Cubs’ Dale Sveum: Should he stay or should he go?

I don’t even want to talk about last night’s game, because it’s only going to make me mad. I am, however, more than willing to talk about the pilot episode of  “Sleepy Hollow,” which was so bad it was funny and has me drooling over what they have in store for us next week. I mean, have you ever seen the headless horseman work an AK-47? Also, I think it’s possible that George Washington is the headless horseman. It was uh-maz-ing.

image-dale-sveum-chicago-cubsNot so uh-maz-ing, however have been the 2013 Chicago Cubs. Lately, I’ve begun to see a bunch of blog posts about Dale Sveum’s future. I suppose it was inevitable, it’s not like there’s anything else to talk about (though I did enjoy Dale’s bickering with Edwin Jackson last night. I don’t know what Jackson was so mad about. Dale took him out before he had ‘one of THOSE’ innings. Jackson should have been thanking him). Anyway, I’m curious what you guys think.

On the one hand, Dale says things that make no logical sense and does things that really piss me off. I think he’s unduly hard on Starlin Castro and unduly protective of the place-holder players. He says one thing and then  Theo does another. He kept putting Carlos Marmol in the baseball game.

Then again, I can’t see Lou or Dusty or many other managers putting in an all right-handed lineup against Clayton Kershaw (and it worked). He plays the matchups. He cares about advanced stats. The players seem to respect him.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m on the fence about Dale. I don’t think he’s a great manager, but I think he could turn into one. If he ever stops importing his hunting buddies from the Brewers to the Cubs, that is. There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether the timing is right for the Cubs and Joe Girardi, but I can’t see that happening, at least not any time soon. Dale came into this job knowing it was going to be a tough row to hoe, and I think Theo and Jed will reward him for that. At the very least, he stays until the end of 2014. What happens then is anyone’s guess.

So now it’s your turn to blog. Should Dale Sveum stay through the end of 2014? Should the Cubs re-sign him? Should the Cubs look elsewhere? Will Dale Sveum be managing this team when it’s finally competitive?

*clap!* *clap!* Entertain me with your insight!

25 thoughts on “Cubs’ Dale Sveum: Should he stay or should he go?

  1. johnnywest333 says:

    I like Dale’s approach with advanced stats. This team would be a lot better if he had some players with advanced stats to work with.

  2. J says:

    With the number of MLB manager positions that will be shuffled this offseason, the Cubs would be stupid to not at least consider the field of potential candidates and see if there are any significant upgrades available. As I’ve said before, I’m sure Dale was a great coach but his managerial skills seem to leave something to be desired. The last thing I want to see is Dale being given a shot at 2014 and somehow the Cubs manage to squeak out the 2nd Wild Card.

    I see Sveum being one of those guys who got his crack at managing a MLB team. Granted he hasn’t had much talent, but he also seems clueless as to how to squeeze a few more 1 run victories out of MLB talent. He’s a younger version of Mike Quade- a baseball lifer who got his took at managing with a piss poor team, and he needs to accept that his employment stability will come from being a part of a MLB coaching staff, not running one.

  3. Doc Blume says:

    Since I don’t see the Cubs being competitive for the next 60 or so years, who’s managing this team really has little affect on me. Wake me up in 2078 and then I’ll tell you who the current manager (even if it is still Sveum) should be.

    1. johnnywest333 says:

      Does this mean you’re going back to bed?

  4. Raythar says:

    I like Sveum as a placeholder manager (maybe that’s why he defends the placeholder players so much; he identifies with them). Who knows, maybe Dale will develop into a great manager, just like we are waiting for Castro and Rizzo to develop into great players. It does seem ludicrous to be paying Girardi 4 mill per year for 4-5 seasons when the Cubs might not be competitive that entire time.

    And yet… guys like Girardi aren’t available too often. I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with the Cubs hiring Girardi, as next season should (ideally) be when this team starts taking an upswing in terms of record and talent level at the major league level. I don’t think next year will be another rock bottom season like the past 2.

    Bring on Girardi! And if Sveum stays, well, I wouldn’t be too broken up about it.

    1. J says:

      It’s not ludicrous to bring in a manager who has won it all when you have a bunch of young players making their way into the bigs. Girardi’s first MLB managerial job was with the Marlins. I seem to remember he took a team that everyone projected to have 90+ losses and had them in the Wild Card hunt into September. That team was all young players. Keeping a manager who hasn’t shown an ability to win with young players around doesn’t bode well for the future. Girardi also has the experience in dealing with superstars with their egos and contracts. At some point that Cubs will need to bring in outside talent to win, why not start with a new manager?

      1. Raythar says:

        Completely agree with you. I meant that it might seem ludicrous to others; but I would be fully supportive of bringing Girardi on board. Even with the hefty raise he would command, Girardi would be a vast improvement over Sveum and is definitely the type of manager that can lead the Cubs for the next 10+ seasons. Sveum is nice, but I feel that he is a placeholder and was not meant to manage this team once they started competing.

  5. sloanpeterson2 says:

    I don’t think Girardi will go to the Cubs. If he wants to manage a re-building team, he would just stay with the Yankees. If he does go elsewhere it will be to a team that has a chance of contending in 2014…

  6. sloanpeterson2 says:

    This may be sacrilegious, but I can see Girardi going to the Angels, if Mikey S. is let go. Angry Artie Moreno has $$, and if he choses Di Poto over Scioscia,he may want a Girardi to put his team bakc in contention.

