View From The Bleachers

September 30, 2013

Monday Talking Points: Sveum, Baez & Moving Forward

Filed under: Featured,General — Joe Aiello @ 7:15 am

I apologize for the lack of action here on the site for the last couple weeks. I recently switched employers and have been pouring myself into learning the new job. With that said, I wanted to touch on three talking points for today.

1. Dale Sveum learns his fate – When they say it like that, we basically already know his fate. In fact, if the Cubs were planning on retaining his services, we would not hear anything about his return due to the fact that he still has time left on his contract. The fact is that the Cubs looked at Sveum as a placeholder until they felt they were closer to contend. While that may not seem like the case at this point, it has simply come to where a change is needed to simply get a new voice in there to see if that helps guys like Rizzo and Castro, who have both regressed under Sveum’s watch. Now the question is who replaces him. If Joe Girardi is really a candidate, like has been rumored, you have to make a serious run at him.

2. Javier Baez is priming the pump to get paid – Arguably the Cubs top prospect, Baez switched agents recently KPS Sports. While that is not a huge, well known, agency either, he is upgrading in anticipation for a big payday down the road as he looks to make his debut as early as next season.

3. Moving Forward – It’s always tough watching losing baseball. We’re knee deep in the rebuild. How do you feel from a big picture standpoint? It’s a little scary relying on prospects, but if it works, it sets up the pipeline to keep this team competitive for a long time. I’m ready for that.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • Doug S.

    First, best of luck with the new job.
    1. Not sure what to think of Sveum. Didn’t dislike him, but he just doesn’t seem to have or project much energy. Not that I think we need a flamboyant manager, he just seemed kind of on the lame side.
    2. If Baez is here next year, is 3rd the only option for him?
    3. Happy with where I think/hope the Cubs are going.

  • Doc Raker

    Little Richard is available, he has some energy.

  • Doc Raker

    Good luck with the new gig. I am comfortable with the rebuild, I didn’t expect the Cubs to be competitive and don’t expect them to contend in 2014 either. I am skeptical Rizzo will be the mainstay everyone around these parts were pimping when we picked him up. I would rather have Andrew Cashner back at this point.

    As for Swammy unless he is the single reason who screwed up Castro or just simply clashes with players and or front office I don’t see how you can evaluate him on wins and losses, this 2013 team loses regardless of who managed them.

  • PLCB3

    Congrats on the new job. Are you still working in insurance?

    Whether or not the prospects come through or not, we need to build the farm system. No amount of money will fix the years of neglect on the farm system. Got to do this right, and if it requires sinking a few seasons, so be it.

  • PLCB3

    Svuem is gone. Now let’s FINALLY hire Girardi

  • Seymour Butts

    Girardi would be only marginally easier to spell than Sveum, but as much as I hate to agree with CAPS, he is my first choice as well.

  • Jedi

    I’d like to see what the Angels do with Scioscia first.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I was no Dale-lover–especially with the way he continually mishandled Castro–but I’m not sure I see the wisdom of this move. What did they measure his performance by? It had to be more than just the progress or regression of Castro and Rizzo. And with the constantly shifting roster and the endless number of guys getting their first real whiff of the big leagues, what was he really supposed to accomplish?

    The only way this makes sense is if they already have a specific plan for their next guy, and that they feel comfortable that he is _the guy_. I spose it could be Girardi, but I wouldn’t assume he’s a guarantee of success–how much player-development has he had to do with the Yankees. I think I’d prefer they go after Mike Scioscia, whose future with the Angels is pretty murky, and who won’t be able to hop over to the Dodgers the way he might have hoped in the earlier part of the season. Moreover, I think the kind of team he’s had success with in the past is what Theo & Jed are trying to build; not a roster of All-Star prima donnas like Girardi’s had in the Bronx.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    I’m also curious if Mike Quade is entertaining offers.

  • Jedi

    He’s holding court in Hialeah between the end of the dog races and the start of the pony races. You can also find him at IHOP from 330pm until roughly 5pm – or until he uses all the syrup in the carafe, whichever comes first.

  • Jedi

    Why does no one else care that after a super-exhaustive search less than 24 months ago; the result of which was to hire what had been vigorously vetted as “the right guy” – Theo & Jed have now abandoned him?

    So the Front Office had a 3-5 year time horizon (with the option to add futher years at their whim) – but Dale’s clock was shorter?

