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Jed HoyerWhile we await the final word on whether Dale Sveum will be returning to helm the Chicago Cubs in 2014 – a decision that could come as early as Monday – there are a couple additional pieces of information of which to make you aware.

The first comes in the form of a long article by Patrick Mooney, which is well worth a read. In it, you’ll find many of the very things I’ve tried, poorly, to articulate over the past two weeks – including the fact that the numerous layers that go into this managerial decision make it very hard to articulate precisely what the inputs are and what the outputs could be. There are the players to consider, the other options, the coaching staff, the direction of the organization, the projected competitiveness in the next few years, etc.

Mooney notes that the whispers of Joe Girardi coming home, so to speak, are not merely folks connecting Chicago-and-expiring-contract dots. Relatedly, Mooney hears from team sources that the evaluation process is indeed complex, and could end with a new manager for the Cubs within the next month. It could be Girardi, or it could be someone else. Or it could still be Dale Sveum. That’s how tricky this whole thing is.

Speaking of which …

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was on the Dave Kaplan show yesterday, and was immediately asked about the Dale Sveum evaluation process. You can – and should – listen to the interview here, but the paraphrased response is this: “The direction of the organization is good. But some things at the Major League level were frustrating. That’s probably the case every year, but this year more than most. There are some players and some things that haven’t lived up to expectations. We’ve spent a long time trying to get to the bottom of why that happened.” While that speaks generically to issues on the big league team – they’ve lost 93 games, so obviously some things on the Major League level were frustrating – it came in direct response to a question about the evaluation of Dale Sveum.

To be clear, Hoyer didn’t give anything away, and nothing in what he said would be inconsistent with Sveum returning. But the feel – the gut reaction you have after listening to someone speak – was that a change might be coming. I was surprised to have that reaction, and maybe I had it only because I’d just read Mooney’s piece, and was taking things together that don’t actually go together.

The beginning of October is shaping up to be an interesting time, even as the Cubs are sitting out the playoffs once again.

UPDATES – A couple short items that popped up just now/came to my attention just now: Peter Gammons was on The Score and suggested that former catcher Brad Ausmus could be a candidate for the Cubs if Sveum is let go (Gammons guessed Sveum is gone, based on the silence, doesn’t think Girardi will be the guy, and said he wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Ausmus). Nick Cafardo tweets that nothing has been decided yet about Sveum, though.

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Brad Ausmus reminds me of Joe Garardi 2.0 as a young manager

    Both:
    1) former catchers
    2) known for being great communicators
    3) handles young developing guys well
    4) girardi went to a young Marlins team with not much experience and became manager of the year. Could this be the same situation for Ausmus?

    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

      Rumor: Peter Gammons reports, that Brad Ausmus will replace Dale Sveum as the Cubs manager. Very interesting. He’d be great for young players developing but I’m not sure he is experienced enough from a managing stand point. He’s currently with the padres right now and actually was interviewed by the Red Sox for their managing position last year. He’d be great with handling the media as well.

    • YourResidentJag

      Can’t say I don’t like this, but not opposed to Svuem continuing out the length of his contract, either. Ausmus is a smart guy. Dartmouth grad and in tune with sabremetrics, in the Maddon style of manager. Not that I ‘m trying to give a one-to-one comparison of the two, mind you.

  • Cubbie Tim

    Bring Zimmer back

  • macpete22

    Ausmus wouldn’t be bad

  • North Side Irish

    Gammons: “The silence tells me that there’s a really good chance Dale Sveum doesn’t come back and I don’t believe that Joe Girardi is going to be manager of the Cubs. Just basing it on background & history, I would not be shocked if it was Brad Ausmus.”

    • Professor Snarks

      Is this just Gammons speculating (which is worth next to nothing), or is this Gammons repeating something he’s heard, but can’t reveal yet?

  • King Jeff

    IF Svuem is canned, I wouldn’ be disappointed if Ausmus was the choice to replace him. I still think Sandy Alomar will be a very good manager and would like to see him get a serious shot.

    • macpete22

      I was hoping Alomar got the job originally

  • willis

    He may not have given anything away, but man you’re right, the gut feeling is that they are not happy with the major league club’s development. Remember during most of the season they were always saying put the major league results on us, not Dale. Well, seems like that has changed.

