Will the Cubs Make a Change with Sveum? And Other News and Notes

The Cubs wrapped up the 2013 campaign on Sunday with a loss to the Cardinals and in the process the team locked down the fourth pick in the 2014 draft, which takes place on June 5. While the focus has been on the past two seasons at the big league level since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer started calling the shots, the Cubs have lost at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons and finished with a 75-87 record in 2010. Since the last year the Cubs finished above .500 in 2009 (83-78), the team is 273-375 and 198-288 the last three years.

Dale Sveum is expected to find out on Monday if he will return for the final season of the three-year contract he signed in November of 2011. Even if the front office retains Sveum for next year, the questions will soon turn to who will replace him after the 2014 season unless they pick-up his option for 2015. While the front office has been transparent and honest about their manager, they have really put Sveum in a bad spot if he does not lose his job on Monday.

Several players voiced their support of Dale Sveum following Sunday’s finale and based on his comments, Sveum is not sure what direction the front office will take. Sveum is set to meet with Theo Epstein on Monday in Chicago and admitted after the game, “We’ll find out in 12 hours, or 15, or whatever it is. It’s upon us.”

There are changes coming to the Cubs’ big league coaching staff, and many feel that one, if not both of the hitting coaches will be let go on Monday. But the big question surrounds Dale Sveum and his future with the team. If the front office decides to make a change, who will they insert in his place to lead big league team out of the cellar of the central and into a contender?

Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi downplayed his ties to Chicago on Sunday when he met with the New York media following the Yankees final game of the season. Girardi pointed out that he has not lived in Chicago since 2006 and according to a report from Joel Sherman, Girardi “sounded more like a guy who wants to return that at any time this season.”

The Yankees want Girardi back and like the national media has pointed out, no one leaves the Yankees to manage another team.

Joel Sherman reported that Girardi would help the Cubs “better sell a rebuilding plan” to a fan base that is not buying tickets the way they were three years ago.

Girardi told the New York media that “finances would matter zero to him” and Sherman reported that Girardi “sounded like a man who wanted to stay to fix the Yankees.”

As for other candidates to replace Dale Sveum, if the front office decided to make a change, reports out of Minneapolis on Sunday night indicated that Ron Gardenhire will stay and manage the Twins.

Jon Heyman reported that Brad Ausmus is another name that has surfaced for the Cubs’ job, thanks to Peter Gammons’ comments on the Score, and Heyman thinks he would make sense for the Cubs because he fits the Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer profile. Plus, Hoyer hired Ausmus as a Special Assistant to the General Manager in 2010.

As David Kaplan reported, the Cubs possible interest in Ausmus that made the rounds on Friday were blown out of proportion and Ausmus is not believed to be on the Cubs’ radar if they make a managerial change.

News and Notes

Anthony Rizzo recorded his 40th double of the season on Sunday and became the first Cubs’ left-handed hitter since Mark Grace in 2000 to hit 40 doubles in a single-season. Rizzo finished the year with 65 extra basehits (23 home runs, 40 doubles, two triples), the most extra basehits by a Cubs’ lefty since Mark Grace (65) in 1999.

Starlin Castro was happy with the way he finished his season and will spend time in off-season working with Tim Buss on his conditioning in the Dominican. Castro acknowledged he had a bad year but thinks there were positives because he learned a lot. Castro said he will bounce back next year because he will have a strong mind after struggling for the first time.

The Cubs finished the season with a 25-51 record against the NL Central (7-12 vs. Cardinals, 5-14 vs. Reds; 6-13 vs. Brewers; 7-12 vs. Pirates) and 41-45 against the rest of baseball.

The Cubs ended up with more extra basehits, 487, than any other team in the National League.

The Cubs’ pitching staff put together 91 quality starts this season, 18 more than the 73 quality starts in 2012. Travis Wood recorded 24 of the team’s 91 quality starts.

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  • SuzyS

    Just want to echo the sentiment recorded yesterday…Thank you Neil, Tom, Brian and everyone involved at the CCO for providing consistent dedication in bringing us all there is to know about the Cubs…be it a 100 loss season…or a 100 win season…you’re always there…A big Thank you!!!!

    Believe it or not…the forecast for tonight is “Dark…followed by Dawn!”.

  • Tin Tin

    Thank you CCO! I Have been inactive in the posting department but I come here every single day to get my Cubs fix. CCO#1!

  • Ripsnorter1

    144-288 the last three years….That’s incorrect, sir.

    Team Theo has been 127-197 the last two years. 61-101 in 2012, and 66 and 96 in 2013
    makes a 127-197 record. Mr. Hendry did not go 17-91. He went 71-91. : )

    I guess you meant to say 198-288. : )

    Anyway, Sveum is fired today. If they have any sense at all, they fire all the hitting coaches,
    and keep only Dave McKay. And I wonder if they won’t just promote Bosio to be the manager….

    Remember: this manager and coaching staff was a Team Theo pick. It
    is not a JHendry leftover.

    • J Daniel

      Agreed, Rip, with it being Theo’s pick. But we all know, including Dale, that he was probably just the place holder during the rebuild. If he did well with all of the in game stuff and development he would have had a shot. But, that didn’t work out to well.

      Number of people in the seats are declining, they are not ready to spend money, and so a change will be made. Also, IMO, some of the young guys are going to be here quicker than anticipated and thus the need for the change as well.

      McKay and Bosio should stay and the rest can go.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks for catching, corrected.

    • 07GreyDigger

      How did the team fire Tim Wilken? He’s currently a special assistant to the GM. That’s a weird firing. You know, still working for the team and all.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Joe is staying with the Yankees according to CBS NY Sports station.

    • coachdon

      That would mean that Sveum stays, as the only way he gets fired is if the FO has the guy that will lead the team to the promised land(and draw fans) all lined up. If Girardi stays put, with Sandberg in Philly and Gardenhire staying in the frozen tundra, I’m not sure who would make enough of a splash to make a change now. Looks like one more year of this group to me, minus a hitting coach of course. At least make them get rid of those dang warm up jackets. They look horrible…

      • J Daniel

        Not sure if I agree with you on this one. I think their decision is based on their decision, not someone else. They have more than a couple candidates on their “short” list.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Mike Scoscia?……Joey Cora?……

          • J Daniel

            Who knows, I am sure they have their list. If there is only 1 on there, like Girardi, well Dale could be on a lifetime contract because he may never be available.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources tell me and Jon Paul Morosi that Twins are retaining Gardenhire. Believed to be two-year deal.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Sveum is at Wrigley now. No timetable for any update.

    10:42am CDT

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Coaches told to be here by 11. Some arriving. Sveum meeting could be over.

    • J Daniel

      What’s your best guess?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Ricketts went into Cubs clubhouse. Coaches Bell, Quirk are here

    • 07GreyDigger

      Staying on it!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Rosenthal: Source: Cubs fire Sveum.

    • J Daniel

      I guess that is your answer! Not a surprise.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Sorry, I did not have a chance to respond before Rosenthal

        • J Daniel

          No need to be sorry! I really appreciate what you do and it is hard to respond so quickly especially when there is breaking news … or you have a life!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Ray is rejoicing in Texas.

      • J Daniel

        RAY RAY!!!

      • J Daniel

        Ray will rejoice, as will all of us, when they get some players.

    • John_CC

      Thanks Neil.

      But lets wait for a confirmation everyone, before getting all gitty.