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dale sveum head scratcherAfter last night’s loss, there are just 10 games left in the 2013 Chicago Cubs season. One of these years, I’m looking forward to this being the most exciting two weeks in the season (save the playoffs), rather than a death march that promises only the sweet relief of “no more losses” for the next six months.

  • It doesn’t sound like Dale Sveum was caught off guard by Theo Epstein’s technical refusal to confirm that Sveum would be back to manage the Cubs in 2014 (for which he’s under contract). “We’ve been in good communication through all this, and I understand that they go through what they have to go through on their end as far as the evaluation of myself and the coaching staff,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. He added that he hopes he’ll be brought back next year (obviously), and feels like a number of things have gone well this year, in terms of the areas on which he’ll be evaluated (player development, clubhouse culture, etc.). The wins haven’t come, but the front office still places the blame for the record on themselves. For now, it’s been Sveum’s job to develop players at the big league level, keep players positive and prepared, and demonstrate good in-game decision-making skills. Has he done well enough at those things to get another year? As I’ve said, I tend to think yes. Sveum will meet with Epstein after the season ends.
  • For those who are into online betting, that there link will give you some options.
  • Edwin Jackson and Ryan Sweeney offer votes of confidence in Sveum and the coaching staff.
  • Nate Schierholtz is having a career year, and he’s played in more full games this season than ever before in his big league career. Given that, and his .437 OPS this month, it’s fair to wonder if he’s wearing down a bit. He tells Cubs.com that he’s learned a lot this year – it’s “a little bit of a grind” – and he’d approach certain things differently if he were doing it again.
  • Carlos Villanueva and his wife give back.
  • The Cubs give back to the Lake View community.
  • CC Rider

    I give Sveum very little chance of being back next year. I never thought he’d be the long-term solution. I’d be willing to bet calls have been made to NY.

    • cubsfanforever

      Agree and hope you are right

      • CC Rider

        Sveum was dealt a tough hand and that was beyond his control. However, I think the FO was looking for him to piece together line-ups that would get them to around .500, showing HE was making a difference. I don’t see it and the urgency is catching up to him.

        • wvcubsfan

          What that has happened over the past two years makes you believe this FO wanted to finish at or right around .500?

          Was it trading all of the players that were doing well and weren’t under contract control for multiple years for youth?

          Was it the drafting exciting prospects in the early parts of the draft because of last years record?

          Or maybe it was them coming right out and saying if your going to lose you may as well lose big?

          • Kyle

            Well, there was the part where they signed a bunch of free agents and only traded them when .500 was mostly out of reach.

  • Kyle

    I still like Sveum a lot and don’t see the point of firing him.

    There’s always going to be 51/49 management decisions that people get all up in arms over, but he’s fine afaict.

    • cubmig

      The other thing is there is this little note Brett cites: ” The wins haven’t come, but the front office still places the blame for the record on themselves.”

  • JR

    One thing that comes to mind in his defense. The Cubs have traded or sold off a lot of pieces during the course of the year and really haven’t received anything in return that equates to front line starters. Instead they have traded for inventory pieces in the minor leagues that hopefully will lead to front line players in the future. He is also playing players that are being measured in regard to their abilities going forward. This doesn’t always mean that he has his best 9 on the field.

  • Frank

    Any votes for Mike Quade? (aren’t I funny)

  • Craig

    I think Jed Hoyer should be new manager and Jason McLeod the new GM. Along with Theo they all think along the same lines as we transition into a contending team.

  • Jono

    I’m not much of a Sveum fan, but I’d rather the team wait for the right guy than to get rid of Sveum this offseason and be forced to settle on whoever’s available. If there’s someone better available now, then by all means make the switch. I simply don’t want them to make a switch just to make a switch if it doesn’t actually improve the team b/c then you’re stuck with the new guy for another couple years.

    I make this point b/c I see teams firing coaches/managers just to make a change, then the new guy isn’t any better than the previous guy. Failing to land a great manager after the previous guy’s contract expires isn’t so bad. But it’s bad when you fire a manager only to hire a guy who isn’t better

  • macpete22

    Which managers are available after this season? Girardi and possibly Scisciosa are the only one’s I’ve really heard mentioned

    • macpete22

      Charlie Manuel?

      • willis

        Too old…but I like…love the idea of Girardi and Scisciosa if they are in play.