    I would love for a change obviously. Sabermetrics this and that, but I’m telling you watching Rizzo continue to struggle and never really break out of it this year, Shark’s second half and Castro’s whole year are not satisfactory for those three guys, who this FO is going to be leaning heavily on to spark this rebuild. That and I think bullpen usage/decisions and what was mentioned yesterday about handling the young players…maybe it all adds up.

    • ssckelley

      I honestly do not think the wins/losses really have much to do with what they decide to do with Sveum. I think there has been some issues on player development and the way he manages the game that they have been unhappy with.

      • Koyie Hill Sucks

        He has shown no reason to stick around. Poor player development (really just for this reason he should be fired) and imo bad bullpen management, especially early in the year.

  • willis

    I’m throwing in my hat…could get the ewok village as the staff and have the force help bring this team a pennant. Boom, World Series. Sabermetrics be damned.

    • Cyranojoe

      Who needs sabremetrics when you have light sabres?!?

    • CubChymyst

      Maybe you should throw your hat into the ring for the new cubs mascot. Apparently people think a baby bear is not fierce enough.

      • willis

        Hahaha, would an Ewok be scarier than a baby cub?

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    You can’t blame the record on Sveum but you can bland the regression or lack there of development on him and this coaching staff. Players just aren’t responding well anymore or are stagnant in development. It’s never all on the manager. Players are accountable too but sometimes you can’t just go with the status quo

  • The Dude Abides

    IF Dale’s gone, think Hispanic. Too much young talent to leave unaddressed if not manger then as bench coach or similar position.

  • Blublud

    I’m glad. I supported the Sveum hire, but it did not take me long to tire of his constant rumbling in to the media about the players. Now that we cab see the evaluation process, I feel he was thr owing his players under the bus to make himself look better in this whole evaluation process, and apparently it backfired.

    Don’t feel sorry for him, he’ll still get paid.

    • Funn Dave

      I’d rather he be honest than just a yes man for the players.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    I could live with Ausmus if Girardi isn’t available.

    But the bottom line is that the regression of Castro and Rizzo, and to a lesser extent Barney and Samardzija, spells doom for Sveum.

    Keep Bosio and McKay; dump the rest of the coaching staff.

    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

      I think Girardi stays with the Yanks. He won’t be able to turn down the huge contract they’ll offer or a consistent $200M payroll

      • ssckelley

        Not so fast, the Yankees are pulling in the reigns on the historical over spending the Yankees have been known for. I don’t think Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are like their dad in that they will just keep throwing money at problems and that they would like to get under the luxary tax.

  • Eric

    I like Ausmus but I fail to see the rationale behind bringing him onboard. If the Cubs are expecting to begin turning the corner next year to hopefully a .500 team, I just don’t get why you would hope to do that with a rookie manager. And I don’t say that to mean Girardi would be my choice, I would just think that any proven manager would get the nod for this Cubs team at this particular time. Otherwise, it would sort of feel like we’re starting all over again.

    • Cyranojoe

      When is it ok to have a rookie manager?

      • Eric

        I think the Cardinals pulled it off perfectly. They didn’t need Matheney to teach these guys how to win, only to continue keeping everyone on the same page. The Cubs aren’t in that situation.

    • Funn Dave

      WE CAN’T ALL HAVE PROVEN MANAGERS. WHERE ARE PEOPLE GETTING THESE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS? USE BASIC EFFING LOGIC. Not to mention, given the Cubs’ alleged financial restraints, they aren’t going to be actively looking to spend hella dollars on a manager unless he’s a really good fit, like Girardi.

      • frank

        You don’t have to yell.

        • On The Farm

          Its only funn if you yell it.

          • Funn Dave

            Darn right.

      • Eric

        I would have gladly replied to you in regards to this conversation if only you had been a bit more civil.

        • Funn Dave

          You’re right; I’m sorry. I’ve just seen too many comments recently expressing that same nonsensical sentiment and your was the tipping point, so to speak.

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    I think the only coaches that should stay are Chris Bosio and Dave McKay. Both have done a tremendous jobs with their teaching and coaching in terms of their specialties.

