View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2011



The Cubs Have a New Manager

Written by , Posted in General

And so it’s official.  The Cubs have hired Dale Sveum to be their new manager.  It’s reportedly a three-year deal.  His official introduction will be tomorrow morning at Wrigley Field at 9am CT.

That the Brewers’ hitting coach and former Red Sox’ third base coach had been chosen to be the new Cubs manager might have been one of the worst-kept secret in baseball.  Rumors began popping up all over Twitter yesterday evening that Epstein and Hoyer were going with Sveum (pronounced “swaim”).  The choice isn’t a total surprise–Theo and Jed have a long history with Dale (pronounced “dale”), and he’s reported to take a similar approach to combining statistical analysis and old fashioned scoutin’ as the Cubs’ new brain trust.

One interesting wrinkle is the timing of their decision.  Shortly before the Sveum-to-Cubs rumors started swirling, the Red Sox front office seemed headed in Sveum’s direction.  Cubs’ president Epstein and Red Sox president Larry Lucchino had a semi-public falling out, and it’s possible that the Cubs’ decision was sped up by a desire to pluck away a primary candidate from Boston.  We probably won’t know for sure, but it’s clear Sveum was in-demand, and that at least two clubs looked to be vying for his services.  Now Boston goes back to the drawing board, and we prepare to put our confidence and our beloved team into the hands of another journeyman coach.

I’ll update this post throughout the rest of the day with the latest news and reactions on the Cubs’ new manager.

ESPN’s Gordon Edes writes about Sveum’s hiring, and what it means for the Red Sox manager search.

Paul Sullivan writes about the Cubs new manager, and wonders if his relationship with Prince Fielder increases the chances of the Cubs signing the corpulent power-hitter.  It also includes a short video of Sveum talking about taking over the Cubs.

Phil Rogers wrote earlier today that the if the Cubs really stole Sveum from the Red Sox, Boston might turn around and tab Ryne Sandberg to be their next manager.  I don’t think it’s a likely scenario, but it’s an interesting idea and his column hints at the icy relationship between Epstein and Lucchino.

Bruce Levine writes about the possibility of Sveum bringing Prince Fielder with him.

Although it’s not specifically about the Cubs, here’s an article from Ken Rosenthal about the search for the next Red Sox manager, and how Epstein made have taken their first choice out from under them by hiring Sveum.  The front office rivalry with the Red Sox might be just getting started.

Bruce Levine writes about how Sveum’s skills match up well with the Cubs’ needs.

Jon Greenburg gives some insight into who Dale Sveum is, and what his hiring says about the new direction for the Cubs.

  • Lando87

    It’s not a sexy choice, but I’m trusting Theo here. Also, I can definitely see us signing Prince in light of all of this.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    Was hoping for Maddux, but this doesn’t seem to be too bad a choice. Regardless, def an upgrade over Q-Ball. Now if only he can convince Prince to take 5 years at $18MM per, we’re set!

  • MJ

    Phil Rogers is obsessed wit Sandberg. Like scary obsessed with him.

  • Buddy

    Smart guys are running the Cubs now, so I trust their decision.

  • Jedi

    I wonder if we’ve ever hired bald managers in succession.

  • Chuck

    Chuck rejoices because there is not a Maddux on staff!

  • I hear that Sveum has already had the fungo out and has Castro’s defense top-notch. He also caught a bullpen session where he worked out Marmol’s heater. He is currently tossing bp in the cage to Byrd, and his patience at the plate is rapidly improving.

  • Joe C.

    This hire reminds me of the Bulls hiring Tom Thibodeau. Obviously two different sports, but all that’s being said of Sveum’s work-ethic and player relationships are very similar to what analysts and players had to say when Thibodeau was hired. What Thibodeau brought to the Bulls was immidiately evident and all the players responded very well. Hopefully Sveum can envoke the Cubs players with his hard work mentality and have the same effect Coach Thibodeau had for the Bulls.

  • Seymour Butts

    I guess it’s easier to spell than Samardzija.

  • BrewCrewFan

    Good luck with Sveum. He was very well liked here in Milwaukee. I wish him luck… just not too much. 🙂

    But, I do find it funny that on this very website I heard people calling Fielder fat, out of shape, chunky, slow etc. Now you are ALL hoping to get him as your 1st baseman. If he doesn’t stay a Brewer (unlikely) then I hope he goes out of the division.

  • MJ

    I like to say that Mr. Fielder is pleasantly plump.

  • Eddie Von White

    BrewCrewFan – not all of us are hoping for that.

  • Jedi

    BrewCrewFan – read a bit more, I would say the vast majority of posts and comments here prefer that the Cubs sign no one to a long term deal. Most everyone who even puts forth the idea that the Cubs should sign Fielder, qualify it by saying that he should be offered a contract that is almost comically low for what he’ll receive (something less than 7 years, or less than $20mil per year; Fielder’s getting $140mil at least).

    I want nothing to do with Fielder, and many if not most here feel the same.