    And how is 2014 better after firing Sveum? Exactly which problem for the 2013 Cubs was solved by dumping Sveum? And I have no particular love for the guy; but if you told me in 2011 that the Cubs would suffer through two abysmal seasons, promote nearly no one of worth during that time, annually fleece the team of talent at the trade deadline, and still be two more years (or possibly more) away from legitimately contending – Dale is not the person I would assume would be held accountable.

    This, along with many of their other moves, feels like another reason to be cited when Cubs fans start wondering exactly what is taking so long…

  • PLCB3

    You seem to forget what Girardi did with the Marlins in 2006. He had the rug pulled out from him after taking the job, and with a team full of rookies kept the Marlins in wild-card contention through September

  • Jedi

    Exactly what on the 2014 Cubs roster adds up to Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, etc.?

    But nice try.

  • PLCB3

    It’s the fact that he can manage young players and won’t bench them in favor of unproductive veterans the way Lou and Dusty did.

  • Jedi

    Like a broken record.

  • http://elizababble.com/ Lizzie

    Sucks when the weekend ends.

  • Jedi

    By the way, the average age on those 2006 Marlins was 25.4 and they only had one position player on the roster who was older than 28 and NOT a backup catcher.

    The 2004 Cubs – average age of 30.1
    The 2009 Cubs – average age of 30.1

    In fact, those ‘young guys’ you talk about Lou passing over weren’t in fact ‘young’ at all. In 2009 the Cubs had ONE (1) position player younger than 26 that spent more than a couple of days on the roster (Andres Blanco, and even he was 25).

    In 2004, it was even worse. Most of the bench was 30+. Jason Dubois was the youngest semi-regular, at 25 years old (behind Sammy, Moises, and Patterson in the OF). No one else of consequence was even younger than 30.

    Keep dredging up your fallacious remembrances of the past – but they’ll never be true. The fact is, the Cubs didn’t have young talent worth putting on the field in some (many) of those seasons.

  • Doc Raker

    Thed might be covering their fanny’s here. Better for the media to fixate on the manager than fixate on any roster moves Thed has done. Who would you rather have with admitted hindsight, Cashner or Rizzo? And is Rizzo’s contract premature?

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    One of two things happened: either 1) Dale got sick of having only a few big leaguers and no roster consistency, or 2) Theo & Jed believe they can lure a big name–because only a big name buys them more patience now–and they have probably already made their choice.

    But your point is right–what problem is solved by canning Dale and replacing him with Mystery Manager X?

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’ll tentatively go with Rizzo, only because we had no good options to play every day at first, and because at worst I’ll only miss Cashner every fifth day. But that could change.

  • Jedi

    Cashner’s gonna have to be healthy for more than one season before it bothers me. Much better chance that Rizzo has a 15-year career right now.

    I’m far more disturbed that they DIDN’T trade Samardzija. The bull market for him was slaughtered this season.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I believe the smarts lie with McCloud the scouting director. It is obious that they draft well on his advice, but when it comes to ML talent they are 50/50 just like most GMs

  • Doc Raker

    Cashner had an excellent season, 3.09 era, 1.131 WHIP, 2.72 SO/BB. I think that shows more upside than Rizzo’s .233/323/419 with 80 RBI’s. Rizzo was an easy out with men on base, cant find BARISP but it was caca, caca is advanced saber stat, look it up.
    We threw $41M at an unproven hitter who may never really hit. Cashner can pitch.
    Better for Thed we and the media focus on Swammy and the subsequent replacement than anything else.

  • flyslinger2

    It’s been since the first pitch of the first game of the season since I checked in here. I had no hope for the Cubs and honestly thought they would loose 100 games. With today’s announcement I don’t give them any better odds for winning anymore games for the next two seasons now. Swapping managers at this time is like pulling the leaking plug out of a sinking boat to replace it with a metal screen. Yes it blocks the hole but the issues are still pouring in at a fast rate. If I was a top rated manager I would run in the opposite direction if any of the ownership or upper management approached me to take over. Not enough money. I think this is a really poor decision. I had a great year watching quite a few games at Nats Park including the Cubs series here. My daughter and I were guests of the head of one umpiring crew-prime seats. Another time we got seats in the DC Councils box. There was an armed guard at the door. I sat in Marion Barries seat. Very nice accommodations. We got foul balls galore to add to our growing collection. My heart is with the Cubbies but right now I have a little one to teach the game to while she still loves her daddy so I’m using a good team with solid players to show her what good coaching can do.

