Dale Sveum went 127-197 in his two years as Chicago Cubs manager -- with more losses than in any other two-year period in the team's history -- but that's not why he lost his job Monday, according to President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.
“Today's decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses,” Epstein said. “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.”
He added: “I believe a dynamic new voice -- and the energy, creativity and freshness that comes with this type of change -- provides us with the best opportunity to achieve the major league environment we seek.”
Other than a stint as the Brewers' interim manager in 2008, Sveum had little experience as a manager when he was signed to a three-year contract after the 2011 season. It was just after Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer had come aboard to orchestrate a top-to-bottom overhaul of the team.
So far, the results have been unsatisfactory. The Cubs went 61-101 in 2012 and dropped 41 of their final 59 games, including six of their final seven, to finish 66-96 and in last place in the National League Central this year.
“Soon, our organization will transition from a phase in which we have been primarily acquiring young talent to a phase in which we will promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major league level,” Epstein said. “The losing has been hard on all of us, but we now have one of the top farm systems in baseball, some of the very best prospects in the game, and a clear path forward. In order for us to win with this group -- and win consistently -- we must have the best possible environment for young players to learn, develop and thrive at the major league level.”