    Bosio done a great job developing pitchers

    Dave McKay has done a great job as a fielding instructor with many players. Specifically Soriano, and I also think Junior Lake. Lake has done a tremendous job in the OF with the lack of experience and reps

  • Kyle

    It wasn’t just that we lost so many games, but it was specifically what went wrong: The three most important players to our long-term futures all had seasons rating between “slightly disappointing” and “Chernobyl-level disaster.”

    It’d be disappointing if Sveum took the fall for that if it wasn’t really his fault, but for the moment the front office gets the very thin benefit of the doubt if they really do believe it was his fault.

    • MightyBear

      I agree.

    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

      I don’t see it as Sveum taking the fall for the team but more as not getting the job done with development. He never was getting judged based on win-loss record but more based on development of young players and developing a good culture for the young players that just has never been there. It’s not that did a terrible job but more of he was brought here to be a care taker and if he turned out to be the guy then they’d extend him and he just hasn’t blow. Management away. Also I think he has made quite a few suspect decision when handling the pitching staff. It’s not like he was given Allstar pitchers to work with but a lot of moves were highly questionable

    • YourResidentJag

      Seconded in agreement.

    • cubmig

      Couldn’t agree more Kyle. The FO made the decision to put Sveum at the helm and it proved them wrong. Sveum may take the fall, but he’ll walk away more experienced for his next gig—if he’s canned. He comes out ahead in that sense. We, on the other hand are left with Rizzo, Castro, Shark, Russell (?) in need of rehabilitation for the drop they’ve taken.

      The FO owns our situation.

  • macpete22
    • ssckelley

      Wow, thanks for sharing. That would be a huge step in the right direction for Cuban players. The Mexican League is considered AAA level of baseball and seeing how Cuban players perform in that league would be beneficial. It is good to see Cuba finally relaxing a little bit with their athletes, I think they finally realize they are letting a profitable export go right through their fingers every time a player defects.

      • Good Captain

        Reality finally reared its head.

  • Professor Snarks

    Dale Sveum was hired by a Front Office that was new to the organization. The FO had a plan, but had little or no first hand knowledge of the players, and personalities, that they would be dealing with 2 or 3 years down the road. Now they do. it’s possible they feel Dale doesn’t provide what they need with the players they have. That’s okay.

    We’ll see. I’m just hoping they bring in a team that has an instant impact. I know it’s not the same, but look at the Bears. 4 different offenses in Cutler’s 5 years. How can that be good? Look at the Cubs, possibly 3 different hitting coaches in 3 years. How can that be good?

  • King Jeff

    John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 9m

    Just got confirmation from one of my sources that *if* Sveum is fired, than Ausmus is indeed on the short list.

    • Professor Snarks

      If someone was the type to ‘infer’ things, you’d have to ask “why have a shortlist unless Dale was getting fired”.

      • ssckelley

        At this point I can’t see how the FO can bring Sveum back. There is to much smoke swirling around that there is going to be a change. If your intent is to bring Sveum back then you don’t go on the biggest Chicago sports talk radio station and give an interview that punches holes in your commitment to the current manager.

      • frank

        I think, not unlike most sports, a good GM always has a short list in case a change needs to be made for whatever the reason.

        • Professor Snarks

          i didn’t phrase that right. Sure, ever FO has a short list, just in case. But they are never made public, unless…..

          • Good Captain

            Agreed! How would Tampa Bay’s office answer that question if posed to them today? They wouldn’t for the reasons you cite.

  • Voice of Reason

    You can complain about the progression of Castro and Rizzo this year, but there are other coaches on the Cubs staff besides Sveum who are nurturing these two “future stars” along the way.

    That said, overall Sveum managed this team to more wins than last year and that’s solid when you see what he has to work with. I know it’s not about wins and losses this year, but it’s something that needs to be thrown into the equation.

    On Girardi, first of all I don’t think the Yankees are going to let him go and what manager would want to leave the premiere coaching job in baseball? They will throw a bunch of money at him and he will stay.

    As I’ve said before, the timing is not right for Girardi to come on board. If this was the end of the 2015 season then the Cubs might be ready for a great manager to put them over the top! If Girardi came in to manage this team next year there wouldn’t be much difference than if Sveum were here. We just don’t have the weapons to compete and the owners are going to wait one more year to let players develop before adding some real free agents who are difference makers.

