Results tagged ‘ Dale Sveum ’

8/30 Ryno’s back

Darwin Barney still has a bat autographed by his former Triple-A manager, Ryne Sandberg. The current Cubs second baseman also remembers all the lessons he learned from the former one, now a Hall of Famer and back at Wrigley Field as the Phillies interim manager.

“I admired the way he prepared for the game every day, his intensity, the way baseball was his life,” Barney said Friday. “He went about it the right way and respected it where he’s like, ‘I’ll start in the Minor Leagues and won’t try to jump on with a buddy and be a bench coach.’ He wanted to learn how to manage. The way he went about his business every day and the way he helped me out before games at second base [was huge].”

Sandberg spent four seasons in the Cubs organization as a Minor League manager, and was passed over the big league job twice. He then left to manage in the Phillies’ system, and was on the big league team’s coaching staff this year. When Charlie Manuel was dismissed, Sandberg took over the Phillies.

Barney was Iowa’s starting shortstop but passed over when the Cubs promoted Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee in May 2010. Barney went to Sandberg because he wanted to know what to do to get that call. Sandberg and Barney began working at second base before games three times a week at home and on the road.

“I was fortunate to have a good relationship with him,” Barney said. “The ability to communicate with him was very helpful.”

Dale Sveum could relate to Sandberg’s interim status. Sveum was the Brewers’ interim manager for 12 games in 2008.

“The biggest thing is we’re probably taking over in the same kind of way,” said Sveum, hired as the Cubs manager prior to the 2012 season. “I took over as interim with 12 games. He’s got a couple months, six weeks. As a coach, you’ve got your own little world, and then all of a sudden, you have everybody’s little world, all 25 players, and the game management as well. You have so many responsbilities as well as the media as well as the game management as well as managing 25 players.”

Sveum said he didn’t even think about being an “interim” manager. He was the manager.

“You’re just managing at that time, you don’t worry about any tag,” he said. “You have a job to do and that’s all you can do.”

Sveum expected the Wrigley Field crowd to give Sandberg a nice welcome.

“A guy coming back to a place where he was a Hall of Famer, he deserves a lot of attention,” Sveum said. “He had a heck of a career here in Chicago. On the field, off the field, he was the ultimate professional and deserves all the attention he’s going to get. He’s one of the best players of all time.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/28 Sveum ejected

Cubs manager Dale Sveum was ejected in the first inning Wednesday for arguing a checked swing call during Dodgers leadoff batter Yasiel Puig’s at-bat. The count was 2-2, and Chicago starter Edwin Jackson thought the Dodgers outfielder had gone around on the next pitch, a fastball, rather than check his swing in time. Sveum challenged the call, and was ejected by first base umpire Lance Barksdale. It was Sveum’s sixth ejection this season, and the earliest.

— Carrie Muskat

8/28 Ryno’s coming back to Wrigley

On Friday, Ryne Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field as interim manager of the Phillies. The Hall of Fame second baseman played 15 seasons with the Cubs, and made it no secret that he wanted to manage the team. What kind of reception does Cubs manager Dale Sveum feel Sandberg will get?

“I’m sure he’ll get a standing ovation,” Sveum said. “This guy is in the Hall of Fame. He’s arguably the best second baseman to play the game and he did it all in Chicago. It’ll be a nice moment for him to come back, after getting his first job, and a couple weeks after he gets it, he comes to Chicago for the first time.”

Sveum spent most of his playing career with the Brewers, and thought about possibly managing there but was passed over as well. He also managed in the Minor Leagues, but Sveum wasn’t a Hall of Fame player.

“I only did it in Double-A for three years, which is a perfect level to manage at,” Sveum said. “Guys are past the core development, so you have decent players, and you’re dealing more with men than kids, and they’re hungry to get to the big leagues and most people in Double-A have a shot at a cup of coffee in the big leagues. That’s what you try to do as a Minor League manager is get every player a cup of coffee.”

So Sveum, like Sandberg, rode the buses and caught the early flights and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the clubhouse.

“It’s impressive that somebody who had those credentials [like Sandberg] would want to stay in the game and go back to the Minor Leagues and teach and progress and get accustomed to managing, especially to the National League part of managing, and obviously get an opportunity to do it,” Sveum said.

A lot of players say they want to manage or coach, but once they get into player development, they realize how much of a commitment it is.

“Some guys have had great careers but they find out [what it takes], it turns into a 24/7 job, it’s not for everybody,” Sveum said.

“You’re in your own little world as a player,” he said. “At the end [of his playing career], I started asking a lot of questions of Jim Leyland and really paying attention to the game itself. When you’re a player, you worry about your four at-bats and not making a fool out of yourself.”

Did it take long for Sveum to get over not getting the Brewers’ job?

