Fire Sveum? Only If Cubs Fire Up Roster

sveumToday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) With 190 losses (and counting) in two seasons, the Cubs are a hot mess. And now, their manager is apparently on the hot seat.

Although, my burning question about Chicago’s Less-and-Less Lovable Losers has little to do with their manager and more about when they plan to start fielding a roster that’s actually respectable instead of simply wretched.

Earlier this week, Cubs team president Theo Epstein started tongues wagging – and tweets tweeting – when he refused to confirm whether he planned to bring back Dale Sveum as the team’s skipper for 2014, speaking instead about an “evaluation process” that apparently isn’t done.

Even though the Cubs clearly are.

The speculation prompted Sun-Times beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer to write today, “Could the Cubs be making a play for the Yankees’ Joe Girardi to be their new manager – or Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire? And what about Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux, who declined because of family issues when Theo Epstein tried to hire him two years ago?”

As the losses have piled up (again) this season, some critics have jumped on Sveum about his game decisions, whether they involve his bullpen, his bench, or both. Others have blamed him for the lack of progress – I’d call it regress – from so-called cornerstones Starlin Castro (.242 average) and Anthony Rizzo (.226 average).

All those gripes very well might be valid, and it’s entirely possible that that Dale Sveum isn’t the right manager for the Cubs. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to be back in 2014. It’s really hard to fully judge the guy because, unless the Cubs change up their game plan and start giving their manager more to work with – whoever he is – it simply won’t matter who’s in charge.

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