        • hansman1982

          I love how Cubs fans want Sveum fired because they think he has somehow underperformed and then want Mike Scoscia.

          • Jeff

            I don’t think he has underperformed, the team definitely has….I think he just isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and we can do much better with someone else.

            I don’t think he’s a very good manager even if he had a very talented team to work with.

            How’s them apples.

            • hansman1982

              That is fine, just don’t want Scoscia.

              The Girardi love, I can understand. Other managers who have failed elsewhere, I don’t.

              • Jono

                Both have one world series championship. Both are above .500 as manager, Girardi’s being 2.3% higher than Scioscia’s.

                • Jono

                  2.3% higher in winning percentage, that is

                  • willis

                    Yeah it’s not like Scoscia is a dog. Dude has been very succesful and has had a rough go of it a little bit lately. I’d love either.

                    • Jono

                      yea, lately his had a rough time. I guess that’s why people around here like bringing up the idea of sample size. When a guy has the kind of career like Scioscia, you don’t judge him as a bad manager based on a couple bad years. That’s like saying that I don’t want Castro on the team b/c of his bad 2013 season.

          • cub2014

            Svuem has made plenty of dumb
            mistakes. More so then most managers
            we have seen come through here the
            last 40 years. We have had some bad
            ones and some good ones. I think after
            2 years of watching him he fits into
            below average at best category, closer
            to the bad ones.

            • miggy80

              Svuem will be back next year. Not only was Dale given bad teams but if he’s fired now I think it will send the wrong message to the organization.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Most of Sveum’s putative “dumb mistakes” have been to put in someone from the Cubs bullpen instead of .

              Sveum has made good use of platoons and shifts agains the other teams. OK, he’s called for sacrifice bunts by position players a little too often (= more than zero times in my book), but he has encouraged aggressive baserunning (which generates more runs than it costs) and aggressive fielding (which prevents more runs than it costs).

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Whoops: I forgot that they don’t like brackets. That should read “instead of (tacitly assumed superior reliever not actually on the Cubs roster).

                • hansman1982

                  I think the way it was originally works better.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    heh, good point!

          • Jono

            No one blames the losing seasons on Sveum. And Scioscia is one of the most respected managers in the game. Having a good manager doesn’t guarantee a winning season and having a bad manager doesn’t guarantee a losing season.

        • Senor Cub

          if only we would have had a better coach, we’d be in the playoffs this year…c’mon people get real!

          • cub2014

            playoffs! youre talking playoffs!

            • C. Steadman

              You kidding me?! Playoffs?! I just hope we can win a game! Another game!

    • Jon

      The Girardi’s and Soccia’s of the world aren’t going to sit quietly while Theo trots out another 90+ loss team in 2014. That’s why Sveum has this job in the first place, he’s an unknown, a neophyte, that will sit back and deal with the crap they are putting out there for 3-4 years.

      • cubs2003

        This. Theo and Jed seem like they want a soldier they have complete control over. Hiring a veteran manager could be a little tough unless they’re really sure he’s the right guy. Could you imagine a late career Piniella with Theo and Jed. You could probably make a TV show out of that.

      • willis

        I do agree here. Sveum is their quiet puppet who won’t rock the boat while the team purposely loses and shreds payroll. So, most likely with another 95 or so loss season coming next year, he’ll be back. Sadz.

    • Blublud

      Possibly Ron Washington

      • Jon

        [img]http://cultmontreal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Chappelle.jpg[/img]

        • C. Steadman

          hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        • Coop

          That is funny stuff right there.

      • arta

        Say what?

  • CC Rider

    I don’t think they would fire him just to fire him. I think they would do it to get the best around, a proven winner, someone with ties to the club. If that isn’t available I’m sure he stays.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Who are these managers who, year-in and year-out, get teams to win more games than you expect given their overall performance?

      Now, it recently has been shown that veteran managers often get players to perform better than you would expect given ZIPS projections: but it is possible that this was just “wisdom” providing a good substitute for statistics.

      • hansman1982

        I think you would expect veteran managers to get more out of their players just as you would expect veteran players to perform, generally, better than younger players if only because you have some selection bias going on. Only the good ones become veteran managers.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Ah, but here is the kicker: the tendency does not really turn up until *later* in manager’s careers! Guys like Anderson, Weaver, etc., were better at it late than they were early.

