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Tag:Dale Sveum
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:42 am
 

Alfonso Soriano leading off is a possibility

By Matt Snyder

I thought this ship had sailed a few years ago.

Instead, multiple Chicago papers have stories up Saturday morning about Alfonso Soriano being a possibility to lead off for the Cubs this season on occasion.

I'd be lying if I said only one word came to mind, but one word was most prominent: Why?

You can say the Cubs don't have a bonafide leadoff man, and that's true. But there are many better options than Soriano. In fact, he might be the worst option on the entire club. We're talking about a guy who hit .244 with a .289 on-base percentage last season. He struck out 113 times while walking 27. He had two stolen bases. He only scored 50 runs in 508 plate appearances.

Amazingly, with a putrid OBP, Soriano still managed 88 RBI and a .469 slugging percentage, due to his 27 doubles and 26 homers.

Basically, Soriano's only value is that he gets an extra-base hit every once in a while, which helped him drive home those 88 runs last season. That's not a guy you bat leadoff. Ever.

Fortunately, manager Dale Sveum's comments seem to be of a political nature, as to not dismiss anything.

‘‘During the season, a lot of things can come up to where, yeah, it can happen,’’ said Sveum (Chicago Sun-Times). ‘‘You really want Soriano just to be in an RBI spot. That’s what you really want.’’

Unfortunately, Soriano batted leadoff in an intrasquad game Friday. So it appears the possibility is realistic.

I can hear the collective groan from Wrigleyville already.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:59 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:06 pm
 

New Cubs manager Sveum puts together bunt tourney

By Matt Snyder

As the Cubs franchise strives to do a complete makeover, fundamentals have been reemphasized in camp this season. More attention is reportedly being paid to baserunning and pitchers' fielding, for example. Also: Bunting.

And in the spirit of the upcoming March Madness -- watch the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS! -- new manager Dale Sveum has devised a 64-man bunting tournament that will begin Thursday. With there only being 62 players in camp, Sveum threw himself in the bracket along with strength coach Tim Buss (via Chicago Tribune). Tribune beat writer Paul Sullivan has posted a picture of the entire bracket on his Facebook page.

Sveum made setup man Kerry Wood a No. 2 seed -- and if that's an accurate ranking, it's a good thing the Cubs are refocusing on bunting considering Wood hasn't had a big-league plate appearance since 2007 -- and put himself against Wood in Round 1 as a 15.

Sullivan reports the players' consensus is that starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells are the favorites, though speedy outfielder Tony Campana named himself the man to beat.

Having seen many Cubs games the past several seasons, I'd be shocked if anyone beats Dempster -- not that the winner really matters. And my reaction to seeing Alfonso Soriano as a 15-seed? How are there at least four worse bunters in camp?

Two things here do matter, though:

1. The focus on fundamentals.
2. Having fun. It's a long spring training and exercises like these help bring the team together. If you scoff at that notion, note that Joe Girardi had the 2009 Yankees compete in a billiards tournament in spring training as a team-building exercise. Obviously these Cubs don't have the same level of talent as the eventual '09 World Series champions, but the point remains that Sveum has his head in the right place.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:33 am
 

Cubs name coaching staff, poach long-time Card

By Matt Snyder

New Cubs manager Dale Sveum has rounded out his coaching staff, the Cubs announced Friday via press release.

The biggest hiring of note is a first-base coach, as Dave McKay will take over. That is noteworthy because he has held the same position with the rival Cardinals for the past 16 seasons. He was also with Tony La Russa in Oakland for 10 years before that, so it's going to be quite the change for McKay.

Chris Bosio has been named the pitching coach. He previously served as the pitching coach for the Rays in 2003 -- he left the post for family reasons -- and the Brewers for the last several weeks of the 2009 season. He's also had great success in the minors as a pitching coach. During the Winter Meetings, Sveum spoke very highly of Bosio's tough-love approach with his pitching staff.

