dale sveum haz a sadWhether or not you celebrate Christmas, it is, for most people, a day off from work. The question here is whether Christmas falling on a Wednesday is gumming up folks’ work week. I’m guessing that a lot of folks are getting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, but are supposed to be in the ole’ office today. And then maybe back on Thursday and Friday. Were Christmas any other day of the week, I bet the time off would have been attached to a weekend on one side or the other. If that’s all correct, for those of you in the office today, I’ll hazard a guess that you’re not going to be all that productive today. Well, BN is here to serve …

  • CSN Chicago is going through the top 13 stories of 2013, and offers a thoughtful write-up on Dale Sveum’s arc as manager of the Cubs this year. There were successes and failures, though Sveum’s tenure will almost certainly be most remembered for the historic number of losses piled up in his two seasons. That, of course, is an unfair legacy given the organizational rebuild, but history tends to remember only the wins and losses where managers are concerned. What will I remember? I’m a nerd, so the defensive shifts will be high on the list. Relatively solid lineups and platoon usage. Bringing Chris Bosio into the organization. And, of course, the Bunt Tournament.
  • Speaking of 13 for 13, the Chicago Tribune reviews the 13 worst sports-related decisions in Chicago this year, and Dale Sveum’s remark about sending Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to AAA to work out their early-season issues made the list. I still don’t think he was exactly saying what folks thought he was saying, and, at the time, even Jed Hoyer said he understood and agreed with the point Sveum was trying to make.
  • FanGraphs writes up the Detroit Tigers’ seemingly bizarre offseason, and, although it doesn’t quite go as far as saying it makes perfect sense, there is a discussion of how the Tigers are trying to lengthen their competitive window. It’s rare to see a dominant team take affirmative steps to pull back the reins in an offseason, but that’s what the Tigers have done. Will they pay for it next year since they probably gave up a marginal win or two?
  • Just how good were the new Cubs relievers last year? Mike takes a look over at the Message Board (and remember: “new” includes guys who arrived midseason by way of trade or promotion like Pedro Strop or Blake Parker).
  • E

    I still think Sveum’s remarks tipped off the FO to exactly what he believes the manager’s role is at the MLB-level. He was basically saying (in my opinion) that it’s not his job to help develop younger players and that they will need to get sent back down if they require further development.

  • Joker

    My lack of willingness to be productive today thanks you.

  • Darth Ivy

    At the time, I liked those comments about possibly sending Castro and Rizzo down. In retrospect, they may have been counter productive. MAY have been

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    Happy Festivus to all in Bleacher Nation. Perhaps instead of Sveum’s bunt tournament, we can have the Feats of Strength.

    • greenroom

      We are not having supper until George pins me.

    • E

      My Festivus Pole has been carefully erected.

      • Rizzovoir Dog

        Krueger! My son says your company sucks!

  • C. Steadman

    thanks Brett! definitely not planning on being productive!

  • CubFan Paul

    Hopefully Blake Parker won’t be good enough for the ’14 pen out of Spring.

    • BenRoethig

      If the rest of the pen is better than a guy who posed a 2.72 ERA over 46 innings and 49 appearances last year, I’d take that in a heartbeat.

    • C. Steadman

      Blake Parker was solid last year…idk why you wouldnt want him in the ’14 pen…

      • CubFan Paul

        He has 6th/7th inning stuff at best. There’s enough of that already between Villanueva, Rondon, Raley, Grimm, & Rusin.

        • C. Steadman

          there are 7 spots in the bullpen…and there are 6 and 7 innings in every single game like there are an 8th and 9th…if you are going by the “eye test” yes Blake Parker doesnt have the 95+ mph stuff that most relievers have…but he throws a 92 sinker and does so with good control and he actually still strikes guys out at a good rate(10.68K per 9) i’d take Parker in our bullpen no question..especially over Rusin and Raley

          • CubFan Paul

            “there are 7 spots in the bullpen”

            Hopefully there’s seven better by the end of camp, was my point, because the eye test says we can do better (than his stats suggest)

            • C. Steadman

              if there are 7 relievers who can do better than 2.72/2.90 ERA/FIP…10.68K/9 and 2.91 BB/9, then the Cubs will have the best bullpen in the league, and as of the Cubs roster now, there arent 7 guys better than Parker…idk why you have the mentality that guys have to throw 95+ to be in the bullpen

              • CubFan Paul

                “idk why you have the mentality that guys have to throw 95+ to be in the bullpen”

                I never said/typed that.