  • Doc Raker

    Welcome back McFLy, you have been missed. Isn’t Marion Barrie locked up?

  • Eddie Von White

    Yes, welcome back flyslinger. I for one, have missed your comments and insight into the game. I said right from the beginning that I didn’t think Sveum was going to be the manager for long. It was just my gut feeling, Choosing him in the first place seemed like an odd choice, but in hindsight I can see that Theo and company didn’t really want a manager, they wanted someone to be their hand puppet and Sveum was that for them. I never cared for him from the start. Great to hear about your baseball relationship with your daughter. My daughter is 22 years old and has been my baseball buddy since before she could talk. It is always a sad day in our household when the last game of the W.S. is played. I suppose on my deathbed we will talking about the Cubs possibilities of winning a World Series.

  • Doc Raker

    Poor Nolan Ryan, another heartbreaking loss to end his season. You can see Nolan’s influence within the organization, they have had several strong young pitchers come up through their system. Nolan abandoned pitch counts within the Texas system. Texas is building strong young pitchers, not Sally armed wusses that can’t throw more than 99 pitches. Texas is becoming a strong organization due to a backbone of strong pitching, a goal of Nolan’s since becoming President of the Rangers. I am glad he is succeeding in that regard and proving that pitch counts are for wusses.

    After all, if you have a puss arm within your system don’t you want to know before you hand him millions of dollars in the big leagues. Without pitch counts in the minor leagues the system weeds out puss arms before the bigs, unlike organizations that keep pitch counts low in the minors so the puss arm isn’t realized until the bigs.

  • Eddie Von White

    Couldn’t of said it better myself. Nolan’s pitcher philosophy comes from his own experience and determination which in turn enables him to blow off all the so called “experts.”

  • PLCB3

    Was today’s post forloughed in the shutdown?

  • PLCB3

    I like to think you will be celebrating a World Series championship or more on your death bed.

  • PLCB3

    The Rangers are officially the Buffalo Bills of MLB

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    I bet you would have said it with fewer puss arm references.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    As a Bills fan I resent that. Until the Rangers have made it to 4 straight World Series and lost all 4, they have nothing on my Bills!

  • flyslinger2

    Thanks! He, in fact, is very much active in politics still. “Sticking ‘it’ to the people!”

    http://dccouncil.us/council/marion-barry

  • Eddie Von White

    Not at the rate this rebuild is going.

  • flyslinger2

    Why thanks EVW! I truly missed this aspect of the season. This medium is much nicer to engage other fans in then the actual venue itself. Last game we went to two couples sat in front of us and they had to have at least two drinks per inning. By the 7IS they were hammered and incredibly obnoxious. I couldn’t ask for better seats somewhere else to get away from them so we could enjoy the game. We were in them!

    I think the best hope a Cubs fan has is to approach the game as a game, the charms of the venue, the brilliance of the afternoon sun as it drops behind the bleachers, the din of the crowd as it grows, the smell of the grass and the sea of reds shirts (Nats Stadium!) as you get ready for that first pitch. It’s about the few minutes of distraction before you have to go back to the real things of life like this stupid government shut down.

    We can’t hope for a world series as some of our life times are on the shorter end. Im teaching my daughter now to buy a Cubs World Series Hat and float it out to the ocean hopefully to catch up to where my ashes are.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Puss makes me sick. I am all for anything that eliminates puss.

  • Eddie Von White

    That middle paragraph would have gotten you a Lizard had LIzzie not taken a month off. You nailed it exactly.

  • Jedi

    Theo’s been quoted a number of places in the last two days with an extensive criteria for the next manager. Isn’t everything he is saying now the exact same crap he was shoveling two years ago? How is it that no one seems to be asking why he’s conducting an identical search 2 years later after just firing the result of the previous search?

    If the previous regime had pulled a similar scam, they’d have been roundly mocked immediately.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Curious.

  • mastrick

    Moving forward;;;what a joke. Incompetent ownership breeds an incompetent management team They’re all collecting paychecks Joe, Cubs fans have to be real stupid to believe in these chumps. I don’t pity them, not one bit. Go Tribe! At least the big market Cleveland Indians spend some money on their team.

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