Don’t Eyeball Dale Sveum and Other Bullets

The Cubs entered the record books last night – it was just the third time in the last hundred-ish years that a team has homered at least six times in consecutive nights. That would be the Nationals, off of the Cubs. What, you thought the Cubs were going to be on the positive side of the record book ledger?

  • Dale Sveum was ejected last night without leaving the dugout (after the ejection, he came out to get his money’s worth), and folks wondered what exactly happened. Well, in true Chuck Norris Dick Tidrow style, Sveum let it be known that he don’t take kindly to bein’ eyeballed. “I just didn’t appreciate him eyeballing our dugout for absolutely no reason at all,” Sveum said. “I just don’t think that’s right when you’re looking in our dugout for no apparent reason at all.” In other words, he was saying some things that he didn’t think merited umpire attention, home plate umpire Larry Vanover gave the dugout a dirty look or two, and Sveum escalated his comments. Heave-ho. Apparently it was balls and strikes related, so I guess I’m confused – Sveum was confident enough in Vanover’s vision to be certain that the umpire was eyeballing him, but not confident enough to be certain that Vanover could see the pitches properly? (Ba dum ching.)
  • The Cubs were quick to call the Nationals the best team in baseball after they received a second straight whoopin’ in Washington. I think that’s probably right, though I expect there are a handful of teams who, on the right consecutive nights, could bludgeon this Cubs team like that.
  • Ugh, here’s a depressing set of quotes from Dale Sveum regarding his young players not being ready for the big leagues (per the Tribune): “It’s probably safe to say that, no question about it. If we were in the situation the Nationals are in, we wouldn’t be developing at the big league level. Right now things aren’t going as well for the young guys, maybe aside from [Welington Castillo, who] is holding his own catching. But things aren’t going real well for the rest of the guys, so hopefully [they'll make] a few adjustments. They’re going to be given chances. We have 26 games left. Hopefully you see some major developments to where you can say these guys will be fighting for jobs in spring training.”
  • Jim Callis chatted at BA yesterday and offered a few Cubs-relevant bits, including (1) he’s never heard from a single scout the suggestion that Dan Vogelbach could play left field (in other words, he’s first base only); (2) Albert Almora is a slightly better prospect than Jorge Soler, with a more well-rounded set of tools and a more important defensive position; and (3) the Cubs’ top five pitching prospects, in some order, would probably be Arodys Vizcaino, Juan Carlos Paniagua, Dillon Maples, Duane Underwood, and Pierce Johnson.
  • Nats GM Mike Rizzo, who was ever so briefly a candidate for the Cubs’ GM gig last year, is confident that the Cubs are in good hands, so long as the fans stay patient and allow Theo and Jed to do their thing. “I’ve known Theo for a long time,” Rizzo told the Tribune. “He’s a guy who has that conviction. He has done it before with the Red Sox, and built them into a world champion. … Certainly it doesn’t happen overnight. When you start … trying to change the plan in mid-course, get impatient and grab a couple of free agents because you have some money left over, then it really throws everything out of kilter. You have a very competent guy at the top in Theo, and the people underneath him because he always has brought in good guys.”
  • How about this fact, from Carrie Muskat: “Alfonso Soriano is one of six players in Major League history to reach at least 350 home runs, 400 doubles, 250 stolen bases, 1,000 RBIs and 1,000 runs scored. He joinsWillie Mays, Andre Dawson, Gary Sheffield, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

73 responses to “Don’t Eyeball Dale Sveum and Other Bullets”

  1. Smacky

    Ugh… I’m sad :(

  2. ncsujuri

    That’s some pretty heady, HOF type company that Soriano is mentioned with. Now if he could just ad that GG this year ;)

  3. rbreeze

    We are no match for any quality team and Washington is certainly one of the best teams in baseball. The auditions continue all over the field for the Cubs for the balance of this year. The light will come on for some and for others it will be time for new career paths.
    At best Volstad is a middle inning guy. Castillo can hit a little bit but he needs to tighten up the defense behind the plate. Rizzo, Barney, Samardzija and Castro give the team a core group to develop with others going forward. I was hoping for 2014 being the year we can start to contend. But it may take until 2015/2016.

