Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's pronounced "Swame"

We have a new manager...

Like our previous manager, he's bald.

Like our previous manager, his last name is pronounced differently than it looks.

I'm not very happy with this decision, but at this point, it is Jed's first hire with the Cubs so we'll see.

Who would have been better? I don't know. I wasn't thrilled with any of the candidates this year.

One concern I have with a first time manager is that he usually isn't very good about selecting new staff to coach around him. The Cubs coaching staff last year was horrendous so it will be quite telling to see if Mark Riggins, Bob Dernier and Ivan DeJesus are all retained. At the same time, I'm hoping that Mike Quade's bench coach, Pat Listach is kept on the staff...not as the bench coach, but instead as the third base coach. In fact, I found it somewhat surprising that Listach was not a candidate for the manager position in the first place.

Anyway, we have Dale Sveum. The man the Brewers passed over twice (one time for Ken Macha...ugh!). The man that was criticized widely for his DeJesus-like skills as a third base coach while in Boston.

He is supposed to be a very good analytical mind. I'll have to leave that judgement to other people at this point. His stint as interim manager in Milwaukee didn't give him much of an opportunity to show off those analytical skills. (Sending CC Sabathia to the mound on a nightly basis will do that.)

My fear is that we have another Jim Riggleman on our hands here.

I hope I'm wrong, but even if I'm not, this is a rebuilding process and the Cubs actually can afford to make a mistake here for a few years. If they can get the talent here, in two years, if Sveum doesn't workout, they can bring in Joe Maddon to get them over the top. (I can dream, can't I?) I truly believe most managers are successful if they do no harm and a majority of them do just that. There are a few that make a minor difference for the better or for the worse. Sveum has all the makings of a manager who won't make a difference....and that's ok.

So Cubs fans, this is your new manager.