After meeting with Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, Dale Sveum is no longer the Cubs manager.
The Chicago Cubs have fired manager Dale Sveum on Monday after two seasons in which the Cubs lost 90+ games. The Cubs lost 101 games in Sveum’s inaugural season in 2012, and the Cubs were only five games better in 2013 as the team lost 96 games this season.
Epstein and Hoyer will likely go into further detail on why Sveum was fired once the team makes an official announcement but many Cubs’ fans saw the writing on the wall for the Cubs’ manager after regressions by core players Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro this season.
Blaming Sveum for the regressions of Castro and Rizzo may be misguided. While it is certainly debatable that the Cubs’ coaching philosophy may have impacted Castro in a negative way, blaming Sveum for his regressions may be admitting that a manager has a greater impact on player performances than he actually does.
In addition to the regressions of Rizzo and Castro, Sveum has also been criticized for his in-game managing tactics. When hired, Sveum claimed that he would manage every game like it was the seventh game of the world series. The Cubs have not won the world series since 1908, so Cubs fans may not know what that type of managing style looks like. But Cubs fans do know what inept managing skills look like. Unfortunately for Sveum, his managing tactic fell under the latter category.
Instead of game seven of the world series, Sveum was managing every game like it was game seven of spring training.
With Sveum now fired, the speculation over the next Cubs manager has already begun.
Immediate speculation is pointing towards Joe Girardi as being the leading candidate for the position. Girardi is a free agent this winter as his contract with the New York Yankees expires on October 31. The Yankees are interested in bringing back Girardi, but Girardi may have a greater interest in returning home to Chicago.
There has also been speculation about Minnesota Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire and San Diego Padres’ special assistant Brad Ausmus.
Considering the Cubs fired Sveum no less than a day after the regular season, logic may suggest that the Cubs’ already have a candidate in place or at least thinking of one. In any event, Epstein and Hoyer will likely have plenty to say about the next Cubs’ manager in addition to the off-season agenda.