  4. fortyonenorth

    Dale really looks like a hit man in that photo. I wish the Cubs would take that “why’d you do it, Solly” attitude onto the field each day. Instead, they look like the guy Dale’s about to whack.

  5. Cubbies4Life

    Not accustomed to watching batter after batter smack the stupid ball into the stratosphere, these Cubs/Nationals games have been difficult for me to watch. I turned the TV off last night in the 8th inning because my heart was aching. I do not expect a championship team in 2013, but LORD… can it PLEASE be better than 2012? On a positive note, I hope the haters will STFU about Soriano. He has been one of the only bright spots in this dismal season. He is officially my favorite Cub and I will just smile and politely disregard all of the derogatory comments about his salary, his age, his failing legs, and whatever other reasons compel people to hack on him. So there…

  6. Cubbies4Life

    I forgot to add: Don’t let anybody give you the stink eye, Dale! Open up that can of whup-ass!

  7. art

    has any scout ever said Jake Fox, Adam Dunn, Dave kingman, Hank Sauer, Soriano, etc. could play LF? i’m sure he’s (Vogelbach) no GG in LF, but would he be any worse than any of those guys? oops, i know, Soriano has no errors and has improved so much he’s up for a GG. GG is for best of the best for present year not best of the worse. if Vogelbach is that big of a bat, you find a place for him, or trade for good prospects or trade someone else for prospects. JMO.

    1. ssckelley

      This is true but I think people need to stop worrying about where Vogelbach will play until he is producing these kinds of numbers in AAA, AA, or even high A. Cripes he is only 19 years old playing in low A Boise right now.

      1. Cheryl

        It will be a while with V, but I’d like to see if he could actally handle catching. I’ve seen a lot of comments that say he can’t, but if he could he’d answer a lot of questions for the cubs.

  8. ssckelley

    So what hat will Soriano wear into the HOF?

    1. Cyranojoe

      This I bet is a big reason why he wants to stay in Chicago. If he can ride it out and keep producing at this steady rate, it mightmightmight be enough to squeeze into Cooperstown, on the backs of the Chicago faithful. It’s a camel-through-the-needle kind of shot, but when you see numbers like that, you have to wonder if it’s possible. Dude has his money, and winning a WS is a long shot, too. Why not hope you can be the next Andre Dawson?

      1. loyal100more

        dawson went in as an expo

  9. Fastball

    Hell if I was Dale I would get thrown out of a lot of games this month. These beatings will continue until some new players arrive. He is sending the nerd squad out to fight the Bears defensive front. It’s not even fun when your a bully and you beat someone’s ass this badly. You kinda wish they would stop getting up from the dirt but they do. So you beat their asses again. That’s where the Cubs are right now. We are so bad that the opposing teams are beating our asses and feeling kinda bad about it cause it really isn’t a fair fight.

    1. ssckelley

      Yeah I would to, the way they are playing is embarrassing. I loved all the camera shots on Bosio, he looked like he could just crawl into a hole.

  10. OlderStyle

    ha, Juan Carlos Paniagua. great name. John Charles Bread and Water.

  11. Fastball

    I am kind of worried about who in the world would want to come play for this team this off season. What FA in his right mind wants to hitch his wagon to this team. Only ones that can’t find a job somewhere else. Nobody in their right mind signs up for this kind of butt kicking for 162 games. Not if they have choices. How much money are we going to have to pay guys to come play for the Cubs. If I had to choose jobs between companies someone would have to really promise me the world and put it in writing before I get anywhere near this mess. If you are pitcher do you sign on for this. I wouldn’t. It’s a career limiting move. I don’t know at this point. It’s so bad right now it’s hard to fall back on where the positives are. I am sure there are guys going out there every night giving it all they got. They are just so over matched its pathetic. Who will excel in the next 26 games? I don’t think you will see any gleaming light bulbs come on. These beating will limit that almost completely. These guys are like a bunch of Iraqi Soldiers in the desert staring down a Tank Division coming at them. What they gonna do start throwing their cleats at the enemy. It’s no longer a fair fight. You can’t surrender though. It’s on until it’s over.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      I am kind of worried about who in the world would want to come play for this team this off season.

