New Cubs manager Dale Sveum was announced at an introductory press conference Friday morning from Wrigley Field.
He said all the right things. He has the support of Theo's Trio. He fits in with what HardballTalk's Craig Calcaterra is deeming Epstein's "bald manager."
So will Sveum be the right man for the job?
I mean, it's one press conference, so I don't know. He hasn't done anything yet. The on-field play for the Cubs is still poor. They still lost 91 games last year. Sveum hasn't managed a game yet and won't for another few months.
But he talked about defense, stressing how each player should spend at least as much time on their defense as they do in the batting cage.
Not that a statement like this is so bold. The Cubs finished 2011 with 134 errors, the most in the MLB by a wide margin (10 more than runner-up Oakland). Any idiot could look at a stat sheet and know the Cubs need to stress defense in '12 (hell, I figured it out, so it can't be rocket science).
From this press conference and the other times I've seen him on camera, Sveum seems to be one of those guys that is always pretty mellow. He never gets too high or too low. Not much affects him. Which is a very good quality for a manager to have.
Oh, we just made errors on back-to-back-back plays? No need to freak out. Oh, we just hit back-to-back-to-back home runs? No need to jump for joy.
That's good for Chicago. Attitude trickles down from the manager. With the Cubs and their "Cubbie occurences" and "curses," they need a manager that won't just throw in the towel mentally when something bad goes down.
Sveum has humor. When asked about his nickname nuts, he said "It has nothing to do with my lower half. But more to do with up here," he joked as he pointed to his bald head.
Sveum will treat his players with respect, as he would treat his own son.
And when discussing the Cubs playing day games and how players complain about it, Sveum used the word "whined" instead, showing his edge and no-nonsense attitude.
As commenter Darion Denham in our live press conference stream and chat said, Sveum seems a bit like Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau in that he doesn't tolerate excuses and he wants to get better day-by-day. In this town right now, it's never bad to be like Tommy T in anything.
So there's a lot of good here. But as a Cubs fan, I've learned to temper my expectations.
Sveum talked the talk. Now it's time to walk the walk.