    If they want Ausmus, so be it. At the end of the day, Sveum/Ausmus… there’s no difference!

    • Professor Snarks

      “You can complain about the progression of Castro and Rizzo this year, but there are other coaches on the Cubs staff besides Sveum who are nurturing these two “future stars” along the way.”

      Yes, there are, but we don’t know who has been working with which player. The FO does.
      Don’t forget, though, that one of the things a Manager does, is manage his coaches, so fair or not, Dale is ultimately responsible for EVERY players development.

    • DarthHater

      “At the end of the day, Sveum/Ausmus… there’s no difference!”

      And yet another sweeping assertion based on absolutely nothing. This blog really needs a Voice of Facts!

      • Hee Seop Chode

        How does one quantify the anticipated performance of a first time head coach?

  • Cubswin

    It does seem like Ausmus would make sense now that the FO set the deadline of deciding by Monday. If they were to do a change they would need to hire their replacement fairly quickly. They wouldn’t want to wait around on Girardi’s decision whenever it comes

  • http://Www.bleachernation.com salesguy

    I think the front office knows that with the big 4 (potentially) arriving in the next 3 years, development is what will win the day. That’s what Dale never understood, the front office would’ve defended the losses (we all knew they were coming) but as long as Jeff is progressing, Castro’s getting his 200 hits, and Rizzo is at least a .270-.280 hitter, Dale would’ve been fine. But when you turn two of those guys into .230 hitters, and Jeff’s ERA is north of 4, and a 23 year old short stop has to tell the coaches to back off, Dale, and his coaching staff should’ve stopped what they were doing months ago, it obviously wasn’t taking. But, they continued, and turned those 3 into basket cases, that were critiqued by him openly in the media. I think the FO is now scared beyond belief to turn any of the big 4 over to him.

    • Professor Snarks

      “I think the FO is now scared beyond belief to turn any of the big 4 over to him.”

      Salesguy, this is it in a nutshell. At this point, all the FO needs to be worried about is who they want to manage the next wave of talent.

      • Eric

        I think there is indeed a point here. If Watkins can’t even break 40 at bats in his call up this season, how does Sveum handle other youngsters? And I wonder why he didn’t hesitate to play Lake?

        • Jon

          Because Lake actually has a ceiling to be decent while Watkins is just garbage?

          • Eric

            You should read more.

        • C. Steadman

          b/c Lake was pulled up to fill a starting need in the OF(after Bogey, Sweeney, and DDJ went down) while Watkins was brought up to fill a bench role behind a GG caliber 2B, no matter how crappy he hits…Watkins and Barney are probably same offensively maybe more OBP to Watkins while Barney is definitely a better defender

          • On The Farm

            Actually Watkins was called up when Valbuena was injured, leading some to believe that maybe he could play 3B.

          • C. Steadman

            Donnie Murphy was brought up to play 3B, because Luis Valbuena went down with injury on Aug 2, while waiting for his diagnosis Julio Borbon was designated…once they figured Valbuena was headin for the DL then Watkins was brought up for infield depth with a small potential for OF depth as well

      • CubFan Paul

        this does make sense.

    • mjhurdle

      “I think the FO is now scared beyond belief to turn any of the big 4 over to him.”

      i would disagree with that. I believe that there are philosophical differences between the Front Office and Sveum, and player development may play a small part in that. But Sveum was not a bad player developer. He helped some players, and failed on others. It isn’t like he messed everyone he touched up, some players just responded better to his approach than others.
      If the Front Office is holding out for a manager that has 100% success rate with prospects, then we will be going through a lot of managers.
      And each player is different. So just because Sveum’s approach worked or didn’t work with one specific player has no way of fore-telling if it would work with another.
      I guess im saying that, without know the personalities more, we have no way of knowing whether Baez would respond like Castillo to Sveum, or Rizzo.
      Obviously i could be way off, i just don’t see that as the one reason that Sveum might be fired.

      • On The Farm

        Well played. Although looking at the team, I would say only Castillo and Wood really took a step forward from the previous season. Most of Wood’s success is attributed to Bosio, and rightfully so, because Bosio made him his special project. The thing that I think sets Dale back is that while he doesn’t make me hate him, he never really does anything where I think “Yup, that’s the kind of manager I want going forward”.

