It’s Not Dale Sveum’s Fault
***News Flash***The 2013 version of the Chicago Cubs were not very good.
Among NL teams Chicago was second-to-last in on-base percentage and just league average in slugging percentage. Since Wrigley Field is a hitter friendly park their offensive performance was poor. Only the Miami Marlins scored fewer runs than the Cubs this year.
It’s not Sveum’s fault that Starlin Castro had a .284 OBP. It’s really not his fault that Darwin Barney hit .208 this year. The Cubs low run totals are in large part the result of their middle infielders lack of plate discipline and weak contact. I’m not sure that a manager has much control of these two factors among their hitters.
It’s also not Dale Sveum‘s fault that his first baseman (Anthony Rizzo), center fielder (David DeJesus), left fielder (Alfonso Soriano) and third baseman (Luis Valbuena) were all league average with the bat. First, third and left are supposed to be offensive positive positions. League average at these spots is simply losing ground overall.
Regarding the firing of Dale Sveum as Cubs manager the clubs president Theo Epstein is right when he says:
“Today’s decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses. Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made – some good, a few we would like back – to further this strategy. Jed and I take full responsibility for that. Today’s decision was absolutely not made to provide a scapegoat for our shortcomings or to distract from our biggest issue – a shortage of talent at the major league level.”
It seems Theo agrees that it’s not Dale Sveum’s fault. Just a bit surprising that they were not aware of this “shortage of talent” during spring training.