The Chicago Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum on Monday after finishing last in the National League Central for the first time in seven years, ending a two-year run that produced more losses than any other stretch in the team’s cursed history.
“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,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said.
Sveum, who had little experience as a manager, was among Epstein’s first hires after the executive came over from the Boston Red Sox in 2011.
“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 in a parking lot outside Wrigley Field.
A-ROD’S GRIEVANCE STARTS
The grievance to overturn Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension began Monday before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in New York.
The third baseman for the Yankees was wearing a business suit and accompanied by lawyers when he arrived for the session at Major League Baseball’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
Rodriguez was suspended Aug. 5 for alleged violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract. Because he’s a first offender under the drug program and the players’ association filed a grievance to force an appeal, a suspension can’t start until it is upheld by an arbitrator.
MCCUTCHEN HIT IN HEAD
Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen gave the franchise a brief scare on Monday when a ball hit him in the head during batting practice.
The MVP candidate was shagging fly balls when an unnamed teammate distracted him. McCutchen said when he turned his head a ball off the bat of Jordy Mercer hopped off the ground and caught him around his right ear.
McCutchen walked off the field on his own and said he should be fine to play Tuesday.
STATE PROBES BIOGENSIS
State authorities in Florida have launched a criminal investigation into the now-closed clinic at the center of Major League Baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drug scandal, a spokesman for Miami-Dade County’s chief prosecutor said Monday.
The state probe into Biogenesis of America and its former chief, Anthony Bosch, differed from the federal grand jury investigation into the clinic. The federal probe involves the sources of drugs the clinic is accused of selling to players.
All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz was reinstated from the restricted list by the Rangers, who immediately put him in their lineup. Cruz batted sixth as the designated hitter for Monday’s wild-card tiebreaker game against Tampa Bay. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. … Mets manager Terry Collins got a two-year extension with a club option for 2016. … The Phillies did not renew pitching coach Rich Dubee’s contract after nine years with the team. … Manager Ron Gardenhire will be back with the Twins for his 13th and 14th seasons after both sides agreed to a two-year extension. Gardenhire is the second-longest tenured manager in the big leagues. … Rob Manfred was promoted to Major League Baseball’s chief operating officer by commisioner Bud Selig.