Also, Pat Listach has been moved from bench coach to third-base coach. Jamie Quirk will be the bench coach. Rudy Jaramillo (hitting coach) and Lester Strode (bullpen coach) will remain with the Cubs in their same positions.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:06 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 2:48 pm
 

Sveum hired as Cubs manager

By Matt Snyder

UPDATE: 2:35 p.m. ET, Cubs have named Sveum the new manager. He'll be officially announced Friday in Chicago.

Original story below.

***********************
Before we dive into this, let's first take a deep breath and realize nothing is official and most of this is speculation. OK? Good. Now let's move on.

Several signs point to the Cubs hiring Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum to be their next manager. First of all, multiple outlets have reported all week that both the Cubs and Red Sox had Sveum toward the top of their list. The Cubs also had Mike Maddux as one of the favorites, per multiple reports. Keep those two items in mind and factor in the following:

1. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Maddux is likely out of the running for the job due to family concerns. It had previously been reported that Maddux was unsure if he wanted to move his family from Texas.

2. Several outlets -- including Jon Heyman of SI.com -- have reported that the Red Sox are now going to expand their managerial search and start interviewing candidates who haven't previously been interviewed.

3. CBSSports.com's own Scott Miller is now reporting that Sveum has been offered the Cubs' job.

Do the math. The Cubs had two frontrunners. One dropped out. The Red Sox had a reported frontrunner but are now seemingly starting over just as the Cubs have reportedly offered Sveum the job. If we connect the dots here, Sveum will soon be named the Cubs manager. But things can always change and, again, it's best to remember this isn't official by any stretch.

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Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 8:39 pm
 

Tuesday rumor roundup from GM Meetings

By Matt Snyder

With baseball's annual general manager meetings taking place in Milwaukee, there are many rumors floating around. Here's what CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler -- who is there -- heard Tuesday.

• The Yankees have met with Bob Garber, who is the agent for free agent starting pitchers C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt. The two sides are in preliminary discussions about both players, but several other teams are obviously still in play.

• The Red Sox are going to interview an unnamed candidate for a second time. Dale Sveum is also getting a second interview and several have speculated he's the front-runner.

• The Nationals need a center fielder and some other pieces, but are primarily focusing on one veteran starting pitcher. They're in on Wilson, Oswalt and Mark Buehrle. And we know they aren't shy when it comes to spending money (Exhibit A: Jayson Werth). Adding one of these guys to a rotation with young guns Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann would give the Nats a very strong rotation. The Nationals also wouldn't rule out any of the big-name offensive free agents (Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes), but it's much more likely they go pitching.

• The Orioles don't have near as much money to spend as some people thought they'd have. "We have to be smarter and work harder," new general manager Dan Duquette said. It looks like a payroll in the range of $90 million, which is an increase, but not a gigantic one. They opened last season with just over $85 million in player salaries.

• The Brewers have big reservations on signing Rafael Furcal and probably can't make a serious run at Jose Reyes, so don't be surprised if they bring back Yuniesky Betancourt to play shortstop. Also, Knobler told me it sounds like "the longest of longshots" Prince Fielder is back next season.

• Expect the owners to approve the sale of the Astros Thursday, and the move will also result in the Astros moving to the American League, starting in 2013. This will result in two 15-team leagues and interleague play all season.

• The Collective Bargaining Agreement will not be announced during the meetings. It will come Friday at the earliest, but don't worry, it's going to get done.

Here are some other notes from the meetings, compiled from other reporters:

• The Mets won't likely offer a six-year contract to Jose Reyes, Andy Martino of the Daily News reports. This isn't all too surprising but it's worth noting because the Marlins have reportedly offered Reyes six years and $90 million.

• The Reds are one of many teams that have contacted the Braves about All-Star pitcher Jair Jurrjens, but it's going to take "a ton" to land him, reports Jon Heyman of SI.com.

David Ortiz really wants to stay in Boston and will let the Red Sox match any offer he gets on the open market (Boston Herald).

Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reports that the Red Sox, Reds, Blue Jays, Marlins, Dodgers, Angels, and Mets are all suitors for free agent closer Francisco Cordero. He's been a bit overshadowed in this free agency class by the likes of Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell and Ryan Madson, but Cordero has some serious pedigree as a closer. Only Mariano Rivera has more career saves among active players than Cordero.