        • mjhurdle

          “The thing that I think sets Dale back is that while he doesn’t make me hate him, he never really does anything where I think “Yup, that’s the kind of manager I want going forward”.”

          i agree with this 100%. I think that Sveum *could* still be a successful manager on a team with some actual talent, but nothing he has done with the Cubs stands out to me in either direction. I don’t hate him, and wouldn’t mind seeing him return next year. But if they replace him, i won’t mind him being let go either.

          • On The Farm

            He is the definitions of what kids call “meh”

      • Spriggs

        I agree with this. It certainly didn’t help Sveum that Castro, Rizzo, and Shark took steps backward (so did Barney by the way, and he has been identified as a core player by many – so he could be a factor too). What I think might have hurt Dale more was how obvious he made it on many ocassions that he wasn’t on the same page with the FO, as there were pretty obvious communication issues.

        2 examples: First, when Lake came up, Dale quickly said that he was not going to start. We all wondered WTF??? Why bring him up then. Well, Lo and Behold – a few days later Lake was playing everyday, something Dale made no allowance for in any of his statements (not even a “unless he gets hotter than hell…”). The other more recent example was when Baker came up. Dale said he was going to be used out of the pen. We wondered WTF??? Lo and Behold – he never pitched out of the pen.

        I’m sure many of us suspected there was a communication problem all along.

  • YourResidentJag
  • Jon

    ‘We’ve spent a long time trying to get to the bottom of why that happened.”

    Garbage in, Garbage Out, Jed. Um, Hello?!?!?!

  • Jon

    Brad Ausmus does seem like the perfect scapegoat that Theo can boss around and saddle with a shitty roster. I’d say he’s the shoe-in candidate at this point, if Svuem is indeed fired.

    • YourResidentJag

      Ausmus appears to be to intelligent just to be “bossed around” as you say.

    • King Jeff

      I agree that he’s a Jed Hoyer guy, but I think he’s one of the highest regarded managerial candidates for a reason. Aside from his playing career and the experience he gained there, he was on the bench in LA with Joe Torre and Larry Bowa. I guess this is just a perspective thing, because I see a guy who is a very good fit, not a guy who’s going to be a puppet. He turned down the Astro’s job and some minor league gigs because he didn’t want to go into a situation where his teams weren’t trying to win, and decisions on pitch counts, at bats, and such would have been out of his control. If he is willing to take the Cubs job on, it sounds to me like he’s got the right mindset.

      • C. Steadman

        beat me to it

    • C. Steadman

      Brad Ausmus just seems like the perfect fit…not scapegoat, he was an assistant to Jed and Josh Brynes so he probably knows sabermetric way of baseball while also still having the idea of the old school of thinking while playing under Torre and Larry Bowa

      • Jon

        Many of the things you guys are saying about Ausmus(“Theo/Jed ties) were said about Svuem two years ago.

        I’m intrigued by Ausmus, but make no mistake, this next manager will also be a scapegoat as well.

        • YourResidentJag

          I’m not so sure about your bold prediction.

        • King Jeff

          I think that if they have to find a scapegoat after firing their first manager, then the front office will be feeling the heat just as much, if not more, than the manager at that point.

        • C. Steadman

          if the next manager is gonna be a scapegoat, then why fire Sveum? you are gonna have to pay him and the new manager…I dont think Jed and Theo are gonna purposely hire a scapegoat manager who they know will be gone after a couple years to handle the developement of young players in the MLB…the 2nd manager they hire will be the one they want around when they are competitive

          • Jon

            They are shuffling the deck.

            • C. Steadman

              yeah and this time they are gonna deal a hand that they want to win with so they dont have to “shuffle the deck” a third time after two years..if you talk about mismanaging prospects, changing the manager every two years will be a good way to mismanage prospects

              • On The Farm

                But, if they aren’t replacing one scapegoat with another, jon will have nothing to complain about..

                Nevermind, if they don’t hire a new scapegoat AND get rid of Watkins, jon will have to find something new to complain about.

                • Jon

                  I’ll actually be really happy if they hire Ausmus. That would be my choice as well. I’ll feel bad for him though when he’s saddled with another bad roster though next year.

