Cubs manager Sveum waits to hear about his future
CHICAGO (AP) — Dale Sveum doesn’t know if he’ll be coming back for a third season as manager of the Chicago Cubs.
Sveum is under contract to return for 2014. But team president Theo Epstein has said all jobs will be evaluated after another losing season.
“I’m not going to sit here and lie that you’re not wondering what’s going to happen in four to five days from now. That’s just human nature,” Sveum said Wednesday before the Cubs’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. “There’s nothing you can do about it, or control those decisions. You just keep plugging away. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Sveum was hired by Epstein before the 2012 season as the Cubs started a major rebuilding project. Though Chicago’s minor-league system has improved, the major league team has struggled as the club has shed long-term contracts and gone with younger players.
Sveum expects to hear about his future shortly after the season ends Sunday.
“That’s part of the gig,” Sveum said, “is knowing the day after the season.”
This season, Cubs have dealt veteran pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Feldman and longtime left fielder Alfonso Soriano, among others.
With those experienced players gone, the Cubs were looking to some of their youngsters to take a step forward, but that hasn’t happened. Starlin Castro has slumped to a .243 average, Anthony Rizzo is hitting .230 and Jeff Samardzija has an 8-12 record.
On Tuesday, the Cubs fell to 65-93, clinched their first last-place finish since 2006, and lost a team-record 50th game at home. In two years, Sveum has a 126-194 record.
Sveum seemed to know what he was signing on for in fall 2011.
“We needed to get our minor league system much healthier and hit the jackpot on some free agents that we sign and things like that,” Sveum said. “So nothing’s really changed that I was told or anything like that. You’re never promised anything.”
He might not be in Chicago anymore when touted prospects like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant make it to Wrigley.
“That’s why you take these jobs when you know things are not going to be all that good at the beginning, and the development part. You hope you’re around for when things turn around. There’s no question,” Sveum said. “That’s what we do this for — to win and be here when we’re getting ready to be very competitive.”