By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Returning Friday to Wrigley Field for the first time since he was fired in October 2013, former Cubs manager Cubs Dale Sveum had only good memories of his time in Chicago. Now the hitting coach of the reigning American League champion Kansas City Royals, Sveum reflected on a number of subjects before the three-game series between his previous team and present.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Lead Detective In Investigation Explains On Witness Stand How Smollett Went From Victim To Suspect
Royals manager Ned Yost called Sveum just minutes after he was fired by the Cubs in 2013 and asked him to join his coaching staff. Sveum had worked on Yost’s coaching staff in Milwaukee and replaced Yost as manager in the final weeks of the 2008 season, getting his club into the playoffs.
A baseball lifer, Sveum still loves the grind of getting his hitters ready every day. He’s old school, but he feels it’s time baseball unifies the DH for both leagues.
“Personally, I think it’s time to go with the DH all the time,” he said. “As a bench coach or manager, it’s awesome to manage a National League game. (Double switches are) one huge part of the fun of managing a National League game. I think in interleague play now, we should change. This is the first time our (Royals) pitchers are going to hit, two months into the season. We build our team around the DH.
“Obviously National League teams don’t. They have to come to our park and use a bench player and are at a disadvantage. We are paying Kendrys Morales a lot of money to hit home runs.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Chance For Rain Wednesday Morning, Warmer During Day
Long before he became Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein’s first managerial hire in Chicago, Sveum understood that managers are hired to be fired. If he’s bitter about his two-year stint as Cubs manager, he hides it well.
Sveum certainly has the passion to be a manager again.
“Yeah sure you do,” Sveum said. “It is something you put on the backburner. It is something I really enjoy doing. I am not obviously holding my breath. I see how things are going in the game and getting hired (with more hires having sabermetic backgrounds). It is a little different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. I am happy doing this and happy to still have a uniform on. That’s all I care about.”
The Cubs’ new young stars are intriguing Sveum.
“You’re dealing with guys over there that slug,” Sveum said. “They obviously strike out a lot. They swing it and can hit the ball a long way. When they get that thousand or fifteen hundred major league at-bats under their belt, you’re going to have to deal with some serious power every day. We (the Royals) built our team around more defense and hitters (who are contact guys). The runs we save defensively, that’s how we win ballgames.”MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.