Results tagged ‘ Dale Sveum ’
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
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
* 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
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
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
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
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
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
Junior Lake had his first four-hit night, and hit his first Major League home run, to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Lake belted a two-run shot in the fifth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to back Chris Rusin, who made a strong bid for the vacancy in the Cubs rotation. Rusin was subbing for Matt Garza, traded to the Rangers earlier in the day. The lefty would like to stay. He gave up two hits, including a bloop double that landed between Lake and shortstop Starlin Castro, and walked two over five-plus innings. Dioner Navarro, who had been matched up with Garza over his last six outings, still got the start Monday, and the catcher delivered a solo home run with one out in the second.
Lake now has nine hits in his first four career games, the most by a Cubs player since Andy Pafko did so in 1943. Lake also is the first Cubs player with a four-hit effort within his first four Major League games since Steve Lake (no relation) did so April 26, 1983, against the Padres.
“He might have found his niche right now,” Dale Sveum said of Lake, who has been playing center.
When promoted, it was thought that Lake would stay until David DeJesus returned from a shoulder injury. DeJesus is close to returning. Will the rookie stay?
“Right now, I’d be pretty stupid to say, ‘No,’” Sveum said. “Hopefully, we don’t have to send him down.”
Said Lake: “I’m going to keep working hard to make it hard on the front office. If you keep working hard, something happens.”
Rusin will stay in the rotation, filling the spot vacated by Matt Garza’s departure.
– Carrie Muskat
On Monday, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for violating the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Here’s some reaction from the Cubs:
* Manager Dale Sveum:
“It’s unfortunate for baseball, it’s unfortunate for the Brewers organization. I’m just glad it’s kind of finally over. Now he’s come out and obviously admitted it to the public and apologized. I think it’s the best thing to happen to Braun and the organization. He’ll be able to play Opening Day next year and everything is behind him as well as the organization and the players he let down … and the fans who have supported him for six years in the organization. At least now it’s finished, it’s over and they can move on.”
* Jeff Samardzija:
“It is what it is, I guess. You shouldn’t be taking things you shouldn’t be taking, connected to people you shouldn’t be connected to. Nowadays, you can’t hide from anything. That’s what it tells you is that everything you’re doing is going to be found out and going to be talked about.”
* Alfonso Soriano:
“I think sometimes people don’t realize how good they are. They want to go try something else. I just focus and try to do my job and not pay attention to what happens outside of baseball.
“I remember my first year, maybe people used [PEDs], but they didn’t have tests. Now they have tests and people have to be careful what they use, what they drink. It’s not the money, it’s not the suspension. For me personally, it’s family, friends, fans, what you do to your teammates, all that kind of stuff — the money is not important but how your family, how people want to treat your family, that’s hard. I never want to try to do anything negative because I did something wrong. I don’t want to do anything wrong to make it bad on myself or bad for my family.”
– Carrie Muskat