Dale Sveum is the new manager of the Chicago Cubs (usatoday.com)
Well, just a day after this, Dale Sveum is the new manager of the Chicago Cubs after agreeing to a three year contract with an option for a fourth year. Sveum only has 16 games of Major League managing experience, however he does have 30 years of overall baseball experience. Initially, it will seem like he’s just another Mike Quade, given Sveum’s history as a former third base coach for the Red Sox. However, he made a good impression during his press conference as he expressed his plan for instituting the rumored “Cubs Way” during his tenure on the North Side.
After watching him answer questions during his press conference, I feel somewhat confident that he will be successful with the Cubs. He said all the right things when he stressed the importance of being a good defensive team, hustling until an out is actually made and being respected/feared around the league for the way the team plays the game.
His two best quotes of the press conference came from answers to questions about his nickname “Nuts” and about past problems that have plagued the Cubs such as day games and lack of hustle.
On past problems: “That’s just a cop-out for your insecurities, if you’re whining about things”.
On his nickname “Nuts”: “I can tell you it had nothing to do with my lower half”.
The wisecrack about “Nuts” was the lightest moment of the press conference. Besides that, it was all business for Sveum. He displayed a silent, stern demeanor which gave the impression that he won’t have time for giving Cubs players silly nicknames as Mike Quade did.
i.e. “Cassie” for Starlin Castro.
Now, I would like to take the time for a brief note about the press conference itself. I was disappointed in some of the Chicago writers for continuing the trend of stupid questions as well as not one person asking Sveum about Prince Fielder. First, the stupid questions. I have a rule that if you can answer the question with a sarcastic, snarky remark, the question is a bad one. The “how does it feel to be in Chicago” questions need to stop. No one is going to say “it feels crappy to be here”. How does that question even benefit a future article? It takes one sentence to relay that sliver of emotion. “Dale Sveum was excited to be in Chicago”. It’s just a growing pet peeve of mine when people don’t take the opportunities given to them to get serious, important answers. You’re journalists, not gossip reporters.
Second, Dale Sveum has a history with Prince Fielder after having previously served as a hitting coach and an interim manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Asking about the possibility of Prince Fielder coming to the Cubs is the most obvious question sitting on a silver platter. Yes, Sveum and Theo will beat around the bush and not fully answer the question, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth asking. You never know what someone might say when they’re asked an important question.
Finally, Dale Sveum seems like a great guy for the job, but his habit of constantly saying “them guys” will need to stop (During the press conference, Sveum used the phrase a handful of times. For example, he was thankful for “them guys”). It seems like “them guys” will be Sveum’s signature idiosyncrasy as coining silly nicknames was Quade’s. The “them guys” habit led me to create the following joke:
Reporter: “Hey Dale, who are you listening to these days?”
Dale Sveum: “Ummmmmm….I like Them Crooked Vultures”
With criticism and kidding aside, I am excited about this hire. I’m excited to see what kind of manager Dale Sveum will turn into and I’m excited for the organization to move on to Phase 3 of the offseason to-do list. Go Cubs Go.
What do you think about the Cubs hiring Dale Sveum as manager? Let me know in the comments section.
Brian Tarman is a RedEye blogger. If you’re interested in reading even more about the Cubs and other topics, head over to Brian Tarman’s personal blog, The Clark and Addison Street Journal. Also, follow him on Twitter- @TarmanBrian.