Live from the Coaches’ Den


Introductions are underway with Dale Sveum and five members of his staff. Bob Brenly is your emcee. Keep refreshing for updates with another exciting panel introducing all that’s new with the 2012 Cubs

1:58 – How much of situational approach can be instilled? Sveum likens it to making a student write something on the chalkboard a thousand times. Sometimes guys forget, believe it or not, what they’re supposed to do, so you have to harp on these guys that all they have to do is sometimes hit a ground ball or go with a pitch. He says some guys just aren’t capable of moving guys over — the at-bat is so bad that they don’t accomplish anything — so he’ll also let them swing away if the personnel dictates that. He’ll make sure they understand that the RBI is key.

1:56 – Asked about taking first pitches, Sveum says he had to suggest to Ron Roenicke last year to put on the take sign with Yuniesky Betancourt sometimes. “I have no problem with that, absolutely.”

Jaramillo says Sveum will set the tone and the coaches and players will follow that tone. Already began doing that in Mesa, working with some players.

1:53 – McKay initially talked to Pete Mackanin about a coaching job with the Cubs, but once Sveum got the job instead, they sat down. McKay says that he saw some La Russa in Sveum, in routines, expectations. He called back a week later to offer the job and McKay said his response was “absolutely.”

1:50 – What’s the plan going forward? It’s to win right now. We’re building. We have the resources to be good for a long time. But you have to put that money to good use. Bottom line is we’re trying to win every day we go out there and consistently every year.

1:49 – Sveum hates when players embarrass the organization and says he’s willing to bench guys or do what’s necessary to fix any problems.

1:47 – Youngsters will get a chance in spring training because Sveum expects to use some of them during the season. Will give them a lot of at-bats for experience and evaluation.

1:44 – Bullpen philosophy/roles are discussed. Sveum says that often the players have dictated their roles by the beginning of the season. Marshall last year could pitch late vs lefties and righties, but now it’s on Marmol and Wood, with the seventh inning somewhat up in the air. Sveum does feel that mentality is important late and that the fixed roles help out a player in a position to succeed.

1:42 – One fan played for Sveum! … In a Brewers fantasy camp. Turns out he chewed them out after two opening losses and they went on to win the championship.

1:37 – “Welcome to Chicago,” says one fan particularly fond of this sports town. Sveum explains the long process interviewing with the Cubs and Red Sox. He loves the challenge of managing in the NL, in a classic ballpark, with the opportunity to win a long-awaited championship. He calls it a no-brainer for himself.

Sveum also talked about the process of building a great coaching staff, flying around to meet them all. He said No. 1 beyond their experience was the willingness to talk to all players equally and tell them what they need to fix. He expects his players to have a thick skin when told to fix something.

1:34 – Sveum declines to set a timetable or make predictions but says the team has already attacked deficiencies in left-handed hitting, getting on base, starting pitching and defense. He says two months ago he didn’t think he’d have this kind of team, particularly pointing to the additions of Maholm, Wood and Volstad.

Building for a long time He pegs it as needing to win 90 games annually and that the Cubs will be competitive this year.

1:29 – Bosio about general philosophy: aggressive over the plate, work quickly, use the defense and keep them ready, may knock some guys down. Big on scouting — was self-taught and by Vukovich and Molitor as players in advance scouting.

1:27 – Strode enjoys answering a question about his role as a bullpen coach in seeing relievers wild warming up. He explains how he does give some input but also performance in warm ups and on the mound can go different ways often.

Sveum said as short-term manager in Milwaukee in 2008 there was a time Seth McClung kept throwing balls past his bullpen catcher by the dugout. He called down to the bullpen to essentially ask “what is going in down there?” So he will ask, But often there’s not another pitcher warmed up.

1:24 – No leadoff hitter yet, but David DeJesus is mentioned as a front runner. Sveum says that spring training could help determine it. “We have a universal-type lineup right now,” meaning there could be a lot of flexibility in lineup roles. He also adds Campana’s speed — if he can get on base and catch the ball — could be a big asset.

1:23 – Brenly getting lots of applause for “telling it like it is.”

McKay adds that they’re going to do something about the problems — “trust us, it’s not going to happen.”

1:20 – Sveum answers a question about players jogging around the bases by saying that he will let a player know as it happens. He admits he can’t magically do it for a player but that it’s something that has to be stopped so it doesn’t spread to other players.

1:19 – Jaramillo and the coaches have already gotten together with each other and two new acquisitions. The returning hitting coach praised David DeJesus for his versatility, athleticism and willingness to do the little things in several areas. He also praised Ian Stewart’s power and dedication to getting on track.

1:17 – The roster:

Manager Dale Sveum
Bench coach Jamie Quirk
Pitching coach Chris Bosio
First base coach Dave McKay
Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo
Bullpen coach Lester Strode

1:15 – After introductions, Jamie Quirk talks about all the managers he has worked for. Started with Whitey Herzog and ended with Tony La Russa.

Dave McKay adds that preparation was the No. 1 thing to learn from La Russa. Expectations and consistency for players. And being ready in the dugout.

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