                  • On The Farm

                    Well he will know what he is getting himself into, so we really shouldn’t feel bad for him. Its like Dale, no one feels bad for him with the teams he has had the last two seasons. He knew what he was signing on for, and Ausmus will know 2014 won’t be pretty.

          • mjhurdle

            agreed, it makes no sense to fire a scapegoat before the contract is up just to get another scapegoat.

        • ssckelley

          Jon, I honestly don’t think Sveum was hired to be a scapegoat and the W/L over the past couple of years is not the big deciding factors in their decisions to not retain him. I think the FO thought they had their guy when they were looking for someone to guide them through last year but have been disappointed in the results of this team earlier in the year but, more importantly, the lack of player development.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    If Sveum comes back it would be as a lame duck, because there’s no way his option for 2015 would be picked up. He is too damaged at this point to command any respect next year.

    • King Jeff

      I see it going one of two ways if Svuem comes back; 1) The team continues to stink and he’s probably fired before the season ends. 2.) The team wins 75-80 games and show improvement, Svuem’s get’s one more year, and we’re right back in limbo.

    • willis

      You wonder, with all this out there, how the players will respond this weekend. Would be easy to just mail it in. Knowing he’s a lame duck. Could be interesting.

      At the end of the day though, I think they see that red bird jersey on the other side and dial in trying to get a couple wins.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Here’s the issue with refusing to hold players responsible for the performance, if indeed it turns out to be the player, especially in the case of Castro which is more likely than fans or the front office want to admit, then what? Do you act like a block head and run the next guy?

    One thing about two of the greatest personnel minds I’ve ever known, Ron Wolf and Walsh, they had short leashes. Both believed you were only there until they could find someone better. In this case there is the block head mentality that Castro has to he a superstar and anything short of that someone has to go. it has consequences beyond Castro particularly in terms of Baez. More important, you have to ask the next question, if Castro fails under say an Ausmus. what next? Do you fire Theo because he is the one who blew it on Castro?

    For my part it is obvious to me. Castro isn’t that special of a player and has never been. I think Theo, who I support, has been more to blame than anyone else for the problem here. Castro is a nice player with a lot of talent, but even more holes and certainly not the intellect to be The Guy, the 3 hole hitter, brainy who makes everyone better. Theo’s over analysis and trying to rework, not Sveum has made it obvious that Castro has big holes. Do I want Theo fired? No, absolutely not, ultimately most of Starlin Castro’s failings are at Starlin;s feet and his mental approach and ability to adjust. But more than anything Sveum did, the personnel decision to remake Castro and cast his as the face of the organization brought this on.

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

    Dale has played every AAAA cub farm hand, damaged good free agent pick-up and waiver pick-up this front office provided him. The final Cub record improved. Someone needed to get a young Castro off swing at balls out of the strike zone, Shark-Rizzo were marginal AAAA players with talent when he was hired and Barney can’t hit MLB pitching. To cut him now would be a bad reflection on the rebuild process. Who would want this job with what would be a very unstable FO game plan? Look at the amount of players his staff had to manage these past two years!

    • Eric

      Shark and Rizzo were marginal 4A players when Sveum took over?!?!?!

      Well then. Wow.

      • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

        Shark was inconsistent as a Cub moved from starter to pen and sent back down several times, (Shark has great stuff poor command). The Cubs are Rizzo’s third organization, he batted in the 100′s for the Padres, maybe he closes the big gap in his swing. That is what low batting average hitters average have it is called a hole they get platooned, pitchers that have weak command and good stuff go to the pen where they only have to command two pitches. ?!?!?! A young Castro needs to lay off bad pitches or become a bottom of the order type hitter.

  • Austin8466

    No talk about Gardenhire?

    I’ve heard his name thrown around quite a bit with the Cubs job.

    • On The Farm

      I am sure Gardy’s name is on the short list of people they would be interested in. He did some really great things with those Twins teams back in the 2000s. Just wonder if he is sabremetric-y enough

      • Eric

        If what I’m reading about Ausmus is true, I could come around on him as the next manager. Very sabremetric-y. Still would like to see him have some more managerial experience though.