“I don’t think it’s tough to get over,” Sveum said. “It’s just part of the game, and you understand the business part and how lucky it is to get one of these jobs. There’s luck involved. There’s a circulation of managers being let go. There’s only 30 of these jobs and for newcomers to get one, it’s hard to do.

“It’s not easy to put $100 to $200 million payrolls together and hand them to somebody who’s never done it before,” he said. “You keep plugging along and doing your thing, and if it happens, it happens.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Sveum, Russell ejected

Dale Sveum was ejected in the seventh inning Sunday for arguing a checked swing third strike call with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

With two on and none out in the seventh and the Cubs trailing, 6-1, against the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright, Donnie Murphy was called out after he thought he’d checked his swing. Sveum apparently said something from the dugout that Cuzzi didn’t like, and was tossed.

Reliever James Russell apparently said something from the Cubs dugout that third base umpire Tom Hallion didn’t like, and also was ejected.

It’s the fifth time this season Sveum has been ejected.

— Carrie Muskat

8/12 Extra bases

* The Cubs will salute Hall of Famer Ernie Banks prior to Tuesday’s game against the Reds at Wrigley Field. Banks has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Billy Williams, Banks’ teammate on the Cubs and a fellow Hall of Famer, will introduce Banks on Tuesday. The festivities were expected to begin around 6:50 p.m. CT. before the Cubs face the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT.

No date has been set as to when Banks will receive the honor from President Barack Obama. The Medal of Freedom, established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States.

* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen on Monday and was expected to begin another rehab assignment starting Wednesday at Class A Daytona. The right-hander made three starts at low A Kane County, then one with Daytona, and weather interfered with his next outing. His longest start was 3 1/3 innings on July 29.

* Jorge Soler, sidelined with a stress fracture in his left tibia, was examined on Monday in Mesa, Ariz., and the test results were to be sent to the team’s medical staff in Chicago to gauge the progress the outfielder is making. Soler, who was playing for Class A Daytona, was injured in late June, and expected to be sidelined four to six weeks. The Cubs were hopeful he could return to action this season. Soler could play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in early October. Soler, 21, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs in 55 games with Daytona. He apparently fouled a ball off his left shin in Spring Training, and the injury flared up before the Florida State League All-Star Game.

* Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch, who threw a no-hitter on Aug. 6, has been named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 5-11. It’s the second award this season for the Double-A Tennessee left-hander, who was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April. Jokisch, 24, made history against Jacksonville with the Smokies’ first nine-inning no-hitter since Scot Elam in 1985. It was the first no-hitter since Mark Holliman tossed a seven-inning no-no in 2007. Jokisch lefty struck out eight and faced four batters over the minimum in a 10-0 win over the Suns.

* The Cubs’ game Sept. 7 against the Brewers has been changed to a 3:05 p.m. CT start time. It had originally been listed as a 12:05 p.m. CT start, but was adjusted at the request of national television, the team said. Friday’s and Saturday’s games against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field also will start at 3:05 p.m. CT.

The late afternoon games are tough because it’s an unusual time, and the shadows on Wrigley make it tricky for the players to see.

“The shadows and the sun in right field are horrendous and obviously, late in the game hitting, you better have the lead because it ain’t too easy hitting once those shadows come in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Samardzija rumors “far fetched”

The Trade Deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT, and manager Dale Sveum doesn’t expect Jeff Samardzija to be doing anything but prepping for his next start with the Cubs. Rumors continue to swirl about the Cubs listening to offers for Samardzija.

“If somebody asks, sure,” Sveum said on whether the Cubs were keeping an open mind. “That’s not my job, so I don’t know what goes in those kind of meetings. It’s not realistic [to deal Samardzija].”

The Cubs would have to be offered a lot to part with the 28-year-old right-hander who is under team control for two more years.

“This is me speaking, but I would think it’s very, very far-fetched to think that you have a guy under control for that long and possibly a No. 1 guy to do anything with him,” Sveum said. “Those are things that pop up and somebody will say, sure you’ll listen. But are you going to want to trade half your team [to get Samardzija]?”

Meanwhile, Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz wait to see if they will stay with the Cubs past the deadline.

“It is a compliment to be rumored,” Sveum said. “Some people get to be part of a pennant race and get to the playoffs and do some fun things.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Playing to win

The Cubs are 30-25 since May 26, the fourth best record in the National League in that span, trailing the Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates. Chicago is 48-55 overall. What would it mean to finish this season with a .500 record?

“Well, I mean it’s a number,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We’re trying to obviously get the whole organization healthy and all of that so, you know, it’s a number that, coming from where we were, and obviously now we see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel to possibly get there in the next two months, it’s something to shoot for. It’s a goal that you want to have, but it’s not a goal that we want to have with this organization because I think those kind of things hold things back, too. ‘Oh, as long as we get to .500, yipee,’ but you’re still going home like everybody else who’s not in the playoffs.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/28 Welcome home

The Cubs return home Monday without Matt Garza (traded to Rangers on 7/22) and without Alfonso Soriano (traded to NYY 7/26). They’ve also dealt Scott Feldman, Scott Hairston and Carlos Marmol this month. Is it more challenging now for Dale Sveum with all the turnover?

