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dale sveum cubsAfter an evaluation process that lasted a couple of weeks – really, you could say a couple of years – the Chicago Cubs today decided to part ways with manager Dale Sveum, who had been under contract through 2014, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal and Dave Kaplan. Official word came soon after their reports. The Cubs will eat the cost of Sveum’s final year, and proceed with a new managerial search.

That the move comes just two years after Sveum was hand-picked by the front office after a lengthy, exhaustive search is something of a black eye, and you’d be hard-pressed to make an argument that there wasn’t a mistake in here somewhere.

In any case, we move on to the next shiny, new thing, and the Cubs will hope to get it right this time. The next manager will, like Sveum, inherit a young, turnover-prone roster, which will hopefully soon feature the building blocks for a near-term competitive club. Heck, hopefully the next manager will be one of those blocks, too.

I’ll have more on Sveum’s departure, and on the next steps soon.

(UPDATE: Just taking the reportedly out of it. It’s official. He’s fired.)

  • North Side Irish

    You clearly had this ready. Like a newspaper has obituaries on file ready to go…

    • Featherstone

      I wonder what his alternate headline would have read.

      • Jon

        “Svuem to return in 2014″

        ?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Probably something like that. Let’s just say I never thought about writing out a “Sveum stays” piece in advance …

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am simply the world’s fastest typist.

  • Cedlandrum

    Hmm. Better hit a homerun with the next hire.

  • Jon

    HE GONE!

  • Kyle

    Meh. It’s just so dirty and pedestrian to throw out a manager. I’m sure they have good reasons, but I kind of hoped we’d be beyond this.

    • roz

      Beyond what? If you don’t think someone is going to help your team improve next year, why would you not let them go?

      • willis

        Yeah, it was clear this guy was deep in over his head. The brass saw that and went ahead and righted a huge wrong. Good for them.

        • Cyranojoe

          I just don’t think it’s a “huge wrong”. The difference between an average manager and a good one is tiny.

          • willis

            It may be tiny, but he was on the wrong side of that way too many times for you, me, us, and the front office to trust him going forward. This was an obvious decision/choice.

            • Cyranojoe

              Shrug. Obvious? Not to me.

    • Featherstone

      What if the front office believes that the manager they really want is available now, but was not available when the hired Sveum?

      I’m not sure I believe that myself, but just throwing that out there.

    • jt

      Sveum is a former hitting coach. He tried to change the approach of a few guys and it didn’t work. Bottom line: the offense didn’t improve under his leadership. He wasn’t getting the job done.

  • North Side Irish

    Also, I initially read the headline as “Cubs Repeatedly Fire Save Sveum” which seemed a little mean…

  • willis

    Thank you Lord. Whew, better times are ahead.

  • TWC

    That’s what you get for batting Barney leadoff.

    • Crockett

      And pitching Russell against RHB down the stretch.

  • Toby

    What’s the over/under on when fans want the next manager to be fired?

    • TWC

      FireJoeGirardi.com !

    • mjhurdle

      i’ll set it at 2 weeks into the season next year.

  • Chris

    I didn’t have a problem with Sveum. Huge black eye though. Look how long it took us to search and decide on him. Nothing like saying your vows in front of the congregation and not even 2 years later telling her you want a divorce.

    Oh well, the only constant is change I guess. Hope the next manager can avoid the same fate.

  • Werner

    Something turned against Sveum in the last month or so. The team really limped to the finish and it just seems a neutral attitude toward him turned negative. Fascinating.

  • Kevin

    I say let’s hire the “Sarge”

  • Jon

    Sveum was essentially fired 2-3 weeks ago when Thoyer didn’t commit to him in 2014.

  • North Side Irish

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 9m
    Girardi’s contract expires Oct. 31st. Cubs must request permission to talk to him before then.

    Fingers crossed for another compensation debate…

    • wilbur

      Hark! Dogs now barking…

    • Hansman1982

      Why would there be a compensation debate? If the Yankees balk at letting the Cubs talk to Girardi, we wait them out or find someone else.

  • Barry

    If the Cubs hire a high-profile manager like Girardi, I think it will put a lot of pressure on Jedstein to speed up their timetable to put a winning team on the field. I would start with getting rid of Barney (move Baez to 2nd), lock up Wood, Shark and signing Tanaka.

    • willis

      I kind of agree to this. The plan the plan the plan…but if they do indeed zero in and get Girardi, I think it signals that there will be other changes to the big league club to get something decent on the field. I don’t think you bring in Girardi just to suck.