      Teams in the Cubs’ shape usually need to outbid the competitors substantially to land a free agent. However, this might be offset by the Cubs general situation: all players think that it would be amazing to be on the Cubs team that finally won it all. Heck, just be on the Cubs team that gets to the WS and you’ll never buy another drink in your life.

      1. FFP

        ‘players think that it would be amazing to be on the Cubs team that finally won it all ‘

        This describes Curt Shilling’s attitude in signing with the Sox. He said so.

        But look at the staff he was joining. It won’t be just one guy. It will have to make sense on paper to each FA, so we are back to ‘building’ in the near future rather than acquiring that missing piece.

        1. FFP

          Quote: The Diamondbacks right-hander accepted a trade to Boston after agreeing to a two-year contract extension with a one-year option, reports ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, an extension that could keep the ace with the Red Sox through the end of his career.

          “I want to be a part of bringing the first World Series in modern history to Boston,” Schilling said. “And hopefully more than one over the next four years.”

          Boston and Arizona worked out the deal…, but the 37-year-old Schilling had to waive the no-trade clause in his …contract for it to go through.

          –From ESPN–Stark noted then that Boston was primed as it already had Pedro. So, the projections must have made sense to Schilling.

    2. Deer

      Yes, regardless of the recruiting pitch they use, everyone can see how far this team is away from even .500. Cubs will likely pick off the scrap heap at the end and hope to get lucky.

    3. ssckelley

      It’s called money and players enjoy making it, even pitchers. Why would I be worried if the Cubs won or not because all you have to do is look to see where Maholm & Dempster are playing right now to know either I will be helping the Cubs win or be dealt to a team that is winning.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        The problem with this logic is that it assumes that players do not mind being traded. However, all of the evidence contradicts this: the Union fought hard to get (and keep) no trade rights, and players give up money for no-trade clauses in contracts.

        So, what a player wants is the chance to play for one competitive team for an extended period of time. If you want to get them onto a rebuliding project, then you have to be prepared to buy that.

        Incidentally, the NTC issue might become relevant. Theo has said that he would not include those anymore. This means that a player offered the same or even less money plus an NTC from another team will probably choose that offer over the Cubs, unless the Cubs offer is substantially greater. (How many $$$ an NTC is worth will vary, but it will never be trivial.)

        1. mudge

          now we need a stat on married vs unmarried players willing to sign without ntc clauses

          1. hansman1982

            married vs. unmarried vs. divorced and each with and without kids broken down to NTC+

            This, my friends, is the next market inefficiency.

        2. Tim

          do you think last offseason when theo was brought in and the coaching staff changed thy didnt know there would be a huge overhaul? We arent going to be going after any premier free agents, were going to be going after guys like Maholm. and he had no problem coming to us

  12. Fishin Phil

    “I think that’s probably right, though I expect there are a handful of teams who, on the right consecutive nights, could bludgeon this Cubs team like that.”

    Like a baby seal.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      You mean this?
      seal1.jpg

  13. Ash

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Sveum told umpire Larry Vanover that throwing him out of the game would “usher in 1000 years of darkness”?

    1. TWC

      Hahaha.

  14. BD

    Which GM signed Juan Carlos Paniagua?

    1. EvenBetterV2.0

      Hoyer

      1. BD

        That’s terrible (and also very good) that 4 of our top 5 pitching prospects have been added in the last 12 months.

        1. hansman1982

          All 5 have been added in the last 15 months…

          1. loyal100more

            and the top pitcher…came less than 2 months ago and is a tommy john bounce back hopefull.

    2. TWC

      Which time?

