It should come as no surprise to Chicago Cubs fans that, as reported yesterday on Examiner.com, late this morning Manager Dale Sveum was fired. This was a necessary move for the organization in order to try and win some of the lost faith fans have expressed this season.
In a press release sent out by the Cubs regarding Sveum’s dismissal, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said “Today we made the very difficult decision to relieve Dale Sveum of his duties as Cubs manager… I have a lot of admiration for Dale personally, and we all learned a lot from the way he has handled the trying circumstances of the last two years, especially the last two weeks, with strength and dignity.”
Epstein went on to say that dismissing Sveum was not based on the team’s won-loss record, but on the vision he and Hoyer have for the future of the Cubs, saying that the Cubs’ record the past two years is a result of the long-term building of the organization. He stated that he and General Manager Jed Hoyer take full responsibility for the failures of the past two years.
“Jed and I take full responsibility for [what has happened] … Today’s decision was absolutely not made to provide a scapegoat for our shortcomings or to distract from our biggest issue – a shortage of talent at the major league level. We have been transparent about what we are, and what we are not yet. Today’s decision, which was painful for all of us, was made to move us closer to fulfilling our ultimate long-term vision for the Cubs,” he said.
As the season progressed, fans started asking when the Cubs were going to stop acquiring talent, much of which did not work in the Cubs’ favor. Epstein addressed this concern saying that the organization will transition from “primarily acquiring young talent to a phase in which we will promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major league level.” He said losing has been hard on everyone, but the Cubs now have one of the top farm systems in baseball fielding some of the best prospects in the game. He said there is a “clear path forward”. The goal is to win with the talent in the farm system and win consistently.
That’s fine, but who is to guarantee that this young talent doing well in the minors can flourish and thrive in the majors? No one knows, so hiring a new manager who understands the younger players is a necessity if the Cubs really do plan to turn the team around.
Scott Cipinko summed things up for many when he told Examiner.com, “Sveum is a nice man but wrong man for the job. The Cubs need a strong foundation and a teacher. Like the Rays, you find the manager and coaches and they are there to institute a winning system as the prospects arrive,” said Scott Cipinko, a long time Cubs fan. “The manager and staff also have input into the roster. Ryne Sandberg was the best choice. But if they can get Girardi, he is the next best option.”
Whether the Cubs have reached out yet to Yankees Manager Joe Girardi yet is unknown. Epstein has vowed to begin the search in the morning and have a new manager in place before the GM meetings in early November.
And now the guessing games begin. Will Girardi come back to Chicago or will someone else be named manager? Stay tuned.