Dale Sveum hasn’t managed a game yet for the Chicago Cubs, but we’re already beginning to get an early indication of the kind of manager that he might be.

When asked by a Chicago sports radio station if he would bunt a guy over to third with a man on second and no one out, he said, basically, that “it depends.”

Which, on the surface, makes sense. I mean, you can’t really answer that question without knowing the situation—what is the score, what inning is it, etc.

Personally, I would never bunt a guy over in that situation and I am surprised that Theo Epstein would even hire a manager who likes to bunt, since most sabermatricians abhor bunting.

But it was a decent answer that showed he is thinking.

But what I really liked was his reaction to questions about Carlos Zambrano. He referred to Zambrano’s antics as “tantrums”, which implies him being a baby, and that is spot on.

He also said that Big Z already has “three strikes” and has no room for error.

The other thing I take issue with is his declaration that Carlos Marmol is his closer. Now, perhaps he said that just to keep the peace, but why?

I mean, Marmol was awful last year and despite having a closer’s salary, doesn’t deserve to be labeled as the closer right now.

What I would have rather heard is that it is an open competition.

Other than that, however, what do we really know about Sveum? Epstein mentioned that he liked the way Sveum holds players accountable yet the players still seem to like him.

But how does he know? He was only a manager for a very brief time and as a coach, it is really not the same thing.

Players often like their coaches because they can confide in them without the manager knowing.

I guess, above all, I trust Epstein and Jed Hoyer and respect their decision to hire Sveum. If this was Jim Hendry making the decision, I would seriously question it, but if Sveum is good enough for these guys, then I am all for it.

In Boston, he was beat up for his decisions as the third base coach, but was held in high regard for his use of statistical analysis and how prepared he was.

As a player, Joe Torre thought enough of Sveum that he kept him around as a bullpen catcher even after releasing him due to his lack of production as a player.

Another thing that is clear about him is that he prefers to mingle with the players on the field during warm-ups and in practice. He feels it helps players to respect him, and he gets his one-on-one talks in there too.   

In his interviews with the media, I didn’t hear him endorse OBP, but I have to assume he believes strongly in that or Epstein wouldn’t have hired him.

If so, he may fire Rudy Jaramillo and hire a new hitting coach for the team.

But no matter what, we, as Cubs fans, need to believe in Epstein and his guys. If they were wrong, they will be held accountable.

And that’s the way it should be.

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