    3. Chris

      Hoyer

  15. EvenBetterV2.0

    Either very impressive or very sad to know that 4 of our 5 best pitching prospects were added since the new guys came in.

  16. Fastball

    I have to apologize for my comments. It’s just terrible to see my favorite team of 51 years get beaten up on like this. I try to see where we have positives and there are some. I don’t know how to comment on those right now. I want to ignore this on a daily basis but it’s impossible. I tell myself everyday that this season is over and just wait and see what happens over the winter and hope for the best. I can’t walk away from my Cubs no matter how bad they are. For these guys sake I hope the last 25 days of this month go by fast as hell.

    1. Frank

      We hear ya–it’s been frustrating for all of us. I was a kid, but Hell, I remember the disgust my cousin and i shared when the Cubs had a losing season in the early 70s–and that was nothing like this. Yes, there are some positives–unfortunately, they’re almost all in the low minors right now.

      1. Earl Cunningham

        As bad as they are, nothing can ever top the depression of 2003.

        1. Kevin

          Moses Alou stirred everyone up after not catching that ball ……………..in all honesty, people should be mad at him and not poor Bartman.

          1. mudge

            Exactly, Kevin. Alou should have laughed it off, gone back to his position and gotten on with winning the game. But what nobody ever mentions is that the 7th inning stretch singer sang “And it’s root root root for the cha-amps” right before the implosion.

          2. MoneyBoy

            umm … nope … Alex Gonzalez, double play ball, inning over, Cubs (most likely) win

          3. Tim

            at him? the ball was in his glove. i know if gonzo turned the DP the inning would have been over but still. Nobody will ever know what would have happened

          4. Carew

            That was the one time i was ashamed to be a fan. Bartman didnt deserve any of that…Alou and the crap defense..

  17. ssckelley

    Heck as of right now coming off Tommy John surgery Vizcaino would probably be the Cubs #2 starter going into next season.

    1. fortyonenorth

      Heck, Vizcaino would probably be our #2 starter right now.

  18. Rice Cube

    The umpire sees only what he wants to see, man.

  19. Leroy

    Hey, there’s always next year! …Oh wait, that slogan has been used before, hasn’t it…hmm…

    1. Leroy

      Speaking of which does anyone remember Andy McPhail’s “The Cubs: we’re working on it” slogan?

  20. The Dude Abides

    Brett/Luke help me with some perspective how would Volstad do against rookie/ A ball league players like Soler, Amora, etc. nightly if he pitched in those leagues? Would he be dominant, average, etc? As another example if we brought up our top A ball pitcher how would he do against let say the Padres, Astro’s or the Cubs? I really haven’t seen a lot of low level games so I’m not sure of the quality of competition. Thanks

    1. mudge

      Volstad would dominate A ball hitters, except for one bad inning.

  21. ry34

    the saddest part of this story is there are still 26 games left………

  22. Stu

    The Cubs are going to have to make some midlevel moves in FA over the winter or why would people reup for season tickets?

    Unless a new TV deal makes attendance at Wrigley just gravy to the Ricketts. Then probably milking out the “building towards the future” sell at Cubs Convention to the Kool-Aid drinkers is probably enough.

    1. fortyonenorth

      I have to imagine anticipating 2-3 more losing seasons is going to depress the value of any TV deal. It’s not even “wait ’til next year” (as it has been in years past) it’s “just wait….” If you’re WGN/CSN looking at a 10 year deal, you’d have to discount the projected viewership over at least 20-30% of the contract.

      The Dodgers are sitting on a gold mine simply because they went out and bought a winning team. Now that it’s time to re-up their TV deals, they’re looking at huge numbers. I’m not suggesting the Cubs do the same thing, but yes, attendance and viewership is going to suffer if things aren’t at least turned in the right direction soon.

      1. gutshot5820

        I have to disagree…the Cubs have an amazing fan base and any new contract will be dependent on future projected earnings. If all goes right and the team is looking to contend by then, their new TV contracts could be out of this world. Certainly, the Ricketts will immediately double or triple their investment IMO. The timing of when they bought the team was fantastic. In reality, they probably don’t need any public financing at all, but business is business and they will try to squeeze as much money as they can out of the city.

