in the first round of interviews for the Red Sox?

    Yeah, go ahead and hire Sandberg.. That will show us.

    • Captainplanet54

      Rogers is an idiot, even if they did hire Sandberg why would the Cubs or Cubs fans be angry? I’d be happy he got a good job and be happy with Theo and whatever he wants to do with the Cubs.

      • JulioZuleta

        You really have to wonder if Sandberg isn’t quite as qualified as we all thought. Hall of Famers sometimes become a bench coach immediately, with no minor league experience. In some absolutely absurd cases, a slightly above average player gets hired to be a manager with no experience at all (still laughing at the White Sox). Why is it that after 5 or 6 years of superior minor league coaching has he not found a spot on a major league bench???

        • Joe

          Politics, dude. Not saying Ryno’s stellar, but politics play a big part — few GMs are willing to take on a manager who will be bigger than they are in the media and whatnot. See: Cardinals’ new manager, whats-his-face.

          • Miguel Ramirez

            Joe you hit the nail on the head. I was trying to be nice and not say it but I believe that your totally correct when you say “few GMs are willing to take on a manager who will be bigger than they are”. I hope Theo doesn’t suffer from Lead Singers Disease.

            • TWC

              Fewer GMs are willing to take on a manager with no big-league coaching experience based on name recognition alone.

            • Joe

              Well, considering that Francona is a bit of a celebrity, I don’t think that’s a big problem for Theo. Hm, but I don’t know if Tito had that going for him before he got the gig in Boston or not.

              Anyway, celebrity or not, what matters is that the coach produces and holds his players accountable. Wait. On second thought, all that matters is that the team produces. I don’t care how he does it. :)


        • aubreyblue2

          Just politics. Sandberg wasn’t a Hendry guy. Quade was. (Quade was a toady. Say that fast five times.) Sandberg knew he wasn’t going to get the job that went to Quade. But as far as a big name, that wasn’t Hendry’s problem. He hired Lou Piniella, Dusty Baker …

        • art

          i believe they see Sandberg the player, quiet, shy, never argued with the ump, etc. remember Andre Dawson saying he couldn’t see him as a manager, for all those reasons. part of it could be his old school way, i don’t believe he’s into numbers. just saying.

  • Cliffy

    QT @ESPNChiCubs: BREAKING NEWS: Sources: Dale Sveum accepts offer to manage Chicago Cubs. Final details still being worked out.

  • Cliffy

    QT @CarrieMuskat: #Cubs will have news conf at 9 am CT Fri to announce Dale Sveum as next manager

  • die hard

    If the choice of Sveum means 2012 Cubs will be constructed and managed with emphasis on defense, pitching and small ball then it doesnt matter that he was the 3rd or 4th choice. As to trades, the Cubs should follow that axiom of the best trades are made one year too early; not one year too late. Translated means you trade a player after he had a good year not a bad year. So who on the Cubs had good years in 2011? Marshall, Russell, Smardjza, Castro and Garza come to mind quickly. Could be others if I think about it. But point is, wasting alot of time to try to trade anybody else.

    • Polar Bear

      Well said, dh. Whether he was the 1st choice or not is irrelevant at this point. He will be the new manager. So, lets embrace the future. As far as the trades, no one should be untouchable if the return is worth it. Looking forward to a very interesting winter.

  • Sam

    “@CarrieMuskat: Sveum will get a 3-year deal with an option for a 4th year from #Cubs. He’ll be the 52nd manager in team history”

  • Fearbobafett

    Let the Prince Fielder to the Cubs rumors really pick up steam.

  • Miguel Ramirez

    Is the honeymoon over for Theo and The Boys can I disapprove of the manager search. We basically hired Quade again with a few years less of AAA manager experience. I think that Theo’s wishing for Tito to come to Chicago got in the way of the search. Hope Theo realizes that this anit Boston.

    • Brett

      More than fair to question the decision to hire someone without any meaningful big league managerial experience. I tend to think it isn’t a big deal, but I also think it’s a fair criticism.

