No, that is not a typo in the title of this post, I did not mean incompetent, incomplete is a much more realistic term. On Monday, the Cubs fired Dale Sveum as manager with one year left on the contract. As a former Brewer player and coach, I have a little something to say about what went down in Chicago.
Dale Sveum was always a iffy choice to head up a major league baseball club. A major league manager needs to posses the ability to manager players on both side of the ball. Sveum never showed the ability to manage a pitching staff during any of the two seasons, but the warning signs were there for the Cubs even before the first interview.
Warning Sign #1: Former power player generally don’t make good managers
Players that generally have good careers with the potential for power do not do well as managers because they are unable to identify issues with players. Managers that seem to have played little or poorly have more time to watch other players and identify mistakes and take the needed corrections. There is always the exception to the rule, but for every Joe Girardi there are many Charlie Manuel’s
Warning Sign #2: No Pitching coach experience
Sveum entered the Cubs job with no pitching experience, not even at a basic level. If you are that one sided in baseball, it is like getting hit with a 2X4 when you have to care about the other side of the ball.
Warning Sign #3: 2008 season
This should have been the biggest reason not to hire Sveum. After Ned Yost was fired near the end of the season Sveum was named the interim manager and continued the effort of Yost to mismanage the pitching and having to overusing C.C. Sabathia. This was a sign that he was unable to manager or turn around a pitching staff. This should have raised the red flag for all teams that Sveum could not manage both side of the game.
The Cubs did not heed warning sign #3 and made the two year mistake of allowing him to manage their team. Some guys are just not cut out to be Major League managers. If he wants another shot at managing a MLB team, he should go down to a “AA” or “AAA” team to manage, learn the ropes and if it works out, it works out. In this case, Dale Sveum will make a good hitting coach and that is what he should do.