          One big difference? Those guys latched on to good teams early, and thus got the chance to manage for a while.

          The open question is the “why” (regardless of when in a career a manager starts boosting performance.) The best guess put forward on Fangraphs was that good managers know when to sit guys do to matchups, minor injuries, fatigue, etc. Another possibility is that they have better coaches because, well, with experience you get a better idea of who coaches best. (That written, it also was noted that a coach who is GREAT for Player A often is bad for Player B.)

  • mjhurdle

    I think Sveum has done a good job the last two years, given what he has had to work with.

    My main thing is that i don’t see how you can really judge Sveum and how he would manage a real team when the 2 years he has managed he was given a AAAA roster.
    There are things that i think he showed strength in (defensive alignments, getting good production out of journeyman), but i don’t think you can judge him on much else, either good or bad. he makes strange lineup and bullpen decisions sometimes, but how much of that is him being strange or him trying to deal with the sub-par players he has? I don’t think we will know until this team gets at least quasi-competitive again.
    I guess that is my long way of saying that I haven’t seen anything that tells me he CANT be a good manager, but I wouldn’t be comfortable saying that he is definitely the one that we should keep going forward. I need to see more.

  • macpete22

    Shark on Intentional Talk yesterday: http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=30721423

  • Jim

    Is it too early for the Dave McKay for Manager push?

  • Brains

    The only reason to fire Sveum is to find a scapegoat because we can’t fire the owners.

    • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

      Cry me a river

      • Brains

        Isn’t that what you’re doing by calling for our manager to be fired simply for being given a bad team? Priorities…

  • mjhurdle

    I love Girardi, but why has the Girardi 2014 Campaign taken off with the fervor of Campana for MVP?
    Is it just because he is an ex-Cub?
    Why is it assumed that he will develop players or manage the roster any better that Sveum has?
    He had a mediocre year in Florida with players like H. Ramirez, M.Cabrera, D Willis, J Johnson, D Uggla, so it wasn’t like he got 80 wins out of the 2013 Cubs roster.
    Since then he has managed a talented Yankees roster with success.
    I am not saying he is a bad manager at all, but he seems like most other managers, give them a better roster and they give you more wins.
    I wouldn’t be upset if the Cubs let Sveum go and got Girardi, just don’t understand why all of a sudden he is now such a great manager.

    • Brains

      Just for the record I think Girardi would be a great hire, I just think people are too capricious and short sided about what the actual team has been through this year. He’s done a great job in good spirits. Imagine if he had real players to work with?

  • jt

    I like Sveum. I believe he has done a fine job in this transitional period.
    I’m hoping the club leaps forward next year both in quality of play and wins. I’d like to see how he handles that phase before making judgement as to whether he is the guy to take them to the promise land.
    I do like the fact that Sveum doesn’t seem to care what posters to blogs think.

    • cubs2003

      I basically agree. He was sent out there without a good enough team to win, and at the trade deadline his team got even worse for the second year in a row. I’d give the guy another year and see what happens unless the FO’s perfect candidate becomes available.

      • Brains

        Yeah it’s low class to take a dump on him under these circumstances. Give him another year, a nice salary, and a few veterans, and see what he can do.

  • Mtrlill

    Being swept again by Milwaukee is pathetic. Let’s face it we don’t have the most talented team on the field but what we do have out there have quit on the Manager and his staff. The end of the season can’t come quick enough to end the misery. Someone needs to be help accountable for this depressing mess.

    • Jon

      The accountability starts and ends at ownership that doesn’t give adequate resources to put a decent product on the field.

  • Ivy Walls

    [img]http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=Bku7mGblAPTawM&tbnid=fcGaEacqTe4MFM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyburnttoast.blogspot.com%2F&ei=vxU7UqYHk8-pAbKLgcAG&bvm=bv.52288139,d.aWM&psig=AFQjCNGGjAISd4dymB4YXC7jmH655O0NSQ&ust=1379690262813636[/img]

    124-190, Franchise record for consecutive years is 193. (“They lost 193 in 1961-62 and 1965-66.) They were just eight losses short of their worst three-year stretch (1964-66).” (Sun Times)…

    2010 Chicago Cubs National League 75 87 .463
    2011 Chicago Cubs National League 71 91 .438
    2012 Chicago Cubs National League 61 101 .377
    2013 Chicago Cubs National League 63 89 .414

    Totals 4yr 270 368 .423
    3yr 195 281 .409
    2yr 124 190 .395

    Girardi

    Also need a big trade, shake it up, marquee player and manager.

