Tag Archive | "Jed Hoyer"

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Theo, Jed, Cubs Introduce Dale Sveum as New Skipper – Wrigley Field – 11/18/11

Posted on 18 November 2011 by Lou

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer introduced introduced Dale Sveum as the new Cubs Manager on Friday at Wrigley Field.  Sveum – the Milwaukee Brewers’ hitting coach for the last 3 seasons – seems up for the challenge to lead the 71-91 Cubs back to relevancy.  Deemed to be a “baseball guy” with great personal skills, Sveum is excited to take over the job – “The past is the past no matter where you are.  You’re only as good as you are right now.  It doesn’t really matter what happened in the past… When it came down to it, this was a better fit and the arrow stopped on the Chicago Cubs.”

Epstein praised Sveum in broad terms: “He knows the game inside and out. He has a great combination of intelligence and intuition both between the lines and in the clubhouse. Next is the rare ability to hold players accountable, while also earning their respect and admiration. Dale demands a lot of his players but is held in universally high regard by them. That’s a tough thing to pull off.”

Gotta love it – now let’s see what they can pull off in 2012…

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Cubs to Hire Dale Sveum as New Skipper – Wrigley Field 11/17/11

Posted on 17 November 2011 by Lou

It’s official – Dale Sveum will be the news Cubs manager.  The 48-year old long-time coach will get his first full-time gig as a major league manager with the Cubs. Sveum has served as an interim manager, a bench coach, a hitting coach and a 3rd base coach and will get to show off his skills on the north side in 2012.

We’ll have more on this breaking news following the scheduled Wrigley Field news conference on Friday morning.

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Cubs, Sveum Will Talk Again at GM Meetings – Wrigley Field 11/15/11

Posted on 15 November 2011 by Lou

The Cubs and Dale Sveum will have another chance to discuss the Cubs managerial vacancy this week at the GM Meetings in Milwaukee.  The Red Sox plan to interview Sveum again and since Sveum will be there, the Cubs have decided to do it too.  The Cubs have interviewed 5 people for the job – Pete Mackanin, Sveum, Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar, Jr. at Wrigley Field & DeMarlo Hale (the current Red Sox bench coach) over the phone.  Cubs President Theo Epstein has also had numerous conversations with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, but it is unclear how “in play” Francona is at this stage of the game.  Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have indicated that they will have further follow-up discussions with all candidates and then present Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and his family with their final choice.  A decision could come later this week or early next week.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear any rumors…

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Cubs Hire Shiraz Rehman as Assistant to General Manager Jed Hoyer – Wrigley Field 11/14/11

Posted on 14 November 2011 by Lou

The Cubs announced the hiring of Shiraz Rehman as GM Jed Hoyer’s new Assistant.  Rehman worked as an intern for the Boston Red Sox in 2005 and he has worked in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for the past 6 seasons.  His most recent position with the DBacks was Director of Player Personnel.  Rehman will help on potential player acquisitions and provide scouting, financial and statistical information support for potential trades and player evaluations.  Rehman was a 4-year starting shortstop for McGill University and also has his MBA from Columbia Business School.  The guy is an athlete and he’s smart – not a bad combo.  The Cubs keep adding to the front office, so it will be nice to see some creativity for a change on the north side.  I cannot wait to see what this team looks like in 3-5 years – it should be a while new machine by then.  Yippee!

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Cubs Interview Sandy Alomar, Jr. – Wrigley Field 11/11/11

Posted on 11 November 2011 by Lou

The Cubs interviewed Sandy Alomar, Jr. for thier open manager position today.  GM Jed Hoyer announced that there is no clear front-runner for the job: “It’s still totally open for debate.  We are going to get back and have some discussions and then probably have some follow-up conversations.  We spent a lot of time with these candidates. Now we can think about some follow-up questions… We feel really good about the four guys we brought in.  We had four very good interviewees.  I wouldn’t rule out an additional candidate, but it’s not a certainty either.”

Hoyer could be alluding to former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.  Cubs President Theo Epstein and Francona are still in contact and Francona has indicated that he is interested in the Cubs job.  The Cubs have acknowledged that a long, formal interview with Francona would not be needed since Epstein and Hoyer are both so familiar with Francona and his coaching style/abilities.