        1. fortyonenorth

          Yes, the Ricketts family bought low. Good for them. Isn’t the TV deal up after next season? Not saying that Chicago fan aren’t loyal – they are, and to a fault – but If a new deal goes into effect in 2014 and the Cubs don’t look to field a winning team until 2016, that’ll factor into the equation. Better team=more viewers; more viewers=more ad dollars. It’s all relative, though. Case in point, the 2012 Cubs have a much larger fan base than the 2012 Nationals.

          1. Flashfire

            The WGN deal expires after 2014. the CSN deal goes to — you’ll love this — 2019. That one is going to hurt. A lot.

      2. King Jeff

        The Dodgers reached their tv deal before McCourt sold the team, which was well before they went out and spent that money.

  23. Kevin

    If they sign free agents then they lose draft picks, it’s a lose-lose situation. The new CBA really hurt teams trying to rebuild as it will take much longer to turn things around. Theo or no Theo it will time my friends.

  24. Crawl

    rizzo started off scorching hitting for a ton of power but over the last month and a half hes been slumping, pretty much being a single hitter. I love his hustle, but if Vogelbach keeps it going thru the minors i’ll be all for trading Rizzo. Can’t we put Rizzo in the outfield???

    1. Tim

      dude vogelbach is only in boise. so much can change. pitchers have obviously figured out rizzos weaknesses. give him the offseason to adjust like he did last year.

    2. fortyonenorth

      I think its premature to write-off Rizzo. Sure, he’s cooled-off some, but that’s to be expected. Pitchers have made their adjustments; now it’s up to Rizzo to show that he can make his own. He’s still hitting at a good clip and has brought the avg. back up close to .300 during the Nats series. In terms of V-bach. He still has a long way to go.

      Having said all this, I agree with the trade sentiment. Nothwithstanding, no-trade clauses, there shouldn’t be a single person on the team who is untouchable in terms of trade bait. If the Cubs could trade Rizzo for a couple stud SP prospects they’d have to at least consider it. Ditto Castro. They’re both good, but we have good position players in the farm system. We don’t have any pitching (I know: stating the obvious).

      1. Tim

        i disagree with the Castro statement. Hes proven what hes capable of. I would definteily think we would have to get some ML quality players in return including the stud prospects

    3. ssckelley

      Rizzo brings to much to the table defensively at first base to even think about moving him. Unless he turns into LaHair and stops hitting you are not going to put Rizzo in the outfield.

  25. Tim

    i dont think most of you realize that theres a pretty good chance our rotation next year is already on the roster. Garza (atleast for the first half of the season), shark, wood, volstad, and remember our gem from atlanta vizcaino? I would say its pretty certain all of them will be in the rotation save the exception for volstad. maybe just 1 maholm like pitcher will come here.

    1. loyal100more

      volstad should buddie up with lahair and stewart and go to japan!

    2. ssckelley

      No way is Volstad locked into the rotation next season and neither is Vizcaino who is recovering from TJ surgery. The Cubs are going to have to sign at least 1 free agent pitcher in the off season. No way do you want to commit more than 1 rotation spot to Raley, Rusin, Germano, Wells, and Volstad. The 4 of them may compete for the 5th spot in the rotation but the Cubs will be in trouble if they need more than 1 of them to start next season. I doubt even Wood is guaranteed a spot in the rotation next year.

  26. die hard

    Brett, I heard your call and will say it again—The Cubs would have been a lot better off going after DT for GM

  27. Ooh, Let’s Make Puns Using Junior Lake’s Name and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] Sveum, who was ejected last night after Cody Ransom struck out, clearly doesn’t like umpires doing any eyeballin’. ”I didn’t quite like the way [the umpire] handled staring at Cody and following him,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “It was over with. He didn’t need to keep staring at my player and baiting him.” Seriously: don’t eyeball Sveum or his players. [...]