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Write what you want about Dale Sveum. He’s not going to read it.

May 17, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Dale Sveum is gonna feel some heat by virtue of being the manager of the Chicago Cubs. But he won’t know about it if he does. Here’s what he told Patrick Mooney of about how he spends his free time:

“I don’t read the papers. I’m not a guy that Tweets, or whatever you call that thing. I’m not a big computer guy. I don’t read the news.  (During) my free time, I watch the NFL channel as much as I can…to keep up on (things) for fantasy reasons.”

It’s probably a pretty good approach for him, actually. As Mooney notes, Sveum has a pretty decent air of equanimity about him, especially compared to Lou Piniella and some of his predecessors.  Chicago is not a nasty media market, necessarily. It’s not insane like Boston or New York.  But there’s definitely some prickliness one can encounter there. And thus it’s probably better to ignore that noise than to obsesses on it.

  1. heyblueyoustink - May 17, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    ” It’s not insane like Boston or New York”

    I hear in the winds from the Northeast:” stupid pajama wearing blogger, radda, radda, radda.”

    • mybrunoblog - May 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      I liked Sveum as a player but the jury is still out as a manager. Not exactly loads of talent on his ball club.
      The biggest issue I see is that he has Ryne Sandbergs job. Not hiring Sandberg was a huge mistake IMHO.

      • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        …because…you have so much more information about the candidates and requirements of the job than those that made the decision?

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - May 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        If the jury’s still out on Sveum’s managerial skills, it’s pretty tough to say something like “not hiring Sandberg was a huge mistake” and back it up with anything other than conjecture, since Sandberg has no big league managerial experience of his own. It could end up being a legitimate point of view somewhere down the line, but you’ve got nothing of any substance with which to validate it at this point in time.

      • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Plus the fact that managers just don’t make that big of a difference for two reasons:

        1) Because teams with talent win and teams without talent lose regardless of who is managing, making the potential for a manager to effect change of game outcomes rather small with the potential to do harm exceeding the potential to do good.

        2) What potential variation in managing does exist is nearly completely eliminated by the fact that nearly all managers do the same thing in nearly all situations that require an actual decision. They all sac bunt, they all intentionally walk guys, they all leave starters in too long from time to time, they all play the lefty-righty match-up game, they all go to “lefty specialists” even when he sucks, they all put fast guys at the top of the batting order even if they don’t bring on-base skills or power to the table, they all leave their best relievers in the pen during high leverage situations, unless they happen to occur in the 9th or later….in short, nearly all of them make essentially the same choices nearly all the time.

        The best you can hope for is that your manager is liked by the players and he stays mostly out of their way during the game.

        Everyone thought hiring Matheny was a mistake…but he has a roster chock full of talent, so now people think it was a good move…though nothing has chanced from then to now.

      • nlfan865 - May 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        i think Sveum and Eptstein are a better fit then the situation of a Sandberg/Epstein partnership…what counts for a manager is for him to have influence over those on the field and a good working relationship with those in the front office…They chose the guy with that thought in mind…there is always a better set up for every team for every set of players and coaches and front office…they just have to find the formula that works and works with what they have and can maintain cost effectively.

      • jwbiii - May 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        The problem with hiring a Local Legend as a manager is that all managers are hired to be fired. If Jed Hoyer found it necessary to fire Sandberg before Hoyer had established himself as a positive force, things would become uncomfortable for him with the fanbase and press.

  2. yahmule - May 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Considering Sveum’s immediate predecessor was the laughable Mike Quade, I think any baseball fan is qualified to question the Cubs’ decision making methodology.

    • jwbiii - May 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      Quade was a Jim Hendry hire. Lou Piniella left the team in late 2010 to tend to his ailing mother. Quade was named interim manager, and did a good job for the last six weeks of the season. Hendry knew his time was short, so why sweat it, just make a defensible hire and that’s what he did.

  3. Cris E - May 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    You know, I bet if the Cubs had a literate black man on staff to read to Dale this wouldn’t even be an issue. (kidding, kidding…)

    • yahmule - May 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Well, they tried a literally ridiculous black man named Baker a while ago.

      • jwbiii - May 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        A ridiculous manager, sure, but a very interesting man.

  4. bla bla bla - May 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Sveum should have had the Brewers job 3.25 years ago. Solid, hard-nosed player; even keeled position(s) and bench coach. Players love him.

  5. recoveringcubsfan - May 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Since the Trib sold them, Cubs managers are no longer contractually obligated to read.

    It’s a good plan by Sveum – maybe should be pursued by all managers. I mean, when’s the last time a journalist had a really useful piece of analysis to offer a manager (I’m excluding this site and FanGraphs, naturally)? Most sportswriters in particular seem to be happy to just crap out another article about how they, personally, feel about stuff. Woop-de-do.

  6. ptfu - May 17, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Honey badger don’t care.

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