    • Cubbie in NC

      Decisions like this are not going to make attracting a big name manager any easier.

      If I am a manager out there I look at this as they hired a guy gave him a bad roster that they turned over for two years at the all star break, and then blew him out before the roster was half way decent.

      If they get talent now to help their (second) guy succeed tells me that the Cubs organization is not as on top of things as they pretend to be.

      • Voice of Reason

        Cubbie in NC typed: Decisions like this are not going to make attracting a big name manager any easier. If I am a manager out there I look at this as they hired a guy gave him a bad roster that they turned over for two years at the all star break, and then blew him out before the roster was half way decent.

        Answer: I’ll give you millions of reasons why another top name manager would come here! That’s millions of dollars of reasons.

        The top managers in the game realize who Sveum was. It’s not going to effect us hiring another manager, be it a big name or a small name. All they will do is pay the new manager a bunch of money and he will be happy!

        • Cyranojoe

          That is NOT the kind of manager I’d want for this team. You want Gardenhire or Maddon, guys who do not work for the money as much as they work to win.

          • Voice of Reason

            So, if Gardenhire or Maddon were offered $25 million dollars a year to manage the men’s baseball team at the University of Illinois you don’t think they would take it? Let’s say it’s a 2 year deal for a total of $50 million dollars.

            • Cyranojoe

              Honestly, yeah. I’m doubtful they’d take that.

              How many *good* managers take the huge bucks… and continue to be good managers?

            • Cubbie in NC

              Voice of Reason:

              What in this ownerships past make you think that they are going to open up the checkbook for a manager?

              I think that most managers know they are going to get paid no matter what team they manage for. I would be that there are a lot of guys that would rather wait for a job and work on tv, than get into a bad situation.

            • cubs2003

              Not everything is about money. I want a manager who wants to win and is able to understand the FO’s plan. There’s going to be a lot of work with young players and that’s the most important thing. A Piniella “set it and forget it” mentality is not going to work. I trust the FO to identify the right person, but my confidence is waning a bit on the MLB level right now. There’s no guarantee the kids on the farm will work out.

  • Chris

    Lou Brown in 2014.

    • Lou Brown

      I like the way you think!

  • North Side Irish

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 11m
    Some members of staff may return. Search underway with Girardi far and away the #1 choice.

  • wilbur

    dosey doe…

  • TSB

    Please, no more rookie managers! Get some one that doesn’t need on-the-job training.

    • Noah_I

      Playoff managers who are in their first managing gigs (if you include both Texas and Tampa as playoff teams): Ron Washington, Joe Maddon, Mike Matheny, Don Mattingly. In other words, 36.3% of the teams that are playing beyond the regular season have managers who are in their first jobs as managers. If you remove one of the Rays and and Rangers, it’s still 30%. Going through baseball, I’m seeing Tampa, Minnesota, Chicago (AL), Texas, LAA, Houston, Miami, Chicago (NL), Milwaukee, LAD, Arizona, San Diego, and Colorado as teams that have first time managers. That’s 13 out of 30, or 43.3%. Considering the fact that you’re more likely to see first time managers you see on bad teams, either because the team is going on the cheap for whatever reason, this isn’t a bad number. Of course this is a small, 1 year sample size. Based on a quick look, in 2012 only 2 teams with first job managers made the playoffs (Texas and St. Louis). But in 2011, 4 of 8 teams with first job managers did (Tampa, Texas, Milwaukee, Arizona.) In 2010 it was 3 of 8.

      In other words, considering the fact that first time managers generally tend to have less talented teams, there isn’t anything significant showing that first time managers are less likely to get a team to outperform its talent and get a team in the playoffs than a manager with prior experience.

  • MichaelD

    I wonder how much of this had to do with his lame-duckness. If he had gotten a four-year deal and still had two years left on his contract, would they have let him at least start next year?

  • TheRiot2

    Not even sure Theo and Dale consummated the marriage. Dale left holding the bag, not to be confused with wife.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Dale would make a very ugly bride. This is a mental picture I did not need for a Monday!

  • Aaron

    As if it matters, I’ll add that I am pretty mixed on this decision. But, as I continue to say over and over again, I trust the Front Office to know what they’re doing. I wish Dale the best, and I’m sure he’ll land another managing somewhere someday.

  • True(ly) Blue

    Let’s hire Doc Whimsy!

  • mjhurdle

    Im throwing my hat into the Brad Ausmus 2014 campaign.

    “Read my lips: No New Sacrifice Bunts!!”