      • Toby

        Gardenhire has done great things with the type of talent he had. The “sabermetric-y” aspect is more for the FO and Gardenhire worked with what was given him.

        • On The Farm

          I think that is only partially true. The manager has to understand the sabremetric FO if they are to mesh properly. The GM can’t constantly be telling the manager who needs to start against lefties, in pinch hitting situations who needs to hit against the guy out of the pen, what defensive shifts should be used, etc. The new manager has to have a good grasp on the “future” of baseball, otherwise its a pointless signing.

    • YourResidentJag

      Not sure if Gardenhire wants the job, especially with the Nats job available. At some point in time a veteran manager like him wants a roster built for winning, despite the fact that he has gone through year after year of player development in process of getting younger players to at a high level, which he did with the Twins.

  • Drew

    Mike and Greg Maddux

  • Jon Z.

    If Dale is let go it will be a rather large blemish on the front office since the decision to hire Dale was one of their first major decisions which proved to bad. All managers will make decisions in which some work out to be good and some bad, but to have one of your first decisions to reflect badly on you is not good.

    • mjhurdle

      I don’t see them letting Dale go as a failure.
      im not sure there were many people that thought Sveum was a long-term manager for this team. While i don’t think he was hired to be a scapegoat, i do think he was hired to hold a job on a horrible team that knew it was going to be horrible, no matter who the manager is. And the nature of the business is that, when the team does poorly, managers take a lot of heat. So it didn’t make sense to hire a big-name manager just to see them get torn up while the team was bad.
      i have always thought of Sveum as a substitute teacher of sorts. He was still expected to work with players and improve them where he could and make the team as competitive as possible, and if he did a better than expected job, then maybe he would be able to stay long term. but the main point was to stem the tide until the team was better and the “regular teacher” returned.

      • willis

        I don’t give a crap about blemish or not. It’s the right thing to do. And if that’s the case in their minds they will do it. Their goal is to bring a winner to Chicago and both gave up positions with other organizations to make that happen. Sveum isn’t the answer to that now will he be. They know this so kicking him may make the look a little foolish for hiring him, but not so much that they won’t make the right decision.

  • Voice of Reason

    “For my part it is obvious to me. Castro isn’t that special of a player and has never been.”

    His offensive numbers through age 22 are compared to the likes of Rogers Hornsby, Bobby Doerr and Alan Trammell.

    Two of those three are Hall of Famers and Trammell had a hell of a career. That is some special company that Castro is in!

    • http://It'searly Mike F

      Again that is just silly. And the current numbers suck. Further there has never been the characteristics of a great HOF player. Comparing him to Rogers Hornsby is one of the most patently absurd things anyone has said. That’s not to say your not bright and I don’t enjoy reading you. But you have to know better than that, he’s not Jeter and he sure as hell isn’t those guys. What’s next, get ahold of the inquisition and burn Dale at the stake.

      At some point we have to be honest enough with ourselves to consider the simple truth Castro might not be that good and special.

    • Voice of Facts

      “His offensive numbers through age 22 are compared to the likes of Rogers Hornsby”

      And if they are compared, one finds that they are not comparable.

      [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/9971610974_1a611d6db8.jpg[/img]

      • On The Farm

        First the Girardi managed the Marlins from ’03-05 and now a Hornsby comparison. I am not sure the Voice is speaking reason.

      • http://It'searly Mike F

        Patently absurd and absolute misuse of stats. Castro is not too good to tail. Truth is anyway you cut it his performance is on him. Sorry, I support Theo and have, but this somehow blaming Sveum for Castro’s failure is completely idiotic thing. Castro has not grown as player mentally, it is all on him and to some extent Theo for his micro management and overestimation of the player. Comparing him to pillars of HOF Baseball is nothing more than repackaging this is Derrick Jeter. Castro the great is a fart in a windstorm and the talented young Castro who has fundamental flaws will have to rethink how he approaches the game or live as nothing more than mediocre.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I found something, I think…[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RMTe12dvT94/UkYBQU1TWtI/AAAAAAAAGhA/71Y8i4hHUL4/w712-h534-no/chart+%25281%2529.png[/img]

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I laughed out loud.

        • DarthHater

          Very impressive. :-P

        • MightyBear

          This one got me. LOL

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