Am I the only one starting to worry a little bit about the mental health of Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum? I mean, I don’t blame the guy. Working in this organization could break anyone under regular circumstances. Imagine what it must be like to manage this team and to know that you’re just a pawn in Theo’s game?
All that said, Dale is starting to alarm me:
“When you feel your team is out of it, (you unload) to start building and getting a healthier organization,” he said. “That’s part of the business. … Hopefully we’re buying people.”
Sveum said the Cubs went into last season thinking “if these guys don’t do something, we’re going to struggle offensively, and obviously that happened.”
This year, he insisted, it’s a different story.
“Now it’s just more (believing) if guys just live up to their capabilities, then it’s a pretty functional offense,” Sveum said.
No, it’s not.
When I was in college, one of my friends went to work in a “rest home.” But in another, more accurate way, she went to work at an insane asylum. I’m not sure what the politically correct term here is. Mental health facility? Hospital? She and I referred to it as “the nut house” or “the rubber room.” At any rate, she once told me of a conversation she had with one of the residents there. He seemed like a very nice, normal, non-needing-to-be-in-a-mental-health-facility kind of guy. They chatted frequently, they ate lunch together, they played board games. She was completely convinced that this guy’s family had committed him due to some personal vendetta or family feud over money or some other such nefarious plot. He was just too normal, too cool, too much fun to be in need of residential treatment.
She came to that conclusion the day before he warned her about the 700-foot silver spiders.
This is how I feel about Dale Sveum. He talks about this team in a completely non-insane way. Tells us all how much better they are this season, how improved the pitching staff is, how much more depth this team has than last year. And, of course, he has to say this stuff. He’s the manager. He can’t give up on the team when we give up on the team. He has to wait until at least May before he can start admitting how sucky they are. I get it.
Then, out of nowhere, he says something like “if we’re not contenders,” or “hopefully, we’ll be buyers.” Boom. Silver spiders.
I really really hope Dale is just fucking with us. Just says this kind of stuff to see how we all react, fire up the team, yada yada yada. Because, you know, if he really believes this team is going to contend for anything other than 4th place or that the Cubs are buying for anything sooner than 2015, I know a great rest home he should probably tour.
Score: Cubs 5, A’s 3.
Spring record: 4-2.
At the plate: Darnell McDonald and Junior Lake both had a pair of hits and an RBI.
On the mound: Starter Scott Feldman and Travis Wood each allowed one run on two hits over two innings. Kyuji Fujikawa has a scoreless inning.
In the field: Right-fielder Jorge Soler threw out Josh Reddick trying to go from first to third on a single.
Thanks to Twitter, this throw Soler made from right field is already legendary. People are still talking about it this morning.
This afternoon, the Cubs welcome the Diamondbacks to Ho Ho Kam. Jeff Samardzija will be on the hill, presumably with a nice fruit basket for Kevin Towers for giving us two upright, non-broken, honest-to-God pitchers for Tony Campana.