I’m giving Dale Sveum a thumbs up at the All Star break despite the Cubs (33-52) record.
Doesn’t mean Sveum is without faults, but he’s largely steadied the Cubs leaky ship through the first three months of the season.
Not much has come easily for Sveum. The Cubs started the season (1-5), then came the 12-game losing streak, Soriano’s bum knee,Castro’s mental errors, Marmol’s continuous struggles…etc, etc.
But if not for Sveum’s steady hand the Cubs could actually be worse in the standings than 19-games below .500.
This team could’ve easily rolled over and died on any number of occasions, but they haven’t quit playing for the manager. That’s commendable.
Most importantly, Sveum has the Cubs playing better baseball than we’ve seen the past few seasons. Better effort, better fundamentals, better accountability.
It’s a better brand of baseball that’s laying the foundation for the Cubs massive rebuild project. Sveum and his coaching staff deserve a sizable amount of credit for keeping the project on course.
Cubs baseball won’t get any easier following the All Star break. Dempster and Garza are as good as gone, other veterans are likely to be traded and Wrigley Field will look helplessly empty near the end of August.
It’ll be easy to criticize Sveum come the end of September, especially if the Cubs amass 100-plus losses. But you can’t fairly judge Sveum based on the win/loss record alone, at least not this year.
Sveum’s top priority is getting this club back to a level of respectability. So far, so good. The outlook for the next three months remains promising.