Cubs’ Dale Sveum: ‘The past is the past’
By RICK GANO AP Sports Writer November 18, 2011 1:44PM
Chicago Cubs will announce new manager Dale Sveum at Wrigley Field.Friday, November 18, 2011. | Brian Jackson~ Sun-Times
Updated: November 18, 2011 2:14PM
Dale Sveum was introduced Friday as the Cubs’ new manager, rejoining Theo Epstein to attempt to end a 103-year World Series championship drought.
“The past is the past no matter where you are,” Sveum said during an introductory news conference at Wrigley Field. “You’re only as good as you are right now. It doesn’t really matter what happened in the past.”
Sveum received a three-year deal with an option for 2015 as the Cubs try to reshape their entire operation.
Sveum, the Milwaukee Brewers’ hitting coach the last three years, was Boston’s third base coach in 2004 and 2005 when Epstein was the general manager of the Red Sox. Epstein became Chicago’s president of baseball operations last month, and former Red Sox executives Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod joined the Cubs’ front office Nov. 1.
“Dale won’t get caught up in the trappings of the job,” Epstein said. “He’s very comfortable in his own skin.”
Sveum replaces the fired Mike Quade. Also interviewed were Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr.
The Cubs and Red Sox were both interested in Sveum, who interviewed twice with each of the teams. Second interviews occurred this week during the general managers and owners meeting in Milwaukee.
“My head probably was spinning, but I think the arrow fell in the right spot,” Sveum said.
Sveum, who turns 48 on Wednesday, served as the Brewers’ interim manager late in the 2008 season after Ned Yost was fired. He helped Milwaukee to a 7-5 record over the final 12 games as the Brewers claimed the wild card.
Milwaukee then decided to hire a more experienced manager in the offseason and went with Ken Macha, who lasted two years before the Brewers hired Ron Roenicke.
Sveum stayed on as the hitting coach and supervised one of the best offenses in the National League last season. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder leading the way, the Brewers hit an NL-high 185 homers and were third with a .261 batting average on their way to the NL Central title — well ahead of the fifth-place Cubs.
During his time in Milwaukee, Sveum also served as third base and bench coach.
Sveum managed three years in the Pirates’ minor league system before joining the Red Sox in 2004, the year the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought.
He had a 12-season major league career that included 25 homers and 95 RBIs in 1987. He was injured in an outfield collision the following season, then missed the 1989 season and was never the same player.
But during his career, the low-key Sveum got to play under some of the marquee managers in the game, including Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland. Each had an input on how he plans to approach his new job.
“I think the one common thread is the ability to motivate and none of them were screamers or yellers,” Sveum said.