    • willis

      Damn, that’s pathetic. I’d go crazy for 75-87 at this point. Pretty sad.

      • Ivy Walls

        Pathetic is nice, putrid is a better description, only Houston has been worse.

        [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3drOLMn0k9A/RvrBLSsLcUI/AAAAAAAAABs/Xn_8mYLpCJw/s1600/burnttoast.JPG[/img]

        by the way my image I tried was this

    • cub2014

      those won loss numbers are horrible.
      they did land us: Baez,Almora,Bryant & ?
      (not to mention our comp picks)
      But enough is enough lets get this thing
      going now!

  • jon

    I just wonder if someday, people will get that, in baseball, a manager doesn’t really matter, at all.

    • jon

      *outside of doing real stupid sh.t like breaking down arms, but that’s about it.

      • cubs2003

        I think for along time that was true, but with defensive shifts and lineup construction in the post-steroid era a manager has become more important. Just look at a team like the Pirates. I’m not saying that the manager has everything to do with it, put they’ve overachieved consistently throughout the season.

        • jon

          Shifts are numbers driven, not instinctual, so all you need is a guy that can follow a script.

    • Ivy Walls

      Bull Cubs should have 5 more wins regarding hard stats and that does not include intangibles or manager’s decisions.

      A manager on hard statistics appears to have little effect but a manager has much more influence on soft or intangibles,

      how a locker room prepares for a game
      how players develop and prepare
      how he works the front office

      each add to the aggregate.

      Sveum was always a sacrificial lamb. He is now becoming a liability to the team. $$ and development.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        But that ascribes the deviations from expected wins to “intangibles” when the Cubs are not deviating significantly at all. If the Cubs really are a 0.447 team, then you expect them to go 63-89 in nearly 25% of 152 game runs.

        Indeed, if that is a judge of managers, then Jim Leyland is the worst manager in MBL this year: the Tigers are 7 games under expectations! The Sox have done just as poorly as the Cubs under John Farrell, yet they are going to post-season, too. The Cards have done worse than the Cubs under Matheny relative to expectations, and they are going to post-season.

        Conversely, Charlie Manuel got fired at a time where the Phillies were at the top of MBL in “over-archieving.”

        And none of those results will predict what happens in 2014 any better than a coin-flip will.

  • C. Steadman

    for all those that care…Logan Watkins is getting his third start per Carrie Muskat

    • willis

      This board may explode with Watkins love.

      • C. Steadman

        it would be a wonderful change of scenery away from the Sveum/Girardi talk

  • MoneyBoy

    We can all bitch about the lack of success Carlos Villaneuva has had… but that article on what he and his wife are doing in the Dominican Republic should give everyone pause about what’s *really* important in this world !!!

  • jt

    Over the winter, Theo/Jed could stand pat treading water as they wait until the 2014 AS break to elevate the likes of Baez, Bryant, Hendricks, Arodys, etc. They could then just sit back and evaluate how that is going to work.
    Or…
    they could use that time to sign FA’s and make a big splash in the trade market. An example that is both absurd and realistic would be to toss money at Choo and Tanaka while swapping a package such as Almora, C. Villanueva, Shierholz, Cabrera and a couple of pot luck suspects like Olt and/or Maples for a player such as CarGo.
    *
    If they do the former, the playoffs in 2014 are pretty much a dream.
    If they do the latter they get a lineup such as Choo, Stalin, Gargo, Beef, Rizzo, Platoon (Bogo or Sweeney with Lake) and whoever they decide to have play 2nd and 3rd. That would go with a rotation of Tanaka, Wood, Shark, Jackson and a medley of Arrieta, Rusin and Hendricks etc). This type of change would indeed create and expectation of October playoffs.
    So…, imo,
    depending upon what they decide to spend and how much of the future they decide to sacrifice dictates my expectations of how successful they will be in 2014. They could be again fighting for a draft pick or they could be very good.
    I suspect that they will make some moves, just not the series of big splashes listed above. So…, my expectation is of an improved team but a team not yet worth of the playoffs.
    But there are routes that exists that could very well lead to a surprise.

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