  7. sloanpeterson2 says:

    As for Dale he is the Alternate Selection in the Book Club of Life, so he will remain until his contract expires, then Theo will get a better maanger…

  8. Doc Blume says:

    All seriousness aside, though…

    There have been two Cubs managers that have stood out in my lifetime as best the team has had…Lou Piniella and Jim Levebre. Dusty was supposed to be a superstar manager, and he proved to be a fluke. Don Baylor had some potential, but really needed to spend his time developing hitters in the minor leagues…not managing a big league club. Honestly, I still don’t have a really good grasp of Dale. As opposed to just about every other Cubs manager in the last 30 years, he has never been given any talent to work with.

    Sveum was far from the top of my list of people I wanted to see manage this team.

    In order, the people I wanted ahead of Dale were:

    Freddy Gonzalez
    Mike Maddux
    Pete Mackanin
    Tito Francona
    Alan Trammel

    Looking back on it, I would still rather have any of those guys…though Gonzalez and Francona are likely untouchable.

    1. juliedicaro says:

      Back when it happened, I wondered what made Maddux turn tail and run. Now, I think it was the knowledge that this team was going to suck for a long time. Not a huge fan of Freddi Gonzalez — Braves fans can’t stand the guy. Tito is all into medication and younger women these days.

      1. Doc Blume says:

        Braves fans are some of the most stupid in all of sports…so I don’t really by into anything they say about Fredi. I firmly believe if Theo had his pick of anyone, it would be Tito. As for his vices…I don’t really care.

  9. juliedicaro says:

    I am concerned that some of the kids seemed to regress a bit this year. I’m not sure where to lay the “blame” for that.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      I blame Theriot.

  10. juliedicaro says:

    Carrie Muskat just tweeted that the Cubs are having a meeting before tonight’s game.

    Okay then.

  11. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Sometimes I think players are brought up to the majors when their skills are ready,but not when their mind is ready. I mean, you have to come to the majors with a mental skillset, and that mental skillset is learned by coming through the minors. Very,very,very few kids can skip the grind of the minors and be big-league ready out of the box…

  12. Larry Rogers says:

    Sveum has reminded me of Dusty Baker for a while now; e.g., falling in love with the double-switch (as in the Lake for McDonald switch, always a bad idea). Another year of trying to learn to manage pitchers wouldn’t matter in the big scheme unless and until a Girardi (and how many like him are there?) is potentially available. So I’d like the Sveum-Dusty resemblance to pick up another facet, as in both having gone elsewhere.

  13. sloanpeterson2 says:

    It sounds like at least one manager will be fired before the end of the week. My guess is that if there is an meeting, it will be to enforce the fact that Dale is the manager, and he will decide who stays in the game, and who is pulled…

  14. Doc Blume says:

    Obviously it’s about the fact that they still have a chance to get that #3 draft pick next year. They need to try harder to get that. No more slacking off.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      Ugh…struck by the misplaced comment bug again. :(

  15. juliedicaro says:

    So this is interesting:

    “Theo Epstein said Dale Sveum has done a “remarkable job” maintaining a good clubhouse despite two rough seasons but also said the manager was being evaluated with the rest of the coaching staff and a decision on his future would be made after the season.

    Asked directly whether Sveum would be back in 2014, Epstein said they will go through a check list, and added “there are no alarm bells to ring” but it is a subject that will be addressed once the evaluation process is completed.”

    1. Doc Blume says:

      Agreed…that is interesting. Not really a ringing endorsement.

  16. FrankS says:

    Are the Cubs about pinching pennies or are they about improving? His players have regressed, he makes poor in-game decisions, he has problems speaking poorly of some of his players, his one skill is supposed to be as a hitting instructor and his hitters are failing. What do the Cubs gain other than a few dollars by keeping him in charge? Kick him to the curb and bring in the next candidate.

  17. dabirdguy says:

    My opinion on Dale:
    1. We have NO IDEA of Dale’s competitive in-game managing talents because they have not been displayed to us. The Cubs are in a TEACHING/DEVELOPMENT mode. The game results are meaningless. His job right now is to place guys into difficult situations to see if they will handle those or not. The cream must be separated and gathered. The rest must be moved on. If winning occurs that is good too, but development, training, and evaluation should come first.
    2. He SHOULD be harder on the core guys and hold them to a higher standard. If they are gonna be our foundation, they must get better. Management must correct what they do wrong NOW so when the games do matter they perform at the highest possible standard.
    3. He is nurturing and protecting the marginal guys to see if they can relax and play at a better level. We have had a surprise or two there. Several guys are having career years (for them). Worst case is that it raises their trade value if the coddling helps.
    4. The defense (a teachable skill) has improved dramatically EXCEPT at Shortstop. We have one of the best defensive teams in baseball at the moment. The days of bonehead plays seem to be dwindling. The teaching is working.
    5. As for the “bonehead moves” folks think he has made…. We have no idea of the true situations at the time the moves were made. There are minor injuries, a guy’s mental state, Batter vs Pitcher stats, and just plain hunches that go into a decision. Sometimes something is done just to show a player their own weaknesses. This IS a training mode we are in.

    I think Dale has done a great job so far. He is doing what needs to be done AND getting it done without a bunch of unhappy asshats ruining the clubhouse environment. To me THAT is what managing is all about. Most all the errors I’m seeing are physical. Manure Occurreth, but they run the bases well, they play defense well. They are taking a lot of pitches.

    Lets face facts. The talent on this team sucks overall compared to the rest of baseball. Yet this team is 21-32 in one run games. Right now 53 one run decisions is the most in baseball. That means that they are competitive despite the lack of talent. Also remember what a shambles the relief pitching was at the beginning of the season.

    Bright side just for fun stats:
    1. The Cubbies are 13-7 in interleague play, and only Pittsburgh has a better record against the AL teams than the Cubs.
    2. The Cubs are 21-21 against lefty starters.
    3. We are 22 games under against our own division, which is the toughest in baseball at the moment, and only 25 games under .500 overall against the rest of baseball.

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