Sports

Dale Sveum is fired as Cubs manager

Dale SveumNew York MetsChicago CubsTheo EpsteinMajor League BaseballTerry CollinsLos Angeles Dodgers

Dale Sveum was fired Monday as manager of the Chicago Cubs, who finished last in the National League Central for the first time in seven years.

"It's absolutely imperative that we create the best environment possible for young players to come up here, continue to learn, continue to develop and thrive at the big league level and win, ultimately," said Theo Epstein, the team's president of baseball operations. "And that's not an easy thing to do."

Sveum had little experience as a manager when he agreed to take the Cubs job and he knew the team was at the beginning of a top-to-bottom overhaul that it hoped would transform it into a contender.

He just thought he would get more time to make it work.

"You come in and you get a job like this and you want to see it through and so you're very disappointed you didn't get to really get anything started," Sveum said.

Sveum, who had one year left on his contract, said he thought he was fine before Epstein said during Chicago's trip to Milwaukee in mid-September that the manager was being evaluated.

"That was about when things got started," Sveum said.

While praising Sveum's time in Chicago and his growth with the Cubs, Epstein disputed the notion that the manager was blindsided by the move. He said Sveum had been aware of some concern in the front office for some time.

"We met shortly after the All-Star break, a long meeting, a long, difficult, brutally honest meeting where we explained the areas where we felt like we needed to see improvement," Epstein said. "We told him, `We are meeting with you because for the first time there are some concerns about whether you're the long-term guy and you deserve to hear that feedback from us and you deserve the second half of the season to work on those areas.' "

Epstein said he also talked to Sveum before he made his comments in Milwaukee and let him know there were still discussions going on in the front office about whether he would be retained as manager.

The Cubs were 61-101 in Sveum's first season. They dropped 41 of their last 59 games this season and finished with a 66-96 record.

Terry Collins completes contract extension with Mets

Manager Terry Collins completed a two-year contract extension with the New York Mets, with a club option for 2016.

The Mets finished 74-88 for their fifth consecutive losing season since moving into Citi Field. Collins' contract was set to expire after the season, his third in charge of the Mets.

The 64-year-old Collins is 225-261 as manager of the Mets. The club said Collins' coaching staff also will return next year.

Rob Manfred is appointed MLB's chief operating officer

In a move that positions him as the favorite to become Major League Baseball's next commissioner, Rob Manfred was selected as chief operating officer.

Commissioner Bud Selig, who made the appointment, has not had a second in command since he fired Bob DuPuy in 2010. In a statement, MLB said Manfred would run the commissioner's office on a day-to-day basis while Selig focuses on big-picture issues "in preparing for his retirement."

Selig's retirement is effective in January 2015. Though team owners decide on the new commissioner, Selig's public vote of confidence in Manfred is expected to be influential. There has been no announcement of the formation of a search committee or the retention of a search firm.

Manfred, 55, is baseball's top labor negotiator and has represented owners in collective bargaining talks in 2002, 2006 and 2011. Each round of talks concluded without a strike or lockout.

Manfred also handles the structure and implementation of baseball's drug policy. In addition, he was the point man in the Dodgers' bankruptcy and sale, and the approval of the team's $8.5-billion television contract with Time Warner Cable.

—Bill Shaikin

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Dale SveumNew York MetsChicago CubsTheo EpsteinMajor League BaseballTerry CollinsLos Angeles Dodgers
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