On November 17, 2011, Dale Sveum became the 52nd manager in the team’s history. He knew when he accepted the job that there would be constant roster turnover in hopes of improving the farm system among other reasons. His main job was to help develop young players. Those young players, such as; Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney all took steps backwards this past season and it cost Sveum his job. In two seasons, the Cubs were 127-197 under him. Now President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, and G.M., Jed Hoyer, begin the search for a new manager.
Epstein had this to say, “Today we made the very difficult decision to relieve Dale Sveum of his duties as Cubs manager“, Epstein said. “Dale has been a committed leader for this team the last two seasons, and I want to thank him for all his dedication and hard work. 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. “Today’s decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses. Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made- some good, a few we would like back-to further this strategy. Jed and I take full responsibility for that. 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.“
Sveum was shocked by the move and reacted by saying this: “Whatever perception people are going to read into this, I’ve done this and produced a lot of good young players and developed them and obviously it didn’t work out here”. He thinks the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and he added this, “You have this vision of when it will happen and being part of a championship. The biggest disappointment is you didn’t get to see it through.”
The search for a new manager starts very soon. Rumor has it that the Cubs’ brass has an eye on Yankees’ Manager, Joe Girardi. Girardi, a Peoria, Illinois native, and former Cubs catcher, has a proven track record as a manager. Not only has he won a World Series title with the Yankees, he has also proved that he can develop players. He won Manager of the Year in 2006 while with the Marlins, and led that team into wild card contention, even though the team had the lowest payroll in baseball. However, Yankees’ G.M., Brian Cashman, has not granted the Cubs permission to speak with him. Whether it is Girardi, or someone else, those young players have to improve and the new manager cannot do that for them.