• The Twins are interested in Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit, and that interest would heighten if Michael Cuddyer signs elsewhere (Star Tribune).

Hat-tips: MLB Trade Rumors

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Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:24 pm
 

Red Sox managerial search down to two

Ben CheringtonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Red Sox managerial search is down to two, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters on Monday. Dale Sveum will meet with the Boston ownership group on Wednesday and another candidate will have a second interview later this week.

Cherington said he'd like a new manager in place before Thanksgiving.

The Red Sox also interviewed Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo and Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin.

Sveum, Mackanin and Alomar also interviewed for the vacant Cubs job.

Cherington also said the Red Sox compensation talks for Cubs president Theo Epstein may have to be decided by the commissioner's office, despite the two teams receiving an extension to work on it.

"It's not what we need to be doing this offseason," Cherington told reporters (via the Boston Herald.) "I think we'd still like to figure it out on our own, but if we can't, then I think everyone probably needs to move on."

Earlier on Monday, Epstein told Boston radio station WEEI.com that he didn't believe he was worth much to his former team (as far as compensation goes.)

"That's a more existential question," Epstein said. "I know I'm right, because I know my own faults better than Ben does. I know my limitations. I'm just not worth that much. But I'm sure it will work out, one way or the other, in a way that satisfies all the parties involved. The talkers are very amicable. That's the most important thing."

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Posted on: November 13, 2011 7:03 pm
 

Red Sox give Dale Sveum second interview

By Evan Brunell

The Red Sox will interview Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum a second time, Fox Sports reports.

Sveum is one of five finalists for the Red Sox job and is thought to be the most favored candidate. No other managerial candidate is known to have received a second interview, although that could change. Also in the running is Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr.,Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo and  Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin.

Sveum will meet with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and ownership in Milwaukee on Tuesday, the first day of the GM meetings. The owner meetings follow later in the week.

It's possible Boston could hire Sveum by week's end, especially if it feels pressured by the Cubs. Chicago also has Sveum high on its list to be the next manager. Sveum's stiffest competition in Chicago looks to be Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. Ex-Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who lost out on the Cardinals job to Mike Matheny, is not currently under consideration for the Cubs job, sources say.

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Posted on: November 11, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Manager interviews finishing for Cubs, Cards, Sox

Sandy Alomar Jr.By C. Trent Rosecrans

The interviews, it seems, are done for the three managerial openings. The Cubs, Cardinals and Red Sox are all done with their first round of interviews and it appears the hirings could come relatively soon.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals' next manager will come from one of the six candidates the team interviewed. The Cardinals interviewed former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Ryne Sandberg, third base coach Jose Oquendo, former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny, Triple-A manager Chris Maloney and White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing.

"I'm fairly confident that it will," Mozeliak told Goold when asked if the team's next manager would come from that list.

That does not mean there will not be further questions asked of any of those six, but it doesn't appear that a surprise candidate will emerge.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer wasn't quite as definitive about his team's next manager coming from the list of four interviews that they have already conducted.

"I wouldn't guarantee that it is (the entire list), but we feel really good about the four guys we brought in," Hoyer told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "We had four very good interviews. I wouldn't rule out an additional candidate, but it's not a certainty."

The team interviewed Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. on Friday. It has also interviewed Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.

The "additional candidate" could be Francona. Hoyer said Theo Epstein has already talked to Francona, and with the history between the two, a formal interview wouldn't be a necessity. There's also Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was the other finalist when Epstein hired Francona in Boston. Maddon's resume would certainly make an interview unnecessary, although the Cubs would have to work out a deal with the Rays for compensation -- something they've still been unable to accomplish with the Red Sox.

As far as Francona's successor in Boston, Alomar, Sveum and Mackanin have already interviewed with the Red Sox. Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo interviewed on Friday and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont will interview on Saturday. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters after Louvullo's post-interview news conference that the team had no plans on bringing in additional candidates after interviewing Lamont on Saturday. He also added that the team had not been formally turned down by another other organization when seeking permission to interview candidates.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com