“It’s not as much of a challenge for me as always making sure you have the depth to fill the voids that happen someitmes,” Sveum said. “[Chris] Rusin has filled in with two great starts and we have [Carlos] Villanueva. We have a lot more depth than we did last year. Losing Soriano is a big blow on a lot of different scales than losing your four hitter.”

On Tuesday in the makeup doubleheader, Jake Arrieta will make his Cubs debut. It’ll be Sveum’s first look at him. He was acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal.

“You’re curious to get your eyes on him yourself,” Sveum said. “It’s stuff, it’s 95 to 97 [mph], and a guy who can throw a 91 mph slider or cutter, whatever you want to call it, as well as a changeup and curveball. You’ve got plus arm and plus stuff who can strike people out and do things that way.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/26 Cubs 3, Giants 2

Two runs scored on an error by Giants first baseman Brandon Belt with two outs in the ninth to give the Cubs a 3-2 victory Friday night. Trailing, 2-1, against Sergio Romo, pinch-hitter Julio Borbon singled and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro walked. One out later, Junior Lake reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Navarro at second. Rizzo then lined the ball to right, through Belt’s legs, for an error. Borbon and Lake scored.

“It’s just a routine ground ball,” Belt said. “I did what I’ve always done in that situation. … That wasn’t the only mistake I made. Looking back on it, it cost us the game.”

The other blip came in the seventh. More on that later.

The Cubs picked up their 24th win on the road, one more than they won all last season away from Wrigley Field.

“Yes,” Sveum said emphatically. “And a lot more west of the Mississippi [River].”

Edwin Jackson did not get a decision but continued his much improved second half. He struck out five and did not walk a batter in the first six innings. Second baseman Darwin Barney made a great diving stop on Buster Posey’s hard-hit grounder and threw him out to begin the seventh. Jackson then walked Pablo Sandoval, and Hunter Pence doubled down the left-field line.

Belt was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Jeff Francoeur blooped a single to right, driving in Sandoval and Pence. That’s when Belt’s other mistake occurred. He thought about scoring, but Jackson, who had his back to the action on the field, got a break as the throw went past him, bounced off the wall and back to the pitcher, who made the tag.

“Jackson wasn’t even looking,” Belt said. “He had no idea where the ball was.”

Sometimes, things do work in the Cubs’ favor.

“I think he was frustrated,” Sveum said of Jackson. “The ball fell in, and he might have lost concentration there. You saw where the ball was and he ended up making the play.”

Catcher Welington Castillo yelled at his pitcher to get his attention but probably couldn’t be heard over the crowd of 41,797 at AT&T Park. What happened?

“I stopped to not run into Sandoval,” Jackson said. “When I stopped to not run into him, I went around him. By the time I could turn around, the ball was coming at me, and right in front of me. Sometimes the ball bounces in your favor, and sometimes it doesn’t. … It’s a crazy game. That was something that worked in our favor.”

It’s not a good idea to run into Sandoval.

“He’s a big man,” Jackson said. “Nobody wants that collision at home like that.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/25 What’s next?

How do the Cubs fill the opening in the lineup with the pending departure of Alfonso Soriano?

“You say you’re prepared for it, but I don’t think you’re really prepared to lose somebody of that nature,” Dale Sveum said Thursday. “All the things he brings to a team, the fourth hole, the character, the clubhouse, the leadership and everything. You just don’t replace that.”

Soriano was pulled from Thursday’s Cubs lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the request of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, and appears to be headed to the Yankees.

Physically, Sveum said he’ll mix and match in the outfield, using rookie Junior Lake as well as Cole Gillespie in left field. Brian Bogusevic, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, could return in early August.

The Cubs may decide to add a pitcher when they make a roster move rather than an outfielder because the bullpen has been overworked, and they have a doubleheader coming up on Tuesday.

Soriano, 37, was one of the few veterans in the clubhouse.

“You have [Kevin] Gregg, DeJesus, and other than that, it’s a lot of young guys,” Sveum said. “With the addition of Lake, now we’re getting pretty young.”

The Cubs were busy at the Trade Deadline last year, and this season, have made six deals before July 31. The only players who were on the Chicago roster when Jim Hendry was the general manager are Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Welington Castillo and Jeff Samardzija.

The Cubs may find another left fielder, but can’t replace Soriano’s professionalism.

“You don’t replace that,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, down the road you do. You don’t have a Band-aid right now to replace that kind of guy in your clubhouse.”

— Carrie Muskat