      • Joe

        True, but not quite. Quade wasn’t on anybody’s radar to be an MLB manager before getting the Cubs gig. Sveum is, and has been for a few years. (I swear his name was floated last year, before Q ended up with the spot.) Sveum is a hot commodity among the “never really been an MLB head coach” group.

        Not saying you can’t criticize the choice, but if you’re arguing that he’s just a retread of Quade, I’m inclined to disagree.

        EDIT: Also, nobody claimed Q was a stat-head. Sveum is supposed to be one of the bigger stat-heads out there among the potential managerial corps.

        • Miguel Ramirez

          His interm manager record and his 3rd base coaching rep is what made me make the conection.

        • Brett

          I don’t agree with the Quade-redux argument, either. I was merely saying it’s a fair criticism that Sveum hasn’t had meaningful big league managerial experience before – some folks prefer an experienced manager. To me, it doesn’t matter – look at the top four voting for manager of the year in each league to see what I mean – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a legit criticism.

          • Miguel Ramirez

            Okay Okay I’ll admit the fact that we hired someone without meaningful big league experience and didn’t even interview Sandberg is killing me. Dam this bleeding heart of mine.

            • Brett

              Keep in mind: Sveum has coached in the bigs for a decade. That’s a pretty big difference between him and that particular person you mentioned.

              • Joe

                “that particular person” = LOL!

              • hansman1982

                He Who Shall Not Be Named?  or is that too big of a rip-off?

                • Eric

                  Damn you took my reply. :)

              • die hard

                Brett, why working so hard to defend this pick? It is what it is. Its not the best available or most qualified of non-experienced. Sandberg trumps him easily on credentials. But we cant go back down that road to nowhere. And Quade had more success as big league mgr in 2010. But lets dont dig that hole again. So he knows how to work a computer? So does any 5th grader. No, we move on because the choice was made. Best to wish him luck and hope that the front office doesnt make his life unbearable because he sounds like a decent guy who will try anything to motivate players to win like Kirk Gibson. Thats ok by me.

    • TWC

      “Is the honeymoon over for Theo and The Boys can I disapprove of the manager search.”

      Migs, baby, you’ve been doing that from the beginning, kid!  No need to stop now.

      Honestly, can one person point to specific evidence (not speculative or parsed) that indicated that Francona was Epstein’s choice?  Does it actually exist, or is this all in folks’ heads?

      • Luke

        I think you can blame that one on Chicago sports writers. As soon as Quade was fired they started mangling Theo’s quotes to twist him into sounding sort of like Francona was the clear favorite. In fact, as I believe Brett pointed out at least once, Theo was talking down the Francona possibility from day one.

        I think Francona wanted the job, but the interest was never all that mutual.

        • TWC

          These are my feelings *exactly*.

      • Miguel Ramirez

        T-dub, thanks for noticing my “Theo and The Boys” statements I chuckle when I write that. I just hope that people don’t blindly follow Theo and The Boys, and think for themselves and thats where the thought of Francona comes in. From what I know he didn’t have an interview but was on the list? Smells like Hendry loyalty.

        • TWC

          *pfft*  Free thinking?  I prefer to think exactly what I’m told to think.  Isn’t that right, Mr. Ace, sir?

          But for reals, I just can’t believe that Francona was on the list.  Like, unless *no one else* wanted the job, then, maybe.  If you’re a GM, you don’t tell your team prez that the manager doesn’t have what it takes halfway through the season if you intend to hire him a few months later at another gig — that you don’t expect to be taking.

          • Miguel Ramirez

            Did you like how I asked permission first, hehe. Thank you Sir, Mr. Ace for granting me permission to fairly question the manager search.

            Maybe your right T-Dub maybe Francona wasn’t on the list maybe I should stop nibbling on the chocolates I brought back from the Wide Spread Panic show.

            • TWC

              Definitely.  Send them to me.

            • hardtop

              panic? the only thing you should bring back from a panic show is a healthy case of remorse.


              • TWC

                Well, yeah, that.  Or just do your best to make sure your memories are Technicolor.