  • Carew

    Girardi or Sciosca?

    • Jon

      Girardi, easily.

      • Noah_I

        Eh, I think people are down on Scioscia a bit unfairly. It’s not his fault his owner has eviscerated their farm system to focus on getting high priced free agents, both of whom have been somewhere between pretty bad compared to contract and outright disasters.

        • Cyranojoe

          True. But he really seems to be pulling a bit of a Piniella. He seems tired, and not putting as much of his brains into fixing the Angels’ problems as he did a few years ago. (I’ll be the first to admit this is an impression based on very very little information.)

        • Coop

          I think Scioscia is a bit of an old-school manager, too. Not as interested in advanced statistics, which makes me think he wouldn’t be a Theo/Jed sort of guy.

  • miggy80

    Wait Ryne wait, come back Ryne come back, Ryne!

    • Cyranojoe

      LOL yeah. Or it’s “okay, now that they hired Ryne, we can finally fire Dale without dealing with all those fans demanding Sandberg…”

      • miggy80

        Yes! Someone got my Shane reference.

        • Cyranojoe

          Ha! I wish – I just wikipedia’d Shane. Nice movie, I’m sure I’ve seen some sort of remake before, because I know that plot for sure, but I don’t think I’ve seen the original.

  • cubs2003

    I didn’t have a strong opinion either way on Sveum. Best of luck to the guy. It’s got to be hard to manage a roster with so little talent. I think this reflects more poorly on Theo and Jed than it does Dale. I just hope they hang on to Bosio and McKay.

  • Corey

    Ryno?

    • Noah_I

      Sandberg just agreed to I believe a 3 year deal to manage the Phillies.

  • RIch

    so we sign E-Jax, ( bad move ), trade for Ian Stewart ( did not work out ) and now we fire Dale that was handpicked by Theo…/ Jed
    ok…so Girardi is the answer then? this is the savior of the Cubs…
    Honestly..I like the direction of the Cubs..but still a damn circus…

    • Patrick W.

      Well, since those are the only three things the front office has done, I think you have a very valid point.

      • Noah_I

        I also don’t think Cubs’ fans are going to be anywhere near as down on Jackson a year from now as they are now. Odds are he regresses to the mean and gets some better luck on balls in play and with runners on.

        • Cyranojoe

          God, I hope so! I understand stats and all of Brett’s arguments, but damn have I tired of seeing EJax struggle as he has. For me, he’s the player with the most question marks over his head for next year — maybe more than Barney, although now that I think about that…

  • macpete22

    Billy Heywood for manager

  • Corey

    Feel bad for Sveum, he was handed a shit sandwich. I hope he finds solace in not having do deal with the team, but it’s never easy getting fired.

    • Featherstone

      Guess his consolation is that he gets to collect a paycheck for not having to manage a garbage roster?

      • willis

        Yeah don’t feel bad for him. He gets a healthy pay check for a year we’d all love and he gets to do nothing while earning it. Sucks to be canned for anything, but he got two years of great experience and learning as a major league manager and now he gets to cash checks for a year while working nada.

        • Cyranojoe

          This is stupid. Would you feel safe about your career if you got a deal like this? I’d be at least a little freaked out if my bosses fired me in front of all my potential future employers, even if I got a year’s severance.

          • cubs2003

            Good point. There’s certainly a decent chance Dale doesn’t see a manager’s chair again. I’d like to think Theo and Jed are well respected around the league. If they’re cutting bait on their hand picked guy before his contract is up and when they basically admitted they’ll be losing next year anyway that does not bode well for Sveum.

            • Cyranojoe

              The good news for Dale is that he’ll probably still get a coaching job — his credentials there seem to be largely unsullied. Much like the NFL defense/offense guys who bomb out as head coach. I suspect that’ll be the case for Dale.

              • cubs2003

                That’s a good analogy. It is damn good experience to have for Sveum, though. I think the FO was trying to find lightning in a bottle and it didn’t work out. Big deal. That’s a huge part of risk/reward thinking. Part of the job on both sides. Sveum is still too good of a baseball guy to have trouble finding a job soon if he wants one. Question though-does anyone know if Dale is free to take another job next season if he’s still under contract? I’m assuming he’d have to forego the money owed to him by the Cubs, but do the Cubs have a right to block him from taking another job?

        • cubs2003

          I’m not sure I agree with this. Dale seems like a competitive guy. All the competitive people I know would rather be trying and failing than not trying at all. I’m guessing he’ll find a job coaching or managing sooner rather than later.

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