Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein met with manager Dale Sveum in Milwaukee for four hours on Tuesday to go over the manager's performance this season. Epstein spoke with reporters after the meeting, but would not say whether Sveum will return as manager in 2014, reports Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Epstein said that "there are no alarm bells to ring" so far as Sveum's performance is concerned, and also that he believes the manager has done a "remarkable job" at managing the clubhouse the last two years, calling the mostly incident-free clubhouse a "feather in Dale's cap."
He added that the club has a checklist they need to go through before the evaluation process will be complete, meaning a definitive answer is unlikely to come until the season has ended. The club will evaluate Sveum based on his track record of developing young players, his in-game decision making, his use of the roster, and his ability to create a positive clubhouse culture.
Epstein made sure to iterate that the front office will not evaluate Sveum based on the team's wins and losses, putting the onus of on-the-field performance -- i.e. roster construction -- on himself and the rest of the baseball operations department.
Sveum's clubhouse management skills saw their first public test on Monday when right-hander Edwin Jackson confronted the manager in the dugout. Sveum defused the situation quickly, drawing extra praise from Epstein, who believes the skipper's "even keel" has had a positive effect on the players:
"Obviously, everything hasn’t gone the way we wanted the last two years but as far as incidents and tempers flaring, there haven’t been that many. I think teams sometimes take on the personality of their manager, and Dale being so even keel has rubbed off on the atmosphere here."
The Cubs are 124-189 so far in Sveum's two years at the helm. Chicago has a plethora of big-name prospects on their way up the ladder who are expected to make an impact in the next two seasons. Whether or not Sveum will be their manager when that time arrives remains to be seen.