  • Chuck

    I think the last couple of years of either a Pujols or Fielder contract will be brutal. Pujols will be 40 and Fielder will be 400.

  • Seymour Butts

    375…he’s a vegetarian.

  • BrewCrewFan

    Maybe the word “all” was a bit exaggeration. If it is one thing I have learned is that you can’t please every fan.

    Fielder is going to surprise most people. He will be a great offensive player for the next 5 years for sure. And I don’t think he will sign for less than 20 mil a year.

    And in this day and age, the players are much more healthy and controlled. Fielder won’t “blow up” like his dad did.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’ve updated the post with some more links above if you guys are interested.

    Also be sure to check out Joe’s post about potential minor league free agent pickups from earlier today.

  • Eddie Von White

    Fielder is pretty good in the roly poly state he is in. Imagine how good he would be if he was fit. His contract should include weight incentives. I’m not sure what you mean by “blow up” but he’s already a head case. Forget the fact that he’s a vegetarian, I have to ask myself: “why would he get upset with runners stealing bases while he’s at bat?” I’m thinking the Cubs should hire a full-time psychiatrist. Then instead of the trainer running out to tend to a player, it could be the shrink. Then we could bring Zambrano back, hire Fielder, and maybe even Ozzie (just kidding about Ozzie). The dugout would be the happiest place on earth.


  • Buddy

    I’d be thrilled with Fielder for a three-year deal. However, that isn’t likely.

  • flyslinger2

    @Jedi-Bald is beautiful. I am the proud carrier of the Male Pattern Baldness genetic material. I have hopefully carried on the tradition of passing it on to my offspring, also happily known as my tax deductions.
    So the Cubs have completed their recruiting of the major components of their new management team. It was riddled with hyped up media frenzy and it sure made for interesting conversation here. It will be interesting to watch the dynamic of the new team translate to performance on and off the field.
    I, for one, hope to get the MLB package this spring so I can watch them while I work at my computer, my Ipad, my Iphone and on my TV in my man cave.
    So now a new inter-league rivarly has been created with all of the Red Sox-Cubs tête à tête going on.

  • chet

    The love fest for Ryno drives me nuts.

  • Norm

    I’m just glad the Cubs managerial search didn’t go like the Red Sox search has gone…


    Baldness – I shave my head every 3-4 days, and I just discovered a bald spot I never knew existed before. I know of one I had bc a barber fucked up when I was 10, but this one I never knew of.
    Tubby Veggy – I think his roundness is because he eats too many potato chips and crisps, and drinks too much beer. Or he really isn’t a vegetarian anymore. I remember Sabathia had a weight clause in his contract when he was with the Tribe.
    Fungos – Maybe Svuem can break Bozo’s elbow with one, the way he almost got it broken at the 2006 ASG by a White Sox coach. Back then he would have been a villain. Today he would be a saint. Then we don’t have to have Bozo around the team, we don’t have to worry about his option vesting, and insurance will pay for his contract

  • Jedi

    We know Chet

  • MJ

    I’m fine with a Fielder signing. I think too many of you make too much of his weight. He doesn’t strike me as a guy that would start packing on pounds.

    And his bat and Wrigley’s right field fence…..the possibilities!

  • Jedi

    He’s 5’11”, 275lbs (or so they say)…I think he “started” packing on the pounds a long time ago.

  • MJ

    After reviewing this:

    I don’t know what’s not to like. He’s missed THREE games. Must be all that fat he’s carrying around. Then again, many of you were pining for Adam Dunn last winter……

  • Buddy

    I haven’t heard anybody say that they’re worried about Fielder missing games in 2012. The concern I read/hear most often is giving him a deal of six or seven (or more) years. Players with that body type usually don’t age very well. And even if we’re guaranteed that won’t happen, 1B is not a position I would overpay for (in terms of years).

  • Jedi

    Probably has something to do with this:

    His Dad started having injury trouble and his career fell off the map when he hit 30. Prince turns 30 two months into the 2014 season.

    I’m not saying it’s a sure thing that he’ll suck at 30, but it’s a reasonable conclusion. Couple that with the fact that he’ll command probably something north of $140mil for 7 years…I fully understand the hesitance.

  • Norm

    5 years of Prince? Sure. Anything more than that? No thanks.

  • MJ

    Jedi, I think you need to look at those stats again. 33 is when he started having issues. Real issues.

  • Jedi

    We’re just going to disagree then MJ – missing 50 games is a MAJOR issue to me. Missing almost 25 the following year is problematic. Basically he had one good AND healthy season after he turned 30 – that’s not enough for me. Not from a guy who is going to command what Prince is going to command. If the Cubs were competitive already, it’d be a different story.

  • Doc Raker

    Brewcrew- I am a no on Fielder for 2 reasons: 1) no long term deals 2) no long term deals to fat out of shape players with bad tattoo’s. How can one be so fat and a vegetarian? I just don’t understand, kinda of like Harry not understanding how a player from an island in the middle of the caribbean where the sun shines 365 days a year can lose a fly ball in the sun. I just don’t understand.