Ex #Cubs manager Sveum returns to Wrigley Field

Dale Sveum was back at Wrigley Field for the first time since he was dismissed as Cubs manager after the 2013 season, and said it didn’t really feel weird. After all, he feels he’s spent more time at the ballpark as a visiting player or coach than as a manager.

Now in his second season as the Royals hitting coach, Sveum is coming off a trip to the World Series last year with the American League champions. It was a wild ride.

“The run we had in Boston [in 2004] will always be the No. 1 thing as far as career,” Sveum said, “but coaching last year, and the way it all happened and the Wild Card game I think was one of the greatest games played in baseball history and I think catapulted us to do bigger things. The bottom line is you came up short and it’s bitter sweet. It was fun.”

In that Wild Card game, the Royals rallied to score two runs in the 12th for a 9-8 win.

Sveum, 51, was aware of the renovation plans for Wrigley Field during his two-year tenure as manager, but hadn’t seen the work until Friday. He didn’t blame the facilities for his team’s shortcomings.

“When you’re a hitter and the wind is blowing out like this, it doesn’t matter how little that clubhouse is,” Sveum said. “It’s a nice place to play.”

The Royals had a large contingent of fans at Wrigley to cheer for their team.

“We built something last year to where we have a huge following that hasn’t happened in Kansas City in a long time,” Sveum said. “The atmosphere in our ballpark now is off the charts.”

But would he like to manage again?

“Of course, sure you do,” Sveum said. “It’s not something you put on the back burner. It’s something I enjoy doing and enjoyed it. I’m obviously not holding my breath. I see where things are going in the game and how people are getting hired. It’s a little different than it was 10, 15 years ago. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. I still have a uniform on and that’s all I care about.”

— Carrie Muskat

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