Alomar, Jr. was thrilled with the Cubs interview process: “They are very thorough with everything. They don’t leave any stone unturned. Yhey go through every situation in the game. They are very professional about it. They are very bright about what they do. I had an opportunity to have an interview with Toronto last year. That was pretty good. But these guys take it to another level. It’s kind of like what you see Jon Gruden doing with NFL quarterbacks but more thorough. Kind of interesting…  It was fun because they put you in managerial positions in order to make decisions fast. They see how you incorporate players you have on your bench and how you deal with pitchers you would have getting ready in those situations. Then they show you the outcome of the plays. I don’t want to tell everything about how they do the interview but it was pretty interesting and very exciting.”

Looks like the leg work is almost over.  Now it’s decision time.  Bring it on…

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Dale Sveum Up To Bat – Can He Bring Prince With Him? – Wrigley Field 11/7/11

Posted on 07 November 2011 by Lou

The Cubs are putting managerial candidate Dale Sveum through the ringer today.  I can’t wait to hear how it all goes.  Sveum has been the Brewers hitting coach for each of the last 3 seasons and is considered to be a top managerial candidate for the Cubs.  Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are familiar with Sveum, as he served as the Red Sox 3rd base coach in 2004-2005.  He joined the Brewers organization in 2006 and even served as interim manager for the final 12 games of the 2008 MLB season when he led the team to a 7-5 record to qualify for post-season play.  Although the Brewers eventually lost in the 1st round of the playoffs that season and although Sveum did not get the full-time managerial gig after the season ended, Sveum decided to stay with Milwaukee to continue building his coaching resume.  Sveum is highly regarded throughout all of baseball and if there’s a way that Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein can pull off a Sveum/Prince Fielder package, Cubs fans will be very happy on the north side for a very long time.

The Cubs interviewed Pete Mackanin on Friday and they plan to interview Mike Maddux later this week (although Maddux recently withdrew his name from the Red Sox managerial candidate list).  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything on how the Cubs liked Sveum during the process…

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Cubs, Epstein Fire Manager Mike Quade After Just 1 Season – Wrigley Field 11/2/11

Posted on 02 November 2011 by Lou

Let the Theo reign begin – Epstein and the Cubs let Manager Mike Quade go after one full MLB season at the helm.  The Cubs finished 71-91 under Quade during the 2011 MLB campaign and his overall record in 199 games was a less-than-desirable 95-104.  Quade had 1-year left on the 2-year deal that he signed during winter 2010 and he is still owed $1 million from the Cubs.

Epstein had this to say about Quade and where the Cubs go from here:

“When I joined the Cubs last week, I knew that Mike had a reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker, and as a first-rate human being…  After spending some time with him this past week, it became apparent to me that Mike’s reputation is well deserved. His passion, knowledge of the game, commitment, and integrity stood out immediately. While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction…  “The managerial search process begins immediately.  We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success. The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.”

Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer flew to Florida late last week to speak with Mike Quade in person.  Although it sounds like the discussions went well, it is pretty clear that Theo & Co. simply wanted to start from scratch.  It was great that they took the time to meet with Quade in person and even better that Epstein flew down there again on Tuesday to give Mike the news in person.  I’m sure they are probably just covering their bases, but it’s still the right thing to do in this game.

Immediately, names like Ryne Sandberg and Terry Francona pop up as possible replacements for Quade.  Although Epstein’s statements about the next manager having major league experience (as either a coach or manager) seem to eliminate Sandberg from the mix.  It’s also interesting that the Philadelphia Phillies have already granted the St. Louis Cardinals permission to speak with Sandberg about their managerial vacancy after Tony LaRussa’s retirement annoucnement earlier this week.  With the Red Sox sure to be in the mix for Sandberg too, if Sandberg is on the short list of managers for Theo & Jed, they better act quickly before another team swoops in and makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything else on the Cubs managerial front…

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Hoyer, McLeod Set To Join Cubs Front Office – Wrigley Field 10/28/11

Posted on 28 October 2011 by Lou

The Cubs plan to hire Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod to their front office to join Team President Theo Epstein.  The trio worked together in the organization during the successful run from 2004-2008 when the Red Sox won 2 World Series titles.  Since both executives are under contract with the San Diego Padres, the Cubs will send a player to be named later as compensation for the deal.

Jed Hoyer will serve as Executive Vice President / General Manager (alongside) Theo Epstein.  McLeod will serve as the head of scouting and player development.  The Cubs just gave Oneri Fleita a new 4-year contract as the director of player development, so he will report to McLeod.  Current scouting director Tim Wilken will also report to McLeod.  Fleita and Wilken have excellent reputations thoughout all of baseball, so having 5 top-notch executives in one front office makes the Cubs a very formidable team “behind the scenes”.

