A Cubs player recently told me a story about new Manager Dale Sveum.
Last summer after Brewers slugger Ryan Braun struck out, he walked into the dugout and proceeded to smash his bat, part of it landing on Sveum.
Sveum then followed Braun into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse and let him know that bodily harm would follow if that incident would happen to reoccur.
Braun homered on his next at bat and promptly thanked Sveum for helping him refocus.
That story seems to kind of sum up how players feel about Sveum. He is a no-nonsense guy, yet his players love him. There is a school of thought that the disciplinarian will outlast the players manager. Eventually the player’s manager loses the clubhouse.
No one knows for sure what Sveum’s style will be. I have a feeling he will strike a balance, yet never get accused of letting the clubhouse get away from him like it did under the previous skipper.
If you followed me on Cubs Insider then you know that I was out in front on the Mike Maddux bandwagon. As the process played out, Sveum seemed to be a clear fit with what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were looking for.
They needed someone who could set the tone for a younger team and be able to manage with new school tools.
They even did Sveum the huge favor of removing clubhouse cancer Carlos Zambrano to get things off on the right foot.
There seems to be a welcomed movement in this city in regard to good coaching.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau are sound x and o guys, have the respect of their clubhouses, all while not being blowhards or ego maniacs.
I have a feeling Sveum is going to fit right in.
If the story is true, I don’t think he will hesitate to take care of anyone who doesn’t fit in himself.