                With a starter in Villanueva pegged for the pen it limits Parker’s chances in my mind.

                • C. Steadman

                  here’s the projected bullpen in my mind
                  Villanueva/Rusin(one or the other is the projected 5th starter, pending a FA)
                  Rondon(I believe Grimm will be sent down to Iowa to see if he can stick at being a SP, if not then Grimm will be up instead of Rondon)

                  • Darth Ivy

                    hopefully Viscaino makes his way in there

                    • C. Steadman

                      idk about right out of Spring Training, but he should be up if he stays healthy

                  • cub2014

                    if they dont trade Cabrera he will be
                    up. i read he might get the 5th starter
                    spot to lose out of spring training.

                    • C. Steadman

                      yeah, actually to come to think of it i think Cabrera beat either Rusin or Rondon out…forgot that Cabrera is out of options and will have to be on the 25 man or face waivers where he’ll most likely be claimed

                    • cub2014

                      the bullpen excess and youth is a
                      nice problem to have,

                      the AAA rotations looks awfully good:

                      then AA will have johnson & edwards

                    • C. Steadman

                      yep, i’m liking this depth thats starting to happen…the bullpen has some depth, from which we’ll see this spring training…soon IF will have depth bc Baez, Alcantara, and Villanueva are all in Iowa

                  • cub2014

                    who will be the 12 pitchers (if no
                    Starters: Arrieta,Wood,Shark,Jackson
                    Relievers: Strop,Veras,Parker,Villanueva
                    Russell,Wright and Cabrera. If they dont
                    sign anyone else thats one spot left either
                    a starter or a reliever:

                    Then Vizcaino will be healthy to start the season.

                    You could have a AAA bullpen of: Vizcaino,

                    • C. Steadman

                      in my opinion the scenarios for Grimm are if he’s in the majors then its as a RP…if he is in Iowa i think he is gonna be tried to be stretched out as a starter still to see if he can stick there…same could be said for Wada…theres so many different scenarios for our pitching staff and pen that its tough to predict, like who the heck is gonna be the 5th starter(Villanueva, Cabrera, Rusin, or _____)…Jonathan Sanchez could be in the Iowa pen as well…

                    • cub2014

                      I forgot about Sanchez unless a trade
                      is made (I think one has to be coming)
                      he will be in Iowa learning to be a

                    • MikeW

                      I’ll bet you Arodys starts in the AA bullpen. Get him going slowly. The AAA pen is super crowded already with all these guys we’ve signed to MLC’s.

                    • willis

                      I think Vizcaino, if he can make it through ST, will start in AA or AAA and be handed a very light load throughout the season. As for Grimm, I think he begins in AAA as a starter and they see what they have in him. Short leash type of thing. If he shows struggles, they will soon move him to the pen and that will be his long term assignment.

                      Rusin will most likely round out the major league staff as the 5th starter, unless they put Villanueva in there. If they do that, then Cabrera and Rondon will start the season in the pen for the cubs.

                    • C. Steadman

                      I hope Villanueva gets the 5th starter, and Cabrera and Rondon are both in the pen…if Rusin makes the 5th starter then it pushes Rondon out, and i think Rondon will be a good reliever in 2014

                    • cub2014

                      On Vizcaino, If healthy and pitching
                      well the only way I send him to the
                      minors is to learn to be a closer.
                      Which means Veras would be a
                      flipper candidate by july.

                • C. Steadman

                  and yeah you never said that…sorry, i thought by “eye test” you meant that he didnt throw hard or have the stuff to impress you…i think he passes the eye test in my opinion…he throws a 91-93 sinker, with a good slider and a developing changeup that he can compliment his fastball to keep hitters off balance, I think he is a smart pitcher and changes his pitch type up good to keep hitters guessing, from what i saw this year

                  • http://www.gibsonpentecost.com regimezefelerski

                    I’m not sure how long you have been posting comments, I just noticed your username recently, but your replies, for that matter all your comments are courteous, polite and thought out. i just thought I would thank you and tell you, you seem to be a class act. Thanks

                    • C. Steadman

                      Thanks! i was pointed to this site just this trade deadline by a friend so I have been commenting off and on since about mid July

                  • willis

                    I agree here. Parker was very good last year and is going to be a part of the pen at least to start this year. He’s never going to blow you away but he had a solid 2013 and I liked what I saw in 2012 before he was injured.