The Cubs will hold a press conference on Monday to make the hirings official.  The rumor is that Randy Bush – who has been serving as the team’s interim GM since Jim Hendry’s firing this summer – will no longer serve in any capacity for the Cubs in the future.

The pieces keep falling into place.  Now that the World Series is almost over, it will be time for Theo, Jed & Co. to get moving on formulating a game plan for what they want to do with Manager Mike Quade and free agents like Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Pena.  The front office will also have to decide what to do with Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano.

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Cubs Introduce Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations – Wrigley Field 10/25/11

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Lou

Theo Epstein is the Cubs new “savior” – sort of.  Epstein will serve as the Cubs President of Baseball Operations under a 5-year deal that will pay him just under $20 million.  Theo brought the Red Sox 2 World Series titles during his tenure as Red Sox GM and Tom Ricketts and Cubs fans all over the world hope that he do the same for the north siders.  Theo is clearly talented and he gets it, having experienced the same pain and agony that Cubs fans have felt for 103 years and counting.  Theo said all the right things during his Tuesday press conference – here are a few snippets of some great lines from the day:

“To me, baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with history, baseball is better with fans who care, baseball is better in ballparks like this, baseball is better during the day. And baseball is, best of all, when you win.”

“I firmly believe that we can preserve the things that make the Cubs so special and over time build a consistent winner, a team that will be playing baseball in October consistently and a team that will ultimately win the World Series.”

“I’ve waited a few weeks to say this, but it truly feels great to be a Cub today.”

“I don’t believe in curses, (and) I guess I played a small part in proving they don’t exist, from a baseball standpoint.  I do think we can be honest and upfront that certain organizations haven’t gotten the job done. That’s the approach we took in Boston. We identified certain things that we hadn’t been doing well, that might have gotten in the way of a World Series, and eradicated them. That’s what we’ll do here.”

And when asked why he thinks he can bring a championship to the Cubs even though no one else has been able to do that for 100+ years, you have to love his confidence, focus and tenacity:  “When I got to Boston they hadn’t won in 86 years. We didn’t run from that challenge. We embraced it.  We decided the way to attack it was to build the best baseball operation that we could, to try to establish a winning culture, to work as hard as possible and to bring in players who care more about each other and more about winning than the people around them thought or the external expectations, the external mindset. That’s something that is going to be important to us here as well.  We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”

San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Assistant GM Jason McLeod have also been in Chicago the last 3 days working out their deals and ESPN’s Bruce Levine anticipates that we will have an announcement on their hires within the week.

Gotta love it – obviously there are NO guarantees, but when you put the right people in charge, and those people know how to put the right pieces together, you have a great chance to succeed year in and year out.  It may take 2, 3 or even 5 years, but if they do build another “powerhouse” organization in Chicago with a team that wins every season and with a team that competes for the post-season each and every season, Cubs fans will have a lot to cheer about.  And who knows, maybe they’ll even get to hoist that World Series trophy at Wrigley Field…

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It’s Official – Tom Ricketts Hires Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations – Wrigley Field 10/22/11

Posted on 22 October 2011 by Lou

It’s official – Tom Ricketts and the Cubs have hired Theo Epstein as their new President of Baseball Operations.  MLB Commissioner Bud Selig convinced the teams to make the announcement on Tuesday (a World Series off day) and finalize the compensation to allow Epstein out of his last year as Red Sox GM at a later date.  After aiming “high” by asking for Starlin Castro and then Matt Garza, and then asking the Cubs to take on the remaining 3 years of John Lackey’s $82.5 contract, the Red Sox agreed to settle for “minor league prospects” as compensation. The Red Sox and Cubs spent a week haggling over players until they agreed upon a process to select the players to be traded from the Cubs to the Red Sox to complete the deal.  What is known is that the Cubs top 3 prospects – Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt and Matt Szczur will not be part of the deal.

The Cubs have scheduled a press conference for  Tuesday to make the announcement.  After the World Series ends, the Cubs will then announce that San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer will come to the Cubs to serve as GM under Epstein.  Padres Assistant GM Jason McLeod – a top scout under Epstein and  Hoyer with the Red Sox – will also re-unite with the duo in Chicago and serve as Assistant GM to Hoyer.

This is pretty incredible – the Cubs who have had one of the smallest baseball executive offices in all of baseball with GM Jim Hendry and Assistant GM Randy Bush will now become one of the premiere offices in all of baseball.  These guys all have a proven track record, so let’s hope that they can get it done on the North Side in the next few years.

Good work Tom – let’s hope we see some immediate improvement over the next few seasons…

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