1/14 Sveum: The plan is to win now

How will new Cubs manager Dale Sveum deal with a player who doesn’t hustle or run out a ball?

“They’re going to be held accountable,” Sveum said Saturday at the Cubs Convention. “It’s not going to be OK. They won’t be able to walk past me in the dugout.”

Sveum then said to the fan who asked, “It obviously bothers you.”

“Yes,” the fan said. “It bothers you, too, Bob.”

Brenly was the emcee for the Q&A with Sveum and his coaches, and has been critical of lackadaisical play on his TV broadcasts.

“A little bit,” Brenly said, smirking.

* Sveum has talked to several of the core players at length, and also met some of the Cubs at a mini camp in Mesa, Ariz., in the first week of January. David DeJesus, Ian Stewart and Marlon Byrd were among the players who worked out with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo at that time.

Sveum said he was impressed at how quickly Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer filled their wish list. In two months, they added more depth to the starting pitching with Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm, they added future left-hander power with Anthony Rizzo, and became more athletic with DeJesus and Stewart.

He also dismissed talk that the Cubs are rebuilding.

“The plan is to win right now,” Sveum said. “The long-term plan starts right now. We’re not rebuilding, we’re building.”

* Rumors connecting the Cubs to free agent Prince Fielder wouldn’t go away. A fan asked Sveum about the possibility the Brewers first baseman could be reunited with his former hitting coach.

“It’s just not going to happen,” Sveum said about Fielder coming to the Cubs. “We have Bryan LaHair and Rizzo waiting in the wings.”

— Carrie Muskat

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