17 November 2011

On the Cubs hiring of Dale Sveum

First of all, yes, it did take me a little bit to pronounce it right (SWAIM, not SVEE-um). My first thought was, as it will be going forward, In Theo We Trust. Sveum isn't a name that's in vogue. It's not a Valentine or a Francona. Hiring (and paying a premium) for a hot name hasn't exactly paid off nearly as much as was paid for it.

Even though it's a different sport, take a quick look at Dan Snyder's tenure as Washington Redskins owner. In 1999 he bought the team as what was then the highest price for a team in history for ALL sports. The list of big names brought in includes: Steve Spurrier, (the return of) Joe Gibbs, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta, Albert Hayneworth, Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb.

The bit that resounded with me during Theo's intro presser was that in free agency, they would be paying for future and not past results. Nearly every name in the above list fits in the former category. In Snyder's 13 years as an owner, the Redskins have all of 2 ten win seasons and 3 playoff appearances (2 wins). Not exactly a fine track record for success.

One last tidbit: Was Joe Maddon a "name" when Tampa's version of the Superfriends (Friedman, Silverman, Sternberg) hired him in 2006? Nope, but he sure as hell is now, winning Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2011. Am I saying I'm expecting Sveum to win 2 MotY's in 6 years? No, but again, it all goes back to what I said, In Theo We Trust.

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