  • hansman

    ” I’ll hazard a guess that you’re not going to be all that productive today”

    Unless the company that you work for is getting a new regulatory agency in 2 weeks that is changing a lot of how you do business.

  • Darth Ivy

    This is a Freddie King kind of day

  • Mike

    My office and place of work is open. However the suppliers we work with is another story, since those people who I need to be productive are most likely closed or non productive that will leave me to be unproductive.

    • Revery

      Also my argument. It’s not me, it globalized macroeconomics. Man.

  • headscratchin

    Well I’m “working from home” today. That means keeping up with email between net surfing and getting things for my wife while she’s doing the Christmas cooking thing.

  • chrisfchi

    Well I’m working today and tomorrow, and with my register down, I’ll probably have no business. Happy Festivus to the rest of us!

  • miggy80

    Agh, yeah TODAY I won’t be productive because blah blah blah BN is always there.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I liked Sveum. I didn’t like the way he managed the bull pen, but considering how bad the bull pen sucked with Marmol and then Camp I think he was doomed from the start. However from what I have heard and read about Renteria I think he is better suited for the youth movement that is arriving. Dale would have done well with a more veteran ball club IMO.

  • cubsnivy56

    We are open today and tomorrow but our primary customer is closed till January 2nd. Productivity is not at the top of the list today…………..

  • Rich

    No evidence to base this on, by I like Dale better than Rick Renteria. I hope Dale does well in KC and Rick is awesome for the Cubs. Something about Dale that I really like.

    Merry Christmas to all at Bleacher Nation.

  • Rodrick

    I believe that if Dale Sveum was with the Cubs today that the Cubs would not be winning ballgames like they are. He did not understand how to make baseball games good or how to train young players to be good. A new manager like Tommy Lasorda would make the team good and then the team would be good.

    • DarthHater

      Great point. Cubs are undefeated since Sveum’s departure!

    • baldtaxguy

      “A new manager like Tommy Lasorda would make the team good and then the team would be good.”

      When I read this I thought it would be more apt to suggest Yogi Berra. Either choice, making the team good so that the team is good…is good. And I think either one can make baseball games good and the players good, which is also good.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I wasn’t a big Dale fan but what was up to develop Castro as an already .300 and 200 hits?
    Something went very wrong there and I don;t think it was all Dale. Rizzo was batting better with Sori behind him. We have become a very bad team with this building process. Which is going to contribute to another very bad 2014 and that is also very wrong. RR will not make any difference when owners don’t care about us not being better in 2014.

  • caryatid62

    It’s kind of interesting that so many fans (in general) were anti-Sveum but pro Epstein-Hoyer. It just gives you an idea how much more leeway you get from fans when the work you do is quantified and evaluated daily versus yearly.

    GMs/Presidents tend to get attention, focus and evaluation (by fans) on more of a 8-12 month schedule because most of what they do is not broadcast, unedited to the public, while there are essentially daily referendums on managers in the form of games, which are unedited for public consumption. Front office types aren’t talked about that much during the season, unless things are going so bad that it’s impossible to avoid. Even then, the issues tend not to really resolve until the end of a season or calendar year. Meanwhile, the managers (who have less to do with the quality of the product on the field than do the front office folks) get evaluated, criticized, and find their jobs in jeopardy much more regularly and often than do GMs or Presidents due to these daily evaluations.

    This isn’t really a comment about Sveum or Epstein/Hoyer. Mostly it’s just to say that it kinda sucks to be a baseball manager and I can totally understand why baseball people would rather get into the front office.

  • cubmig

    ….didn’t read the entered posts, but as related to this: “…the 13 worst sports-related decisions in Chicago this year,…’, I’d say it was the hiring of Sveum by the FO.

    • hansman

      So much fail packed into 12 words.