Brewers' Dale Sveum named new Cubs manager

November 17, 2011

City Room and Associated Press

(AP/Charles Rex Abrogast)
Dale Sveum replaces Mike Quade, who was fired after the season, as the Cubs 52nd manager.
(AP/Ross D. Franklin)
Former Milwaukee Brewers coach Dave Sveum congratulating Joe Dillon as he rounds the bases during a game on July 8, 2008.

Updated 11/18/11 at 2:56 p.m.

The Chicago Cubs officially introduced Dale Sveum as their new manager Friday during a news conference at Wrigley Field.

Sveum replaces Mike Quade, who was fired after the season by Theo Epstein, the team's new president of baseball operations.

Sveum (pronounced "Swaym) becomes the 52nd manager in the team's history and takes over a squad that hasn't won a World Series in 103 seasons.

"The past is the past no matter where you are," Sveum said during the introductory news conference. "You're only as good as you are right now. It doesn't really matter what happened in the past."

Sveum received a three-year deal with an option for 2015 as the Cubs try to reshape their entire operation.

The 47-year-old comes to the Cubs from the Milwaukee Brewers, where he served as the team's hitting coach, but Sveum also has connections to the Red Sox. Epstein and Sveum worked briefly together in Boston, when Epstein was the team's general manager and Sveum served as the Red Sox third base coach during the 2004-05 season. 

At the time, Sveum was often criticized for an aggressive approach that led to runners being thrown out at the plate. But the coach with the nickname of "Nuts" was part of a championship team and is a believer in the advanced statistical analysis that Chicago's new leadership loves and is counting on to build up the farm system.

"I do my due diligence and video work and prepare as much as anybody," Sveum said before he was hired. "As far as the stats, those are what they are, and we can use them to our advantage. It's a big part of the game now. It's helping us win a lot of ballgames, the stats and the matchups. That's just part of the game now, and you use what you can."

Sveum was also under consideration by the Red Sox for its managerial vacancy and interviewed twice with the team.

Sveum began his pro career as a switch-hitting shortstop for the Brewers and had a 25-homer season before his career was slowed after an outfield collision.  In 12 seasons with Milwaukee and six other teams, he batted .236 with 69 home runs and 340 RBIs in 862 games. He was drafted by Milwaukee in the first round (25th overall) in 1982.

But during his career, the low-key Sveum got to play under some of the marquee managers in the game, including Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland. Each had an input on how he plans to approach his new job.

"I think the one common thread is the ability to motivate and none of them were screamers or yellers," Sveum said.

Sveum re-joined the Brewers as a coach in 2006 and briefly filled in as the team's interim manager during the end of the 2008 season.

Sveum did well in his limited run as Milwaukee's manager. After Yost was fired following a 3-11 slide in September, Sveum led the Brewers to their first playoff appearance in 26 years, winning six of seven down the stretch and capturing the wild card on the final day of the regular season.

Milwaukee then decided to hire a more experienced manager in the offseason and went with Ken Macha, who lasted two seasons. Sveum stayed on as the hitting coach and oversaw one of the best offenses in the National League last season. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder leading the way, the Brewers hit an NL-high 185 homers and were third with a .261 batting average on their way to the NL Central title -- well ahead of the Cubs.

Sveum emerged as the Cubs' leading candidate after an in-depth interview process that included such candidates as Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and Indians coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., among others.

He'll take over a team that finished last season 71-91.