Dale Sveum ‘adopting’ Blackhawks would fit his profile
BY DAN McGRATH For Sun-Times Media June 9, 2013 10:23PM
Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum argues with home plate umpire Joe West, left,, after being ejected during the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chicago, Saturday, June 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Cubs manager Dale Sveum has staked out a seat on the Blackhawks bandwagon.
‘‘There are a lot of hockey fans on the team,’’ he said Sunday, the morning after the Hawks qualified for the Stanley Cup Final by eliminating the Los Angeles Kings. ‘‘We were all talking about it. When the Kings scored with nine seconds left . . . oh, man.”
Sveum is a Northern California native who makes his offseason home in the Phoenix area, but he’s no hockey neophyte.
‘‘I had season tickets when the Coyotes played downtown,’’ he said. ‘‘When they moved an hour and a half away [to Glendale], I gave them up.’’
Sveum said he ‘‘usually adopts’’ the teams in the city where he’s working. Having spent nearly 12 years of his career playing and coaching in Milwaukee . . .
‘‘Chicago probably doesn’t want to hear that I’m a Packer fan,’’ he conceded.
‘‘My true-blood team is the Raiders, so I despise the 49ers. Maybe ‘despise’ is too strong a word. But they’re not one of my favorites.’’
Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-11 in the Pirates series, with the 379th home run of his career coming off A.J. Burnett on Saturday. But he hit in buzzard’s luck, with the wind probably denying him two additional homers, and standout fielding plays by Pirates right fielder Travis Snider and third baseman Pedro Alvarez costing him two extra-base hits.
As the weather warms, Soriano might be due for one of his hot streaks.
‘‘My approach is the same,’’ he said. ‘‘I try to get a good pitch, put a good swing on it and hit the ball hard. When you’re going good, it’s contagious, same as when you’re not going so good.’’
This and that
The National League is batting .193 against Travis Wood, who is 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA and would be Sveum’s choice to represent the Cubs in the All-Star Game.
† The Cubs are averaging 32,594 fans per game — 12th in Major League Baseball and on pace to draw 2,670,114. Both figures would be their lowest since 1998.